Some Gods of El Paso by Maria Dahvana Headley

Some Gods of El Paso by Maria Dahvana Headley
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Length: Short Story (21 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Some Gods of El Paso by Maria Dahvana Headley is a short fantasy story of a couple on the run from the law for stealing and illegally trading in strong emotions in 1920s US.

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Lorna and Vix were such interesting characters. As much as I disagreed with many of the choices they made, I couldn’t help but to like them as individuals. They had logical reasons for doing the things they did, and I respected the fact that they stuck to what worked for them even if I wished they’d done other things with their time. The tension between these two reactions to them made it impossible for me to stop reading. I simply had to know what their fates were and if they’d grow as people.

It would have been helpful to have a better understanding of Lorna and Vix’s powers. Were they the only people who were capable of turning emotions into a type of drug? How did they figure out how to do this? I found myself wondering about the logistics of their abilities as I read. Not knowing any answers was a little frustrating at times because of how important their work was to the plot.

I’ve occasionally wished I could trade one emotion for another. The thought of actually being able to do that was alluring, and the references to it in the blurb were my main reason for wanting to read this short story. One of the things I enjoyed the most about it was reading the narrator’s descriptions of how the characters collected unwanted emotions and what they did to make them appealing to future customers. There was a lot of creativity in those passages.

Some Gods of El Paso was a thought-provoking tale I’d recommend to anyone who is in the mood for something creative.

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