Trade Paperback/340 pages
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"The bones are intact, but Giron needs to borrow more than flesh to make this story immortal."
"This time Vanessa took the wrong virgin."
The recipe for retaining a youthful appearance includes a steaming bath of virgin blood, bone, hair, and flesh with a dash of herbs, spices, and an animal sacrifice. The cost is nominal, your soul.
Vanessa stalks Catholic schools for virgins, to cover her bubbling, pus-leaking flesh. Her skin is a smooth unblemished patchwork of virgins who gave their blood and their lives so no one will discover her secret–-that she is a forty-year-old witch who cannot die.
This time Vanessa took the wrong virgin. Ashley doesn’t believe her best friend Alex ran away without telling her. Or that Vanessa told her the truth. She is determined to make Vanessa pay–with her life if necessary. Meanwhile, Vanessa’s clients have their own troubles, their husbands are disappearing and the police won’t help. Vanessa wants to help, but she is falling in love with David and must keep him from discovering her secret, which is made more difficult by a voodoo priestess and an old love determined to have her for himself.
The premise of Borrowed Flesh is interesting and the plot is intricate. However, Giron fails to follow the various plots to a satisfying conclusion. Her prose is rich and multi-layered, but her characters’ motivations are weak and sketchy, leaving too many questions unanswered. The climactic scene is rushed and leaves the reader unsatisfied. The idea that there is insufficient energy in the universe to support more than one immortal is ludicrous.
Borrowed Flesh takes an interesting and promising premise and turns it into a hurried mélange of impressions more like a fever dream than a full-bodied horror classic. The bones are intact, but Giron needs to borrow more than flesh to make this story immortal.
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