cover image Our Shadows Have Claws: 15 Latin American Monster Stories

Our Shadows Have Claws: 15 Latin American Monster Stories

Edited by Yamile Saied Méndez and Amparo Ortiz, illus. by Ricardo López Ortiz. Algonquin, $19.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-64375-183-2

Fifteen Latinx authors, including editors and contributors Saied Méndez (Furia) and Ortiz (Dragonblood Ring), reimagine Latin American folklore across myriad genres in this bone-chilling anthology that’s both queer-inclusive and represents myriad facets of Latinx diaspora. Ari Tison’s “Blood Kin” addresses the horrors of imperialism through teenage Nama, who, while struggling to fight against an oil conglomerate encroaching on Costa Rican land, discovers that his recently deceased grandfather has seemingly returned as a shape-shifting panther. Ann Dávila Cardinal’s devastating “Dismembered” centers 18-year-old Raquel, who, after the mysterious death of her grandmother, inherits her estate and contends with traumatic visions of her decapitated corpse. Claribel A. Ortega’s standout tale, “The Other Side of the Mountains,” features 16-year-old Yunior’s setting out into the forest to find his missing sister, whom his mother fears was taken by a bruja. High-contrast art rendered in grayscale by comics illustrator López Ortiz (Razorblades) introduces each story, appropriately foreshadowing nightmarish terrors to come. While familiar narrative horror structures across stories sometimes lend to repetitive tellings, each individual offering is brimming with ominous ambiance, making this a worthy addition to any horror collection. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)