As the daughter of a rancher in 1840s Mexico, Nena knows a thing or two about monsters, but something more sinister lurks near the ranch at night, something that drains men of their blood and leaves them for dead. Something that once attacked Nena nine years ago. Believing Nena dead, Néstor has been on the run from his grief ever since, moving from ranch to ranch working as a vaquero. When the United States invades Mexico in 1846, the two are brought abruptly together on the road to war: Nena as a curandera, a healer striving to prove her worth to her father so that he does not marry her off to a stranger, and Néstor as a member of the auxiliary cavalry of ranchers and vaqueros. But the shock of their reunion—and Nena's rage at Néstor for seemingly abandoning her long ago—is quickly overshadowed by the appearance of a nightmare made flesh.
At once romance, horror, historical fiction, and an adventure narrative about war, Vampires of El Norte elegantly navigates a multiplicity of genres to deliver an engaging story that cements Cañas as one of the best new voices bridging the gap between romance and speculative fiction. It also proves that the sophomore slump is, at least in publishing, nothing but a myth.
A lush, supernaturally infused historical romance mixing vaqueros, vampires, and the Mexican-American conflict of 1846–48 ... Cañas delivers a horror novel full of expressive, sumptuous prose and enlightening historical details.
While the romance is an unquestionable centerpiece, Cañas does a fantastic job bringing the setting to life. She sketches out the life of a vaquero in small details ... A dramatic and well-rendered setting, a drizzle of animalistic vampires and an engaging story about two young lovers who want nothing more than the freedom and strength to be together in a world determined to rip them apart (sometimes literally).