Imatge de l'autor

Isabel Cañas

Autor/a de The Hacienda

3+ obres 1,495 Membres 33 Ressenyes

Sobre l'autor

Obres de Isabel Cañas

The Hacienda (2022) 985 exemplars
Vampires of El Norte (2023) 509 exemplars

Obres associades

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2023 (2023) — Col·laborador — 63 exemplars
Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 109 (June 2019) (2019) — Col·laborador — 5 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Nom normalitzat
Cañas, Isabel
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I was looking forward to this book quite a bit, based on the setting (1823 Mexico) and the description of Rebecca + spooky horror. Thus my disappointment that it just doesn't work for me is huge.

To start, the additional marketing line that The Hacienda is at all similar to Mexican Gothic is just that - and laughable, too. They're both haunted house stories set in Mexico, but that's about it. I found Mexican Gothic much more sinister, and thrilling, and more pointed in its treatment of colonialism, religion, and the other usual Gothic themes.

The Hacienda has some very good, evocative sections but mostly falls flat for me. I quit when on page 110, we get this paragraph:
“I will be safe, Doña Beatriz.”

But I wouldn’t be. If I knew anything about how the house felt—and lately I was beginning to worry I knew altogether too much—I knew that it resented people like him and me. People with plans and ideas. Dread drummed a militant beat in my chest at the thought of going back to my room and sitting in the dark, all the while aware he was poking and prodding around the house’s entrails. He didn’t understand what this house was. He couldn’t.

Up to this point, there has been no indication that the house resents Beatriz because of her plans for it. In fact, we know that the housekeeper and Beatriz's husband's sister do as much as they can to avoid being in the house, but not that they have any plans for it. Though it's not stated outright, it's suggested that they are also harmed by the house - in fact, the housekeeper doesn't spend time in the kitchen without spells of protection.

So where is this coming from, that the house resents people with plans for it? Does Beatriz completely ignore everyone else in San Isidro who says the house is bad news? She certainly seems to have a lot of disdain for absolutely everyone she meets, without much textual reason why. The paragraph above isn't much different from chapter 2, which I had to read three times before I could spot in the text indications that Beatriz was hungry to be in charge, and assumed she was hated by the residents of San Isidro for being the new patróness. (It was just so... mild, I didn't pick up on the grasping greed at all!)

Most of the writing style is the same breathless short sentences for emotional emphasis, but it generally feels flat for me, without any real stakes behind them, thus far. Beatriz doesn't need to be a likable character, but I do want to care about what happens to her. Unfortunately, I don't. Juana, the patrón's older sister now displaced from her position in charge, is far more interesting to me than the bland new wife who doesn't seem to care about anything but shoving her new position into her aunt's face.

This book could have been so interesting and compelling, but it has no real stakes and treats the more interesting secondary characters as not interesting, actually. (At least, as of page 110.)

Such a pity.
… (més)
keristars | Hi ha 22 ressenyes més | Apr 14, 2024 |
Set in Mexico after the War for Independence, the main characters clash in their attempt to regain an ordinary existence. ..oh, and the Hacienda is haunted! (Think Rebecca meets Mexican Gothic).
Well written, fast-paced and an interesting, creepy story.
Chrissylou62 | Hi ha 22 ressenyes més | Apr 11, 2024 |
Beyond words. This was just so good from start to finish and I was blown away by the sheer brilliance of every aspect of this novel.

I do not even like horror stories. I tend to shun them as I am easily frightened. But this had me turning page after page in sheer awe.

The beauty of the writing made this a story about vampires that I WILL recommend to friends and family alike. The love story intertwined alternatingly had me yelling at the characters and crying when things went awry.

Desperately awaiting a third book from Isabel Cañas. Any wait is much too long...
… (més)
markjosephjochim | Hi ha 9 ressenyes més | Mar 10, 2024 |
Historical fiction, romance, vampires! Vampires of El Norte is a captivating blend of genres, two of which I don't regularly read. This novel was fantastic! Beautifully written, with evocative imagery, gorgeous descriptions of twilight and skies, food and plant life. Peppered with Mexican words and phrases that sent me to my dictionary, Vampires of El Norte enhanced my vocabulary as well.

I enjoyed the alternating third-person viewpoints of protagonists Nena and Néstor. Their history, their relationships, their inner states were enthrallingly rendered. The scenes of closeness and intimacy between them were filled with longing and desire and were sweaty, steamy, delicious.

In her author's note, Isabel Cañas talks about all of the challenges and hard work that went into the writing of Vampires of El Norte. Kind of makes me feel bad that I devoured the novel in only six days. But I couldn't help myself: it's just that good.
… (més)
LordSlaw | Hi ha 9 ressenyes més | Mar 9, 2024 |



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