REVIEW: Saint Death - Marcus Sedgwick



Saint Death - Marcus Sedgwick
Paperback published by Orion on 6 April 2017
Book depository purchase link.
My rating: 3/5

Most people will never have read a book like Saint Death. I certainly hadn't. From the cover, you're probably intrigued. What could it be about? Who is it aimed at? Will you like it? I have one (kinda crappy and understated) word to describe this novel: unique. Okay, I'll use more words...

Classified as a YA thriller, Saint Death is about a Mexican teenager named Arturo. Living in Anapra, one of the poorest neighbourhoods, Arturo is just about getting by. When his sort-of brother, sort-of best friend Faustino needs help to escape the gang he's been working for, Arturo has a difficult task ahead. He needs to replace the money Faustino stole and he only has 36 hours to do it.

Overhanging the narrative is Saint Death. She represents loyalty and neutral morality. She's the rebel angel and sinister guardian that governs every move and causes every plot twist.

I found it difficult to establish how old Arturo was because of his mature voice. It was only when he said that he'd been in school recently that I realised just how young he was. I guess, though, that this really showed how he'd been forced to mature by the political climate and back-story. Speaking of back-stories, they were all so moving. As well as Arturo, you get to hear about Faustino and his wife Eva. 

What struck me most is how this story is so relevant in today's political climate, where migration has become a high profile topic full of prejudice and hatred. Drugs, gang warfare and the tense US/Mexican border add the extra thrill to the already charged story and result in a dark and bold read.

I'll be honest. I'd never heard of Marcus Sedgwick before. I don't know how - he's written loads of novels and been very successful. For a first experience, I enjoyed his style. While I felt quite distanced from Arturo, especially for the first quarter of the book, I was intrigued enough to go on. Okay, the sprayed edges helped (they're bright yellow!) and the chapters were occasionally broken up with crazy typography. Fun, fun, fun.

Have you ever read a book like this? What do you think of Saint Death? Let me know! It's out in paperback this week so go and check out those sprayed edges.

Love, Jess


Thank you to Orion for sending me a copy.

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