Book Review > ‘The Unholy’ by Paul DeBlassie III

Hello, my angels ~

Today I have another blog tour post for you! This one was put on by the Blackthorn Book Tours. Huge thank you to everyone behind these tours for always emailing me about tours they think me and other reviewers would love and to being so unbelievably supportive.

Alright, let’s get into this!


Page Number

224

Genre

Fantasy > Urban Fantasy; Thriller

Summary

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop.

Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision. PAUL DeBLASSIE III, PhD, is a psychologist and writer living in his native New Mexico. A member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, he has for over thirty years treated survivors of the dark side of religion.

Trigger Warnings?

Descriptions of violence and gore.

Representation

Mexican/Native American rep! (possibly own voices)


Thoughts While Reading

“Ooooo edgy”
“Me too, girl”
“Werewolves???”
“We got some rep, my guy”

“Oh fuck off, dude”
“s p o o k y”
“Cannibalism?”
“We get it you hate women shut up”
“Cannibalism!”
“The theme of using religion to cover for your shit”
“Oooooo”
“She’s been goofed”

“Oh shit”
“Dude,,,,, you’re creepy”
“Mood”
“Sounds fake but okay”
“Snek”
“We get it you have mommy issues that doesn’t give you a pass for cannibalism”
“No?”
“Holy shit”
“Hey, dad”

“There are sacraments of evil as well as of good about us, and we live and move to my belief in an unknown world, a place where there are caves and shadows and dwellers in twilight.”

— Arthur Machen

Thoughts

The first thing that stood out to me while reading was the creation of the good and evil dichotomy and the war that ensued. The protagonist is from a line of Indigenous medicine women and her and others like her have been subject to ridicule because of their healing methods while the antagonist is a very highly respected priest, an almost universal symbol of good. But this book delves into breaking those stereotypes, looking beneath them, and ripping them apart completely by showing that a person’s occupation and society’s belief about that occupation doesn’t make the person automatically good or bad. Indigenous people in general face ignorant stereotypes that often lead to violence and make them out to seem like awful people. On the other hand, priests are seen as this symbol of universal good and, even when they do something awful, it’s difficult for that to come into the light and even when it does, there have always been an overwhelming group of people who don’t care about what awful thing they did or don’t believe it.

But this book flips those ideas on their head and show the truth underneath the stereotypes — that no one is inherently good or inherently bad based on these aspects of their identity, it’s about what kind of person they are, not their job or their culture or what have you. And that was something that I thought was really important.

Another thing that I thought was important was the choice to make a priest specifically the antagonist because, especially in the past few years, crimes and violence perpetrated by priests have started to come out. Something that has been associated with clerical violence now is that it isn’t as bad because they’re serving their religion, their God, and that makes everything okay. But religion isn’t an excuse to be awful and to abuse and harm others.

Also, the true crime lover in me is about to jump out so — fair warning. But something prevalent in interviews and/or portrayals of serial killers is that they had some issue within their family. That was also translated to this book — the antagonist had issues with his mother that “caused” him to grow up hating women, leading him to kill them. But having awful things happen to you growing up doesn’t give you an excuse to murder people. Sometimes, that is used as an excuse but the argument will always remain that awful things, unimaginable things, happen to so many people every day, and they probably aren’t going to grow up to be serial killers.

So, generally, this book portrayed that, even though awful people will use them as an excuse, religion and familial trauma aren’t excuses to do awful things to other people!

Finally, I thought it was really cool how the author incorporated their own culture and something they’re obviously passionate about. It makes my heart happy when authors do that 🙂

My only complaint is that it felt like there was some loose ends, some things that we either didn’t get complete answers for or that were just left open-ended.


Verdict ~

All in all, I thought this was a really cool book that dealt in really important themes — so if it sounds appealing to you, I would recommend it!


Links ~

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Half Price Books | Indiebound


That’s all for me today, angels! Have a wonderful day/night and, until next time, don’t miss me too much ~

— Ash

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.