Plague of Flies: Revolt of the Spirits, 1846

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Sixteen-year-old Catalina, who was born nine years after Mexico won its freedom from Spain, witnesses a new threat to Mexico: a war declaration by invaders from the United States, who claim Alta California now belongs to them. While these unfortunate events threaten all that she holds dear, Catalina looks forward to marrying Ángelo Ortega as she has grown to a marriageable age. However, a prophecy about a spirit man riding off with her compromises her reputation as chaste. Ultimately, Catalina must carry out actions that go against her Catholic beliefs to save her loved ones. Follow Catalina on her dangerous quests involving horse rides, disgruntled spirits, intense gun fights, and much more in Plague of Flies: Revolt of the Spirits, 1846.

Religion is a strong theme in Plague of Flies: Revolt of the Spirits, 1846. Catalina, the protagonist, is raised as a Catholic in an environment that has strong traditional beliefs and spreads rumors of spirit horses, spirits of the land, and the likes. Catalina expresses that “following the way of Coyote is sacrilege” and wonders how she would purify herself once she completes a task involving Coyote, the trickster spirit.

I enjoyed the descriptive narrative as it transported me back in time and made the characters and the environment feel quite real. It was interesting to picture the “ill-fitting coats with double rows of brass buttons” and the green grass and animals on the hillsides before being invaded by settlers. I was disturbed when I read that despite slavery being illegal in Mexico, some Americans still went about murdering Indians. The historical information included in Plague of Flies: Revolt of the Spirits, 1846 makes it a good resource of knowledge, reminding the world what greed can lead to. A question that came to mind while reading the book was, “What actions do we take today that future generations would find unsettling?”

Readers would find it easy to connect with the main character and her internal conflict as she endeavors to overcome the different challenges in her way. However, the story mixes too many things together at once, and it was considerably disconcerting for me because focusing on a theme was difficult. For example, a particular page mentions eating beef, the image of reputable women, touching a crucifix, stealing dried fish, finding special stones, and more.

Laurel Anne Hill gives us a heartwarming, adventurous narrative set in 1846 Alta California, depicting the concerning sexism and the massacre that existed in that time through its young female protagonist. Though I thought the story could be less fragmented, I loved how the history theme is explored, the vivid descriptions, and the relatable characters.

Reviewed By:

Author Laurel Anne Hill
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 250 pages
Publisher Sand Hill Review Press
Publish Date 01-Sep-2021
ISBN 9781949534207
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2021
Category Uncategorized