Saint Death

Marcus Sedgwick

Orion Children's Books

May 2017

$16.99 AU

364p pb

ISBN: 978-1444011258

fp October 2016

from Hachette Australia...

Anapra is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the Mexican city of Juarez - twenty metres outside town lies a fence, and beyond it, America - the dangerous goal of many a migrant. Faustino is one such trying to escape from the gang he's been working for. He's dipped into a pile of dollars he was supposed to be hiding and now he's on the run. He and his friend, Arturo, have only 36 hours to replace the missing money, or they're as good as dead.

Watching over them is Saint Death. Saint Death (or Santissima Muerte) - she of pure bone and charcoal-black eye, she of absolute loyalty and neutral morality, holy patron to rich and poor, to prostitute and narco-lord, criminal and police-chief. A folk saint, a rebel angel, a sinister guardian.

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Saint Death is action packed thriller, from start to finish, written in an honest manner by the brilliant author, Marcus Sedgwick. With the matters that the book handles, it is obviously meant for a mature audience and violent scenes are often depicted; however, it is never shown without need, without meaning. It is a violent and volatile book but artful in all its aspects.

The story takes place in Mexico, following Arturo as he struggles and fights for his friends as well as himself. That is a story that has been told millions of times and yet Sedgwick manages to tell this old adage anew. It's simple, it's impactful and it is phenomenal. The ending statement is one that will stay with me forever.

Something that must be mentioned is the change in fonts at the end of select chapters. These changes show a shift in perspective or a change in medium. Sometimes, it is a series of texts, other times a poem or perhaps even propaganda. These changes fortify the story, the events that take place and keeps with the general themes of death, retribution and true struggles.

Sedgwick, in this tale, writes not of fantastical creatures or of grand adventures in far off places. He writes instead of life, of hardships faced by countless people in their daily lives. He writes of the often cruel world that is lower class Mexico. It is a fantastical piece, an honest piece and a must-read for all.

Raisa, age 14

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