cover image Chicano Frankenstein

Chicano Frankenstein

Daniel A. Olivas. Forest Avenue, $16 trade paper (222p) ISBN 978-1-942436-59-1

Olivas (How to Date a Flying Mexican) puts a Latinx twist on Mary Shelley’s classic in this fascinating modern retelling. In a near-future U.S., the country’s decreasing workforce is bolstered by the controversial process of reanimation. An unnamed reanimated man, also called a “stitcher,” works as a paralegal while trying his best to navigate the world around him. His budding romance with a sassy lawyer named Faustina Godinez broadens his social connections and opens his eyes to Chicano culture. This sets the man and Faustina on a search to uncover more information about the man’s first life, a taboo topic for most stitchers. Meanwhile, there’s an uptick in public hostility toward the reanimated, and the government seeks to limit their rights with new legislation. Part science fiction and part political satire, Olivas’s timely latest explores the pitfalls of assimilation and probes what it means to be “human.” Though the ending is abrupt, readers will have no trouble sympathizing with the main character as he works to remember who he once was. It’s an arresting thought experiment. (Mar.)