Last year I had the pleasure of reading The Queen of the Cicadas, from author V. Castro, which ended up as one of my most enjoyable reads of 2021.
Castro returns with Mestiza Blood, a wide-spanning anthology that offers a new voice to established tales plus some fantastic original shorts.
We open with a Mexican take on the Night of the Living Dead, but we have a story largely from the zombie’s POV, who we find out led a tortured existence.
For ‘The Demon in my Eye’, Castro plays off the virus motif, which will surely be part of many storylines in the coming years.
One of the most fascinating stories is Cam Girl Sally, which explores the life of a young disfigured girl who becomes a cam girl, but has burdening revenge desires for the disfigurement that happened to her.
We have tales of demons and curses with Street Fighter and Mal de Ojo, which feel rich in mythology, which is a testament to Castro’s writing.
The Cold Season feels like it was plucked out of a Black Mirror writer’s room, where we deal with the theme of transporting consciousness between bodies. Deep stuff.
Castro is also not afraid to dip into eroticism and body horror, as best illustrated in The Truck Stop and The Final Porn Star, which puts a horrific spin on an adult star making her final appearance in front of the camera.
Overall Mestiza Blood is refreshing and original and paints Castro as one of the most promising writers out today.
Mestiza Blood by V. Castro is released on 18th January 2022 by Flame Tree Press.