From Publishers Weekly
In Chaviano's first English translation, historical fiction is given a strong if awkward shot of the supernatural. Cecilia, a Cuban-born Miami journalist, investigates reports of a phantom house that appears in random areas of the city. As she tries to unlock the mystery, she becomes equally entranced by Amalia, an old woman she meets at a Little Havana bar. With only an eccentric great aunt to call family in her adopted city, Cecilia returns again and again to hear Amalia's chronicle of three bloodlines from across the planet that converge in Cuba. Replete with romance, clashing cultures and bloodshed, Amalia's story also has its share of auras, fairy music and imps (including Martinico, who haunts the women in Amalia's family). A descendant of clairvoyants, Cecilia is enthralled by the old woman, but whether readers will be enthralled is another question. Characters are more quirk than flesh, the dialogue is often stilted and though the supernatural plays a large part, the elements frequently feel uncomfortably inserted (such as the cameo of a goat-hoofed Pan). A stronger grounding—either in reality or the supernatural—might have helped this find its groove. (June)
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"Rich, satisfying...an absolute delight."
"It's a rich, moving, musical novel, which has already won the Best Spanish Language Book prize in the 2007 Florida Book Awards, and that only makes you wonder where the English versions are of the rest of Chaviano's works."
Magazine Praise for Daína Chaviano:
Melodious . . . reminiscent of Isabel Allendes The House of the Spirits
. . . a dream-like haze hang[s] over the novel from start to finish.