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Random House Worlds

The Haunting of Alejandra A Novel

The Haunting of Alejandra A Novel

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The Haunting of Alejandra A Novel

Castro, V.

A woman is haunted by the Mexican folk demon La Llorona in this ravishing and provocative literary horror novel about motherhood, family legacy, and self-discovery.

Alejandra no longer knows who she is. To her husband she is a wife, and to her children a mother. To her own adoptive mother, she is a daughter. But they cannot see who Alejandra has become: a woman struggling with a darkness that threatens to consume her.

Nor can they see what Alejandra sees. In times of despair, a ghostly vision appears to her, the apparition of a crying woman in a ragged white gown.

When Alejandra visits a therapist she begins exploring her family's history, beginning with the biological mother she never knew. And as she goes deeper into the lives of the women in her family, she learns that heartbreak and tragedy are not the only things she has in common with her ancestors.

Because the crying woman was with them, too. She is La Llorona, the vengeful and murderous mother of Mexican legend. And she will not leave until Alejandra follows her mother, her grandmother, and all of the women who came before her, into the darkness.

But Alejandra has inherited more than just pain. She has inherited the strength and the courage of her foremothers — and she will have to summon everything they have given her to banish La Llorona forever.

Story Locale:Pennsylvania and TexasPraise for The Queen of Cicadas

"In The Queen of the Cicadas, there's a thin, bloody veil between worlds, the past isn't past at all, and you can feel your heart beating in the pages, the words pulsing with life. Touch them if you dare, and don't be surprised if they quiver into flight all around you." —Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians
"In the age of phony fiction, V. Castro is the voice of authenticity; una voz que lucha por la igualdad. Dark, atmospheric, sexy, and dangerous, her fiction brings readers her unfiltered Latinx essence and a unique pulpy flavor. Her work matters. Read it." —Gabino Iglesias, author of Coyote Songs

“V. Castro writes like her blood is in the ink. Queen of the Cicadas is the best urban legend story since Candyman, layered and dark and hideously beautiful. It will get way under your skin. If Castro’s not already on your radar, she should be.” —Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Ararat and Red Hands

"Writing in breathtaking, atmospheric prose, Castro (Hairspray and Switchblades) merges brutal realism and supernatural terror to create a fierce, memorable tale of Mexican folklore and horror." —Publishers Weekly, starred review of Queen of the Cicadas

"Castro's novel shifts seamlessly from deliciously gory horror narrative to family saga to a tale of righteous vengeance, all while maintaining its unflinching condemnation of colonialism on both sides of the Mexican-American border. A tightly paced story of anti-colonial resistance and shared history that begs to be read in one sitting." —Kirkus, starred review of Queen of the Cicadas

"A riveting #ownvoices novel exploring Mexican folk tales and legends mingled with the history of Texas [...] Castro does not pull any punches. Readers seeking originality and a fresh take on well-worn horror tropes should pick up this novel by a dynamic and innovative voice in horror. —Booklist, starred review

"Castro delivers an unflinching, honest, raw, and thought-provoking horror tale that is both serious in its social commentary and fun to read. For fans of gruesome, vengeance-themed horror that is deeply tied to its place and the marginalized identities of its protagonists" — Becky Spratford, Literary Journal
Praise for Mestiza Blood

"[...] there’s plenty to recommend this female-centric collection on. Readers interested in speculative explorations of Mexican American culture and mythology—or those just looking for action-packed, cathartic narratives—should snap this up." —Publishers Weekly
"This collection will rip readers apart in the best way possible."
– Booklist (starred review)

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