Book Review, Fiction

Review: All the Crooked Saints

All the Crooked Saints Book Cover All the Crooked Saints
Maggie Stiefvater
Juvenile Fiction
Scholastic Press
October 10, 2017

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.  - Goodreads


I stated before that I had reservations going in to this book. I need not to have worried. It is an incredibly beautiful book. Not just the cover art, but all of it.
Words that can be used to describe this book best are soft, warm, cosy, whimsical and nostalgic.
This is twice that Stiefvater has made me feel homesick for a place I’ve never been. This time it’s the fictional Bicho Raro in the arid Colorado Desert.
It’s like sitting around a campfire and having a grandparent tell you a story. She mixes the mythical with the mundane so naturally. Every character is an epic legend, but also a normal person (or animal as the case may be).
It reminded me of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast. Strange things happen in a desert town and people carry on like it’s a normal day. There is also a radio station.
The imagery is vivid and iconic. I would love to see this book made into a TV series.
As for the controversy about a white author writing about Mexican culture. I can’t speak to that. I am someone from a different country that only knows about the culture from how the entertainment industry has portrayed it. To me it was a wonderful fantasy story about people, but if something was particularly offensive to you, please let me know in the comments. (Remember to caption with Spoiler beforehand.)
I’m not going to say more about this book, besides that everyone should read it to understand.

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2 thoughts on “Review: All the Crooked Saints

  1. Thank you for sharing! I am very worried about how she will portray the mexican culture, especially since most of the mexican people in YA are angry on how it is portrayed. However, I love Welcome to the Night Vale and intrigued now that you mentioned this book felt similar 😀

    1. 😉 It would be good to know if there is any Mexican own voices fantasy novels we should be reading. If you come across one you like, please let me know. 😀

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