A potent, powerful and timely thriller about migrants, drug lords and gang warfare set on the US/Mexican border by PRINTZ MEDAL winning and CARNEGIE MEDAL, COSTA BOOK AWARD and GUARDIAN CHILDREN’S FICTION PRIZE shortlisted novelist, Marcus Sedgwick.
Anapra is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the Mexican city of Juarez – twenty metres outside town lies a fence, and beyond it, America – the dangerous goal of many a migrant. Faustino is one such trying to escape from the gang he’s been working for. He’s dipped into a pile of dollars he was supposed to be hiding and now he’s on the run. He and his friend, Arturo, have only 36 hours to replace the missing money, or they’re as good as dead.
Watching over them is Saint Death. Saint Death (or Santissima Muerte) – she of pure bone and charcoal-black eye, she of absolute loyalty and neutral morality, holy patron to rich and poor, to prostitute and narco-lord, criminal and police-chief. A folk saint, a rebel angel, a sinister guardian.
...powerful, compelling and gritty thriller. Exquisitely written... -- Jayne Gould * Armadillo * Sedgwick did the right thing in showing the dark reality faced by Mexicans through their eyes, it made a change from what the media usually presents them as... * Incendium Libri * This is also a really well-written and well-researched novel that draws you in and never lets you go. Please read it. * Star Crossed Book Blog * ...there's more to this book than just a gripping story-line; it's an eye-opener regarding the conditions in which thousands of people live alongside the border. * Our Book Reviews * In places Saint Death becomes difficult to read [...] but it's an important book and it made me consider issues that, up until this point, were easy for me to turn my back on. [...] In Saint Death, we see Sedgwick at his most raw, his most honest and, unforgettably, his most brutal. * Writing from the Tub * Beautifully written, the prose is absorbing, taut yet poetic, with a real sense of menace ... This is not a comfortable read, and not for the faint-hearted - Sedgwick points a finger at our indifference, and no compromise has been made to the brutal realism - but it is an important read. * The School Librarian * I can't fully explain how important it is, how horrifically hopeful and sad it is. Just writing this review and remembering the book has me on the verge of tears. I can only hope you read it. -- Emily May * The Book Geek * Another gem from a prize-winning author, whose masterful delivery of prose will leave you breathless ... A quick-paced and addictive read for young adult readers and up. I loved this * Inis * ...gripping, tragic and above all else beautifully written. -- Mily Bradley-Dorman * The YA Nightstand * Marcus Sedgwick's brilliant YA thriller Saint Death, describes a place in Mexico where rights violations make it impossible to live well with integrity * Books for Keeps * I think this is probably the most important book to be released this decade. -- Mandy Southgate * Addicted to Media * A tightly plotted, dark and thrilling tale of crime, poverty and desperation, Saint Death pulls no punches in painting a horribly accurate picture of life for the poorest young people in Mexico, where savage criminality may be the only choice * Book Trust * Exploring themes of migration, capitalism and social mobility this taut thriller, laced with Mexican folklore, will have you holding your breath until the shocking climax. * South Wales Evening Post * Saint Death is perhaps the first great anti-capitalist YA novel of the 21st Century. * Teen Librarian * It's beautifully-written with a real sense of atmosphere, menace and tension * The Bookbag * ...an incredibly powerful thriller, tautly written and timely, exploring a world of drug lords and gang warfare, migration and capitalism, and what it means to live in poverty. -- Fiona Noble * The Bookseller * A very powerful book [...] I believe it will easily raise awareness and inspire empathy because Arturo's story is so tragic. -- Tilly Lavenas * Amnesty International's Country Coordinator for Mexico * Bleak, choppy, switching freely between perspectives and languages, Sedgwick's book pulls no punches, and will leave the reader reeling * THE GUARDIAN * I read it in one glorious gulp [...] this isn't a larky read, although the heavy subject matter could not slow down the pace if it tried. [...] Sedgwick writes like a dream -- Alex O'Connell * The Times * I really enjoyed Marcus Sedgwick's strange and intriguing tale, told in rhythmical and compelling prose. * David Almond *