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“Vampires of El Norte” by Isabel Cañas

--Staff Picks

Vampires of El Norte

Isabel Cañas
Published: 2023
Age Range: Adult
Genre: Horror, Romance

Growing up on her family’s hacienda in 1840s Mexico was difficult enough with the threat of aggressive Anglo settlers from the north, but Nena wasn’t prepared to face the sinister and terrifying creatures that come from the dark and seem to suck the very life from people.  It is one of these creatures that changes the course of her life one night when she is meeting her childhood sweetheart, Néstor, away from her family’s disapproving eyes.  She is attacked and, believing her dead and crushed by guilt, Néstor runs away to mourn her loss and make his own fortune.  When he returns years later to help the hacienda prepare for an invasion from the north, he is shocked to find Nena still alive and making her own plans for her future.  As they are forced to work together to stay alive and protect their home, Néstor and Nena learn about themselves and each other and look to find a future for both of them.  This novel is beautifully written, with touches of romance, adventure, and horror melding to form a story set during the Mexican American War that asks, Who are the real monsters?