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Piñata: A Novel af Leopoldo Gout
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Piñata: A Novel (udgave 2024)

af Leopoldo Gout (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
1306210,003 (3.59)Ingen
A Head Full of Ghosts meets Mexican Gothic in Piata, a terrifying possession tale by author and artist Leopoldo Gout. Carmen Sanchez is back in her home country of Mexico, overseeing the renovation of an ancient cathedral into a boutique hotel. Her teen daughters, Izel and Luna, are with her for the summer, and left to fill their afternoons unsupervised in a foreign city. The locals treat the Sanchez women like outsiders, while Carmen's contractors openly defy and sabotage her work. After a disastrous accident at the construction site nearly injures Luna, Carmen's had enough. They're leaving. Back home in New York, malevolent and unexplainable happenings seem to swarm the Sanchez family, throwing their lives into chaos. And it might be too late for them to escape what's been awakened... Inspired by the true, horrific history of how the Spanish conquistadors used piatas to force Aztec children to break their gods, Piata is a possession horror story about how the sinister repercussions of our past can return to haunt us.… (mere)
Medlem:elctrcmyhm
Titel:Piñata: A Novel
Forfattere:Leopoldo Gout (Forfatter)
Info:Tor Nightfire (2024), 304 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Piñata af Leopoldo Gout

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Viser 1-5 af 6 (næste | vis alle)
Such a difficult book to rate. The plot was there, the premise was awesome!

Carmen and Luna... they leave much to be desired. They come off as stereotypical caricatures of people one might find in a cheap B-movie. Nobody talks like that.
Carmen - I've never met a Mexican mother who acted the way she did. She always claimed to care so much, but never did anything to actually show she cared. She deserved to be taken off the job site with the way she didn't care to stand up for herself, her job or her family.
And Luna? Don't even get me started, the way she acted and spoke was like a four year old, so spare me with the "old soul" garbage.
It makes me wonder if the book was originally written in Spanish and the translation just didn't do it justice.

Despite these flaws, the story had its merits, with compelling side characters and memorable moments. Like the Priest at the end! I was shook!

The descriptive details added a grotesque depth I loved, although the end felt rushed.

Overall, while the book has potential, perhaps its true calling is for the big screen rather than the page. ( )
  selsha | Mar 26, 2024 |
Carmen Sanchez accepts a job overseeing the renovation of an old church near her hometown in Mexico. She sees this as the perfect opportunity to have her two daughters, Izel and Luna visit their home country and experience the culture. Soon after her arrival, Carmen begins to feel the hardships of being a woman running a construction site in the midst of men who don't trust her. The city is also more dangerous than she thought and Carmen feels bad for leaving Izel and Luna on their own all day. After an accident on the construction site that nearly injures Luna and opens up a part of the church with lost relics, Carmen and the girls head back to New York. However, while in Mexico, Carmen was warned of an evil that has attached to Luna and it seems that it might have followed her back to New York.

From the prologue, I was drawn into Piñata with the revenge of the Nahuas god and a culture that may not be as lost and forgotten as many believe. The story is very character driven and Carmen's character is very well done. I enjoyed her complexity and multiple viewpoints; she is a single mother, a Mexican woman, an immigrant and works in a male dominated field. Carmen was very aware of her position and the very real dangers that could be in front of her. The paranormal danger snuck in and built gradually throughout the story in a way that I wasn't quite sure if it was threatening or just a resurgence of what once was. Through the glimpses into the past, I did like learning about the Nahua culture, food and practices. There was horror built into the very real decimation of the culture by the Conquistadors as well as the story of the spirit that attached itself to Carmen's daughter. A gruesome and satisfying ending rounds out an intriguing novel of ancient retribution.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. ( )
  Mishker | Sep 25, 2023 |
First, thank you to NetGalley and Tor Nightfire for the ARC of this intriguing horror novel. I’m a sucker for horror with cultural or historical roots, and Piñata easily fills that bill. Also, I picked this book up on the tail end of reading a book that failed the Bechdel test, and that metric is still at the back of my mind, so… This book has several female main characters who talk to each other about things beyond the men in their lives. Bravo, Mr. Gout. You passed the test!

I enjoyed this horror piece, about a Mexican descended family from NY who travel to Mexico because of mom's work as an architect. It doubles as an opportunity for the woman's school age daughters to get a taste of their heritage but, teenage girls being who they are, it doesn’t end well. But the teenage apathy isn’t the worst of the family’s problems. The mom, Carmen, is a woman in a male dominated field, and the site that her firm is helping renovate into a hotel is an old church with a dark historical past.

The near decimation of the Mexican indigenous population at the hands of conquistadors and Spanish missionaries has left a centuries old stain on this location of the world, and the history and cultural relevance of the piñata is at its core. Once part of Nahua rituals of death and rebirth, it has now become a party favor, a mockery of its original importance and meaning. Until Carmen's youngest daughter Luna shows up and introduces herself to the long silenced spirits of the past who seek revenge. Luna becomes a sort of conduit for those vengeful spirits in a way that that little girl in the movie Poltergeist was used by the voices on a static filled TV. Sort of. I’m not going to provide any more possible spoilers except to say that the idea that Poltergeist uses—the gentrification over sacred land, is an easy comparison.

I enjoyed the book, most definitely, although the build to the horrific end was a little slower than I would have preferred. The slow build pulls the rating down maybe more than it should. I don’t know, maybe it was the writing style that was fine…but it didn’t quite fill me with the looming terror that I felt it should have. Until the end. It ramped up quickly by the last quarter of the book.

This is a solid three plus stars for me, not quite a full four, but close. ( )
  CaseyAdamsStark | Apr 20, 2023 |
It was incredibly difficult for me to connect to this story simply because the main character (Carmen) was as blank as a sheet of copy paper. She had no personality, no character whatsoever. It's impossible to be invested in a story about metaphysical danger to her family when she can't even muster the effort to be very invested herself.

There was some historical and cultural stuff here that was very interesting, even though much of it was delivered in unnecessary plot dumps by characters explaining it to each other even though they both should have already been aware of the information. The opening scene in the prologue was by far the most interesting part of the book. I kept waiting for the story to live up to that and unfortunately it just never did.

I do believe this would make an excellent film if Carmen was fleshed out more as a charater and with the right director behind the camera. ( )
1 stem sublunarie | Apr 17, 2023 |
The essence of Leopoldo Gout's Piñata is a story of possession, but it goes so much further than that. Tackling problems of colonialism, misogyny and sexism in the work place, and xenophobia, Gout creates a nuanced cultural study wrapped up in a horror-ific tale of possession, ancient Mexican gods, and the revenge they want to take on the world.

When architect Carmen Sanchez brings her daughters, Izel and Luna, with her on a project to her home country of Mexico, she is hopeful that she can share in her heritage with both girls while she oversees a renovation of an ancient cathedral into a modern hotel. Her youngest, Luna, is mesmerized by the sights around her, while her eldest, Izel, can't believe her mother pulled her away from her friends back home for the summer. During the excavation, there is a scaffolding collapse and a previously sealed, unknown room is discovered, filled with artifacts from the early days of the cathedral. Inside, an ancient piñata, used by the priests of the day to co-opt ancient Mexican traditions, calls out to Luna, and before the chamber can be properly closed off for study, Luna makes off with the piñata. Between the scaffolding collapse, the way the men Carmen is overseeing disrespect her, and the dangers of being kidnapped by local gangs, she decides she's had enough of Mexico and returns home with her daughters

Once home, the usually bright and cheerful Luna takes a drastic turn, becoming scornful and mean. As strange things begin to happen all around their home, Carmen begins to realize that there may be more to Luna's strange change in behavior than she first thought. With the help of some of their Nahua friends from Mexico, Carmen and Izel try to save Luna from the ancient forces consuming her, but it may be too late for everyone.

Gout creates some really incredible, gruesome visuals in this story, and I'm here for it. Luna's descent from cheerful and full of life to spiteful, hateful, and angry is quite the journey. With a large cast of characters, I was worried that some would be lost along the way creatively, but Gout fleshes everyone out nicely. While the last 1/4 or so of the book seems suddenly rushed, that does also convey the need to save Luna and keep the gods from consuming the Earth. Another excellent release from Nightfire, and a new author for me to discover more from.

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Tor Nightfire for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

#piñata #netgalley #leopoldogout #tornightfire #horror #possession #bookreview #frommybookshelf #frommybookshelfblog #books #book #bookstagram ( )
1 stem tapestry100 | Mar 14, 2023 |
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A Head Full of Ghosts meets Mexican Gothic in Piata, a terrifying possession tale by author and artist Leopoldo Gout. Carmen Sanchez is back in her home country of Mexico, overseeing the renovation of an ancient cathedral into a boutique hotel. Her teen daughters, Izel and Luna, are with her for the summer, and left to fill their afternoons unsupervised in a foreign city. The locals treat the Sanchez women like outsiders, while Carmen's contractors openly defy and sabotage her work. After a disastrous accident at the construction site nearly injures Luna, Carmen's had enough. They're leaving. Back home in New York, malevolent and unexplainable happenings seem to swarm the Sanchez family, throwing their lives into chaos. And it might be too late for them to escape what's been awakened... Inspired by the true, horrific history of how the Spanish conquistadors used piatas to force Aztec children to break their gods, Piata is a possession horror story about how the sinister repercussions of our past can return to haunt us.

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