Even more so than the other books in the series so far, this one was intense. It really stretched the limits of the kinds of things that Hamilton had included in the books up until now, including things like a teenage girl opting into becoming a vampire, her parents wanting Anita to stake her before she “rose”, an ages-old pedophile vampire, and weird fairy mythology and magic. Not to mention the mass graveyard that’s the premise of the story to begin with.
Unlike the previous novels in the series, The Lunatic Cafe moves quite a bit away from the vampires and starts to focus on the werewolf pack in the city. It also focuses on Anita’s relationship with Richard, really the first romantic relationship in the series.
As in so many other cases, I didn’t read A Game of Thrones until after I’d watched the first season of the HBO series. And, as in so many other cases, the book is so much better than the movie (or, in this case, tv series).
Let’s start with what I loved about this book. I loved the way that Obejas wove Cuban and Cuban-American culture so integrally into this Memory Mambo. I loved the cultural and linguistic references, and I just generally found it extremely satisfying to read a story about a woman from her own perspective, talking about how her life and her choices affect (and are affected by) her culture and family.
This book was an interesting, and at times frustrating, read.