Book Review: Grave of Hummingbirds

GRAVE From the back of the book:

In the remote Andean village of Colibrí, a boy discovers what appears to be the body of an angel. But in the face and wounds of the dead, winged woman, Dr. Gregory Moreno sees something even more disturbing: an uncanny resemblance to his beloved late wife that cannot be mere chance. And in American anthropologist Sophie Lawson, still more echoes of the doctor’s lost love stir…igniting the superstitions of the townspeople, and an elusive killer’s deepest desires and despair.

When Sophie vanishes, her son and Dr. Moreno must navigate the streets, politics, and mysteries of a place where tortured ghosts and strange omens exist side by side with mortals both devout and corrupt. But they may need nothing less than a miracle to save her from sacrifice at the altar of a madman’s twisted passion (204 pages)

Review under the cut!

What a much better choice this book was to spend time with. This book takes on a bit of a fairy tale quality. The conclusion, admittedly, does leave you with a lot of unanswered questions. Sometimes it feels like things happen in the book “because I said so” but the prose is beautiful and often captivating enough to forgive it these faults while the actual reading is happening.

The Good

-General characterization is beautiful and in a few precise strokes paints a picture of the main characters. Gregory is still hopelessly, maddeningly in love with his deceased wife. It isn’t even a question, from the moment he steps onto the page you can taste the anguish he still carries over her loss.

-I’m a highlighter, does anyone else take advantage of that option on eBooks? Because it really is the best. This book was filled with highlight worthy bits. Example: “Yes, in a violent skirmish of shock and recognition, hope and outrage, yes he knew her, and of course he did not.” “She smelled of smoke and alcohol and tired perfume and something else, something feral, like hunger at the back door of a restaurant.” 

I know I said it was fairy tale-esque earlier, and I stand by that, but it’s also a little bit of a melodrama? If that’s not your cup of tea you may want to pass, but everything is experienced at this heightened level. The whole village loved Nina, Gregory’s deceased wife, with a fervor. It’s never explained why, what qualities about her made her worthy of such blind devotion, and we get the same kind of intensity later when Sophie and her son Finn show up. Not blind love, but the weirdness of the village is intensified by their presence, the haunted feeling of events kicks up a notch.

The Bad

-I feel like this book could have done with a couple of extra pages? Very brief read, a little more room to breath, to explore would have been welcomed.

-Remember how I said everyone was in love with Nina? Yeah. Everyone was in love with her. Honestly by the end I was a little frustrated by this because, again, we were never given a reason why. Not that it really mattered to the plot. It was enough that she was loved, this is probably a nitpick but it’s something that’s been nagging at me since I finished reading.

-About halfway through Gregory becomes consumed with this rage and belief that his wife had been keeping secrets from him and he gets so angry at the memory of her. It was a little jarring to go from “lalala lovelovelove” to “RWAAAR SHE WAS TOO PERFECT AND TOO KIND SHE MUST HAVE BEEN LYING RWWWAAAR”*

-without giving anything away, I felt like this book wanted to be more of a ghost story than it turned out to be. Found that a little mystifying. People, please commit to the eerie and the dead, they do not appreciate being tossed about half heartedly.

The Bottom Line

Quick read, but worth the effort of giving it a chance. Interested in your own copy? Here’s a helpful link to go buy it yourself!

*This was paraphrased for the sake of avoiding spoilers. You’re welcome, internet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s