From my list on realist that use magic to say hard things.
Who am I?
Like most children growing up with fairy tales and Bible instruction, I believed in miracles and magic. But it was the death of my father at age eight, then having his spirit return to my childhood bedroom to comfort and reassure me, that planted in me a core belief in dimensions beyond material reality. Other influences, including living as a neurodiverse woman and raising a neurodiverse son, working as a science journalist, and reading quantum physics, helped me re-embrace the liminal as part of my adult worldview. The most interesting novels to me often carry subtle messages and bring awareness to underrepresented people and issues, and many do this using magic and the fantastic.
Victoria's book list on realist that use magic to say hard things
Why did Victoria love this book?
At first glance, Valley of Shadows is a straight-genre horror novel, with a gruesome whodunnit at its center.
We’re given a noble but flawed Mexican American hero, Solitario, searching for a band of ritualistic murderers, who, by the novel’s midpoint, have already slaughtered a dozen men, women, and children.
This leaves Solitario, like the reader, desperate to keep them from killing again, but clueless about who they are and how they select their victims. This mystery remains unsolved until a shocking perpetrator and motive emerge on the novel’s final pages.
An essential thread in Ruiz’s riveting story is its otherworldly cast of characters, including a parade of personable ghosts, two living bruja (Mexican witches), and both the mythology and practical applications of Aztec and Apache mystical traditions.
Readers will recognize these flourishes as directly traceable to the fantastical, politically charged magic realism style developed by masters of this genre, namely…