Set against the tropics and megacities of the Americas, Maria, Maria takes inspiration from wild creatures, tarot, and the porous borders between life and death. Motivated by love and its inverse, grief, the characters who inhabit these stories negotiate boldly with nature to cast their desired ends.
... stunning ... grounded in atavism while catapulting readers into a near future soaked in twenty-first-century magic realism ... Rubio confects her moving, disturbing, and intense stories in a variety of styles, voices, and tones, from dark parody to heart-wrenching, grotesque, and violent yet touching. Adorned with illustrations of powerful simplicity, her stories feature shape-shifters, anthropomorphic animals, over-the-top celebrities (reminiscent of singer Paquita la del Barrio), witches, and mediums rooted in Mexican tropes, images, and language ... Libraries beware: mischievous Rubio exhorts readers to add their own drawings to blank pages to fully engage and feel the joy of creation.
... iridescent ... Purveying characters (both women and animals) with otherworldly powers, Rubio steps across the thin border between life and a dangerous beyond to consider what such payments might entail ... the narrative sometimes overreaches but remains a lush tour de force ... A vividly accomplished debut.
Mysticism and imagination run wild in Rubio’s debut collection, which showcases glittering prose and a fearless approach to form and imagery. Many of these 10 tales defy categorization and blur genre boundaries ... Rubio’s talent is evident, and there’s such a range of tones and genres on offer that any reader will find at least something to enjoy.