Loteria

By Cynthia Pelayo
Publisher: Burial Day Books

I usually reserve short stories for bedtime as it gets me relaxed and ready to head on out into dreamland, but this book did everything but put me to sleep. Instead it kept me fully awake with its twist of plots and macabre tales. I couldn’t put it down because the stories were so well weaved and intertwined with Latin and American myths, beliefs, and superstitions that I couldn’t wait to see where the author was heading with each story.

loteria cynthia pelayoThe author took well-known folklores that have been told to many children growing up, but made the stories more frightening  and terrifying than I thought possible by adding a gruesome and macabre spin to most. Is this good or bad? It all depends on what kind of bedtime stories you like. I guarantee they will keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next.

Ms. Pelayo has used the Mexican board game called Loteria comprised of 54 cards with pictures to construct her short stories. She adds a twist to each of the stories by incorporating many of the superstitions, myths, and legends that include such things as the Chupacabra (Goat Sucker), the Duende (goblin or imp), or La Llorona (Mexico’s weeping lady who supposedly killed her kids and searching for them along watersides), and many other characters that incorporate a ‘creepy’ sensation for readers.

The stories are so well written and the plots are amazing that this book should be on short-story best seller lists across the nation. What a concept! If the author wrote this book to scare her readers, she accomplished this and more. Her fascination with Gothic Literature appears to have come from growing up in a haunted house and superstitious parents, which accounts for her insight into writing on these topics.

One of the stories is based on the card El Diablito (the little devil) and incorporates the Duende (goblin or imp) who visits the little boy at night. You won’t believe what happens. I definitely didn’t expect the ending. Wow! Wow! Wow!

If I had one criticism on the book is that the author is such an amazing writer and I would have loved to see the stories be longer because they were that good – such a shame that they ended so quickly. This is the first book that I have read by this author, but I can tell you that I will be buying her other books. If you love books that are horror based, and incorporate wicked plots – this is the book for you.

Source: Book was provided by author for review. It was reviewed by Corina Martinez Chaudhry.


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