One of my most anticipated releases of this Autumn, was All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater. Imagine my surprise when I found it on Storytel before it even released! Obviously, I couldn’t listen to it until the official release, but it was saved to my bookshelf and I started listening to it the moment I could. I absolutely loved The Raven Cycle so I just could not wait to finally get a new Maggie Stiefvater book!
“No one wanted to see their darkness made manifest, but the reality was that it could not be fought until you saw its shape.”
I feel like Maggie Stiefvater books aren’t for everyone, and that’s especially the case with All The Crooked Saints. It’s not a bad book, it’s just… different. And that’s okay. Honestly, that’s why I love Maggie’s books so much. But the fact remains that it’ll probably always be a bit difficult for me to review her books. First of all because I feel like there was just no plot for like three quarters of the book. Again, it wasn’t a bad book and the characters mostly made up for the lack of plot, but it wasn’t really working for me. I also listened to the audiobook, so… That’s like a whole different experience altogether.
I loved how All The Crooked Saints was set in the fictional town of Bicho Raro. Fun fact: I was just looking up if this was a real town, and it isn’t. Bicho Raro actually means “weirdo” or “oddball” in Spanish.
Don’t look at me for that last one, it was Google! Anyway, I found it quite hilarious. The town is supposed to be in the Colorado desert. Somehow, I couldn’t help imagine the place looking kind of like the house in the Courage the Cowardly Dog cartoon… Thankfully, there was a little bit more about the town later on, which made the town feel a bit more real. I did like the little town but I just couldn’t really “see” it!
There was only little plot, which kind of let me down. I expected a whole lot of incredible and magical miracles but… It didn’t really deliver. Or it did, actually, just not in the way I thought it would. I think the miracles were mostly subtle and now always present, which gave it a different kind of vibe, which I actually love in the end! I love how All The Crooked Saints has owls too, lots of them! I have a “thing” for owls, and except for Harry Potter, I don’t think you see them in books all that often, so that was pretty awesome! It wasn’t until they end where finally I did feel like there was a plot, but then it was over and I was like that’s it?!
The characters mostly made up for the lack of plot, because they were really interesting! I did, however, think there were just too many. First of all, we obviously have the Soria cousins
and their rather big family. Then there’s also the pilgrims, the people who travel to Bicho Raro to have a miracle performed on them. They all have different stories and I find I actually liked most, of not all of them. But I couldn’t really connect with any of them, because the book is told through a third person and through lots of different perspectives. Sometimes they points of view switches so often or so randomly that I missed the switch and was like “Who was this about again?! Oh, right, it’s about someone else.” It probably had to do with the audiobook, mostly, but it was quite annoying.
As for the audiobook of All The Crooked Saints… I didn’t love it. I liked the fact that the narrator had a Spanish accent, but then the dialogue was mostly just American!? Why wasn’t it the other way around? It gave the book a certain kind of vibe and I liked it, but I’m just confused! Especially since he actually talked with an American accent at the very end of the recording. I think that might’ve ruined it for me. Also, I just don’t think this book is good for the audio format. It could just be me, but I probably won’t listen to it again.
I don’t want to give All The Crooked Saints the benefit of the doubt, but I’m rating it 3/5 until I’ve read a physical copy of the book to keep my rating and review “in line” with each other. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the book! I love the miracles and the owls, and I guinely like most characters. At this moment I just have too many doubtful and confusing thoughts to write an honest, positive review at the moment.
About All The Crooked Saints
From bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater, a gripping tale of darkness, miracles, and family.
Here is a thing everyone wants:
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.
Maggie Stiefvater has been called “a master storyteller” by USA Today and “wildly imaginative” by Entertainment Weekly. Now, with All the Crooked Saints, she gives us the extraordinary story of an extraordinary family, a masterful tale of love, fear, darkness, and redemption.
Have you read All The Crooked Saints? Or is it on your TBR? Have you read any of Maggie Stiefvater’s books before? Let’s chat in the comments!
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