This book started off reminding me of ‘We have Always Lived in the Castle’, in fact, it had exactly that vibe. An old house, an aristocratic family filled with sinister secrets, and a mystery in the middle of it all that is waiting to be solved. The writing was very engaging. It held my attention throughout the entire book. And even though it reminded me of another story, the fact that this book was set in Mexico and had a Mexican protagonist was what made the gothic, haunted house trope feel original and fresh.
About one-third of the way in, the book introduced the theme of eugenics, which heavily reminded me of the film ‘Get Out’. But still, it felt original enough that it worked. And then two-thirds of the way in, the story went full-out horror. It wasn’t just psychologically gory, it was also physically gory. Generally I do prefer it when stories stay within the borders of psychological suspense and do not stray into full-out horror, but in this case it felt fun.
I was steadily feeling more and more creeped out as I kept reading until I became absolutely, well, horrified. That is why though this book does have elements of other tropes, mainly the ones I mentioned, in the end it stands entirely on its own as a well-crafted, intriguing, consuming horror story.