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.
In this lushly written tale set in 1962 Colorado, Stiefvater explores the complex and interconnected nature of desires, fears, and miracles via a Mexican-American family known for producing saints. Pilgrims come to the desert of Bicho Raro seeking cures to their woes, but the miracles they receive from the Soria saints are seldom what they expect. One winds up covered in moss, another only able to repeat what is said to her; these miracles are a "two-step process," and it's up to the pilgrims to unlock the meanings behind these transformations. When Daniel, the current saint, violates the Sorias' greatest taboo, his family, including intellectual Beatriz and pirate radio deejay Joaquin, and the pilgrims of Bicho Raro must drive off the darkness that emerges. The language of legend and magical realism suffuse this sprawling and intimate novel; while the book's tone is all its own and Stiefvater remains a summarily confident wordsmith, the setup, which sees a volatile family wrestling with unpredictable magic and forbidden romances, echoes her Raven Cycle books fairly closely. Dense, tricky, and thought-provoking. Ages 14 up.