Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one.
Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.
At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.
They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect
The Raven Cycle was by far my favorite book series of 2017, so I felt really eager to read another book by Maggie Stiefvater. However, All the Crooked Saints didn’t quite live up to the expectations.
The basic premise of the book with its miracles really had my interests peaked. I liked the idea of miracles happening in twos, where the receiver of the miracle is required to actively complete the miracle. The philosophical aspect of that got me intrigued and I enjoyed reading about how the miracles manifested themselves and how individuals struggled to come to terms with certain things in order to perform the second miracle. Unfortunately, a book cannot thrive on this alone and there were many aspects surrounding the book that didn’t really sit well with me.
For one, the pacing felt really off throughout the book. The story moves incredibly slow and nothing really happens. There are too many subplots that don’t really contribute all that much to the general plot. And when the pace finally picks up towards the end of the book, it makes for a rushed ending.
In addition, the story contains too many characters in my opinion. Not only do they come across as rather two-dimensional and flat – as there aren’t enough pages in the book to offer them more – I also couldn’t relate to them at all. They were too quirky and odd for my taste, their fears and ambitions hardly identifiable.
I usually enjoy Stiefvater’s writing style a lot. This was still the case while reading this book, in the sense that her descriptions transported me to the time and place. At the same time though, the weirdness and quirkiness felt like an overkill. I don’t know if this was also the case with The Raven Cycle and I just never noticed, but so many sentences in All The Crooked Saints just don’t make sense at all and it’s distracting.
So to sum it up, while the premise is good, the execution is less so because of bad pacing, too many characters and an overkill in weirdness. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t really like All The Crooked Saints, but I will definitely check out future books by Maggie Stiefvater.