Vampires of El Norte is author Isabel Cañas’s sophomore novel, a sweeping historical romance with a supernatural twist. After a horrifying encounter as children, best friends Nena and Néstor are separated—Néstor under the assumption that Nena has died, and Nena furious at her friend for abandoning her when she needed him most. Almost a decade later, they’re reunited when the threat of war between the United States and Mexico appears on the horizon. Though many things have changed since they last saw each other, a few things have remained the same: the class divide between them, their feelings for one another, and the terrifying creatures that lurk on the chaparral at nighttime.
I loved Cañas’s strong sense of place and time in this novel and the relationship woven between Nena and Néstor, but my favorite aspect was the uniqueness of the vampires—I’d never read or seen anything quite like the way Cañas has depicted these classic monsters in her story. I also appreciated a glimpse into the culture and history of Mexico in the 1840s. This novel has cemented Isabel Cañas as an author I will be eagerly awaiting a next book from!