Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Book Review | Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal

Five Midnights is a YA horror novel by Ann Dávila Cardinal.

Five friends cursed. Five deadly fates. Five nights of retribución.

If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they'll have to step into the shadows to see what's lurking there—murderer, or monster?
The premise of Five Midnights is set around the legend of El Cuco. Going into Five Midnights I expected it to be heavier on the horror elements. I think this book will appeal most to those who enjoy mystery/thrillers with a supernatural element.

I’m new to the legend of El Cuco, but I enjoyed what Ann Dávila Cardinal did with the legend. I got a real sense that she made it her own.

I loved the Puerto Rico setting and the way Cardinal wove in the culture and a lot of (very accessible) Spanish language throughout the story.

The ending of Five Midnights had a slower mystery oriented unveiling of what was occurring than a punchier horror climax. This will work well for YA readers who are moving into darker books.


Have you heard of the El Cuco legend before? El Cuco is a boogeyman that will come for you if you aren't behaving. It reminds me a bit of La Llorona in the way parents tell their kids the stories to keep them in line.

Review copy provided by publisher


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  1. I've seen pretty "meh" reviews for this one and I do want to read it still, but I won't lie, they have killed some of my excitement. At least you enjoyed aspects of it.

  2. I didn't really like this much, unfortunately. It had potential for me but didn't quite come together.

  3. I like a mystery that has a supernatural element to it, so I might give this one a try. :)

  4. Yeah, I've heard similarly tepid things about the pacing. Still kinda curious to check it out.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

  5. I'm so on the fence about this one. I may snag it from my library :) Great review!!


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