Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Selenia Paz
Life and Death
Selenia Paz, author
When Natalia’s younger brother disappears while on a visit to Mexico, Natalia is certain that La Llorona, the mythical Weeping Woman, has taken him. Her friend Miguel agrees to accompany her back to Mexico in the hopes that it will help him deal with the recent death of his grandfather. But as they embark on a journey to search for the creature that has taken Natalia’s brother, it becomes apparent that the spirits Miguel had brushed aside as mere legend are very real…and they have a dark connection to his family.
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.25 out of 10


Plot: This page-turner of a mystery follows the disappearance of a young boy in Mexico and his sister and friend's quest to find him. Their path is mired with monsters, some friends, and some foes. Readers will enjoy the developing suspicions and surprises.

Prose: Paz's prose is evenly paced and ideally written for young readers. Spanish words and phrases are both educational and well-placed.

Originality: Though Life and Death is unique in its subversion of the traditional tale of La Llorona, it shines as a story on coping with loss. The death of Miguel's grandfather, the disappearance of Natalia's brother, and the loss of La Llorona’s children show unique perspectives on grief.

Character/Execution: Miguel and Natalia, the novel's principal characters, are well-fleshed out, though they do come across as somewhat younger than their years. The wealth of supporting characters, particularly La Llorona, El Charro, and Death, are both fascinating and memorable.

Blurb: Paz has created a wonderful young adult book. While Life and Death is itself an enthralling fantastical mystery, it also explores the complexities of grief and loss, while simultaneously educating readers on Latin American folklore.

Date Submitted: May 29, 2021