All The Crooked Saints – Maggie Stiefvater

All The Crooked Saints is a book published by Maggie Stiefvater in 2017, and we follow the family of the Sorias, who are Saints and are able to perform miracles.

For starters I know this may sound confusing, but they indeed are Saints and can perform miracles. The thing with this book is just you have to believe in the stuff it tells you, even if it doesn’t make much sense, or else the reading will be spoiled. Also the book is magical realism, I’m not sure if it’s the best magical realism ever done out there, but it is what it is. If I were to describe this book I would say it was the weirdest book I’ve ever read. And not in a negative way, just in a way that it’s so odd it is kind of a ride or die book, you either will love it first sight or you’ll be left like me, thinking it was just okay.

The family of the Sories are composed by many people, and some of the most central characters are the three cousins, Daniel, the active performing saint in Bicho Raro; Beatriz, the “girl without feelings” the logical one, the inventor; and Joaquim, is the voice of “diablo diablo” at night at their homemade radio station (made by Beatriz) transbited in the middle of the desert, the boy who dreams of a brighter future. But besides them there are other characters who are in some ways part of the main arc, so you’ll get about ten people who make this arc, and it can be a little difficult to keep track of everyone. But one thing that bothered me the most about these characters were, that they don’t really feel like Maggie written charactes, in a way that they don’t seem fully tri-dimentional characters, fully developed ones. They seem more like stereotypes than anything, and they don’t have many layers and depth as her other characters (i.e the raven cycle ones) so that left me a bit…. Disappointed I guess. Also aside from the fact that I didn’t dislike anyone, I also didn’t love anyone. There was no one to whom I was emotionally invested so that kind of left a whole in there for me, cause I feel like when I get close to a character like that it always improves my reading.

So I feel like it was an ok book. There was nothing spectacular there for me, either regarding the characters, or the plot, or even the writing, cause I feel it is also not Maggie’s best writing. Everything was just ok. It wasn’t, luckily, a bad reading or anything but it was just so uneventful that I started reading this book back in August and only finished it in December, I just paused it and couldn’t find it in me to pick it up again.

I also wanted to point that I did enjoy the ending but it nonetheless it felt too rushed for me. It was all solved in basically one chapter and while there were many things that were extended in the book I felt like the ending could’ve used a little bit more of increase.

I was, for a while, torn up between giving this book a three or a two stars rating. Maybe I still feel a bit like that, because I think when you don’t have any strong opinions about a book (wether for good or bad) you can get quite stuck in giving a rating. Maybe it is like a 2.5 stars reading or wathever. The point is there was nothing major that I disliked about the novel, but there was also a lack of things I liked about it. So it feels weird not to feel anything deeply about the story. But this is just the feeling that I have for this one, and I guess that’ll have to do it.

For the portuguese version of this review click here.

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