Plot: (Back of Book) Erasmo Cruz is from the wrong side of the tracks. His dad was a junkie who overdosed. His mom chose to run off rather than raise him. His only passion is the supernatural, and his only family is his grandmother, whose aches and pains, he soon learns, aren't just from old age but from cancer. Desperate to help his grandmother pay for treatment, Erasmo sets up shop as a paranormal investigator.
My Review and Thoughts:
This debut book by Celso Hurtado is a wonderful example of a first time experience for a reader to gather and feel for the writer and all his styles through written word. The Ghost Tracks is a novel that sheds its outer shell and creeps upon you as the reader turns one page after another to fully grasp what is taking place. There is a powerful imagery of a otherworldly reality inside this novel that makes the reader need and want to turn the pages.
Your main character Erasmo Cruz who is a wonderful, emotionally complex character that in reality becomes you. Your written right along with Cruz. The place is San Antonio and the settings is of the paranormal nature of reality, or is it. Cruz believes himself to be a paranormal investigator. Cruz has a past that is painful and he has a present nature to help his dying Grandmother. The Ghost Tracks is filled with hauntings and everything else that goes bump in the night when it comes to the unexplained.
This is categorized as a YA Horror book. The horror is true but I think that the YA title might turn older readers off and I hope that it does not because this is for older adults because that is how it is written. The Ghost Tracks has massive violence throughout which gives it that kick of adult hood nature of reading.
Filled with great complex characters and a spiraling twisty plot of situations of the darker nature. I read 200 pages in the first setting of this book just because it continued to compel me to move forward one more page after the other. What I like about the Book is that even though your main character has had a paranormal experience in his past and reads and believes the books he reads on the subject, he is always looking or questioning the cases that he is working on. He has that X-Files Scully character reality where he wants to always explain it away or find a rational reality to the subject, even though all the truths are right before his eyes.
Your main character Erasmo Cruz is the true highlight of the book. Cruz is written like the character allows a part of him to become a part of you. There is a sadness to Cruz's life and there is a yearning in his young 17 year old self that all readers can relate to his ordeal taking place.
You get murder, ghosts, the idea of possession, just to name a few of the realities of the book. I have a hard time with the YA reality considering there is intense and graphic gore, drug use, child abuse, sexual assault, murder, knife stabbings and attempted suicide. There is a lot of grown up realities that plague this book, but geared toward the adult it fits.
You have 3 separate plots inside the main plot. You have a so called murderer who is haunted. You have a young ladies brother who is supposedly possessed, and then you have a person who thinks he can see the future. Stick in your two main characters Cruz and Rat. I think some of the negative realities to this book is the story did not seem to know where it wanted to go or how to conclude at the proper time. To put it blunt it was scattered. I think many of the spots work, but in the long run it seemed clouded with to much happenings. That does not mean it's a bad book it's just that you as an experienced reader can feel and pick out that this clearly is a debut novel a.k.a, a first time write for the author. The main thing that stuck with me was I felt it didn't know what it wanted to be, a YA novel, or an adult horror novel. Or did it want to add both and just allow the reader to take away whatever they wished to take away from it.
There is 4 main things that stuck out and was of a negative nature. One being, I don't know what the novel wanted to be. Second this book could not choose when it wanted to end. It has 3 to 4 spots it could have ended, but then another chapter happened. Third what was all the crying about with Cruz and Rat. I don't know any 17 year old boys that would cry as much as these two do. The fourth negative I had is there was to much going on, I think the book would have flowed better with one subject, or one case then the multi settings the book had.
Now with that negative reality I still enjoyed the read. Mainly for the amazing character development. Cruz is written with a perfection in storytelling. He is alive and not just words on a page. I feel Hurtado created a first time write that has flaws but still maintains the interest of the reader. The book has many complex realities inside its many plots, from Drama, Horror, Mystery and a somewhat small idea of coming of adult hood for your characters.
Would I Return to it Again: No once was enough but I could see this as a series of adventures with these two characters and the world of investigation. So I would love to return to these characters in other books.
Would I Recommend: I would to adults and horror fans, I think it's a little to deep for YA reality.
My Rating: 3 out of 5
Four Final Words: Brilliant Characters. Intriguing. Passionate.