River Woman River Demon by Jennifer Givhan

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River Woman River Demon is a psychological thriller with an original take on reckoning with your past and owning your power. When Eva’s husband is arrested for the mysterious drowning of one of their friends, Eva must draw on her past as well as curanderismo and hoodoo practices from both cultures in order to unearth the truth and find answers.

About the Book

Eva Santos Moon finds herself struggling in a world shaped by magic, suffering blackouts and haunted memories of her best friend’s murder by drowning. When Jericho is arrested for another murder – which she suspects him of – Eva must embrace her Magick and face her ghosts of the past in order to claim back her power and voice as an independent woman.

Jennifer Givhan’s debut novel, River Woman River Demon, is a psychological thriller that mixes folk magic with personal pain and ethnic identity to produce an arresting read that is both stunning and captivating. We watch Eva gradually discover clues to the drowning murders through magical experiences – some terrifying and strengthening as she learns to trust the voices of dead women that haunt her, all while remaining respectful towards multiple cultures’ esoteric traditions such as Brujeria, Curanderismo, and Hoodoo magics.

Givhan’s writing is immensely powerful, and she accomplishes one of the most challenging feats possible in novel writing: creating an imaginary world that operates by its own rules while still feeling lived-in and realistic. Her characters are vibrant yet relatable – I look forward to reading future novels from Givhan!

The Story

Jennifer Givhan deftly weaves together themes of folk Magick with personal and cultural empowerment into an engaging story that keeps readers guessing until the very last page. Her characters are complex yet multifaceted, showing layers of vulnerability as well as strength. From page one, reality and mythology are blurred into an incredible magical world that is both familiar and strange.

Eva Santos Moon awakens one night to the sound of Jericho calling from behind their home by the river, where she finds him holding Cecelia’s dead body – after suffering blackouts ever since Cecelia died, she now suspects herself of being involved with Cecelia’s murder.

As Eva investigates both murders, she begins to unravel their truth. But with many dark secrets surrounding Jericho emerging, Eva must rely on spiritual practices for the protection and cleansing of his name.

The psychological thriller River Woman River Demon is an engaging tale of resilience and memory. Givhan portrays Brujeria and Curanderisma with respect and intelligence; her portrayal of mental health struggles is candid yet honest. With an untrustworthy narrator, haunting deaths, and her quest for justice as themes running throughout, River Woman River Demon offers both poetry and terror all at once.

The Characters

Eva Santos Moon, an expert glass blower and mother to two adored children, is still reeling from Cecelia’s murder in their local river, found drowned. Not only is she experiencing blackouts and creative blockage due to trauma from her past, but there’s also concern that she may have committed the act herself.

Eva and Jericho’s marriage is at risk when Jericho becomes suspected in a drowning death and must defend himself against accusations of rape and abuse from allegations brought against him by Eva herself. With another mysterious death placing her family at risk, Eva decides to use magic of her own to uncover the truth and discover its sources.

Givhan has created an intriguing psychological thriller, weaving folk magick into personal and cultural empowerment. Her characters are complex and well-developed; Eva’s struggles with mental health are powerful yet relatable; the language used is evocative, and vivid descriptions of settings make the reading experience engaging; twists are skillfully woven throughout for maximum drama and suspense.

Readers are transported into an enchanting world where rivers hold supernatural mysteries while supernatural beings inhabit them. The mysterious River Woman and malevolent River Demon’s varied personalities create an intriguing dynamic that is packed with tension, mystery, and romance, making this book a must-read for fans of supernatural fiction who also appreciate reading realism!

The Writing

Jennifer Givhan possesses a sensual, lyrical poetry style. Her use of cultural references such as folk magick (Brujeria, hoodoo, and curanderismo) adds another intriguing layer to this already fascinating narrative.

Her depiction of Eva’s magical experiences is intelligent and reflective of multiple spiritual traditions, including her husband’s culture. These vital mystical encounters lead Eva through her complicated past while offering clues as to who killed whom in the drownings.

Character development and character interactions are brilliantly executed in this spellbinding tale, with well-developed and multidimensional characters showing both strength and vulnerability in equal measures. Their interactions are filled with tension, intrigue, and romance – especially between River Woman and River Demon; each offers engagingly distinct personas that keep readers immersed in this captivating tale.

River Woman, River Demon is an engaging psychological thriller that transports readers into a magical world of rivers and supernatural beings. Blending historical and folklore elements with Latina/New Mexican culture provides an interesting reading experience – the vivid descriptions and captivating characters make this must-read for fans of folklore, fantasy, and suspense! Be sure to watch Nerd Cantina for an exclusive conversation with the author, or preorder your copy today from your favorite bookstore or Amazon!