Curse of the Chupacabra by Michael Hebler
Publish by Michael Hebler
Review by Christina R. Olivo
As October, and Halloween draw near it is around this time that we as humans look towards the very things that frighten us for entertainment. For some reason we have a strange obsession over what scares us, and what could be lurking in the shadows. Whether we realize it, or not we eagerly peer into the abyss at this time of year. We create the things that haunt our nightmares as if to shout into the never-ending pit we are not afraid. Is it also while looking for demons we look for angels. Memories of departed loved ones, and the idea that if we peer into the dark long enough we might see the light. Perhaps even make contact with them while the veil between our two worlds is blurred. Some live in the twilight forever like Michael Hebler’s characters of his Chupacabra series. There is no such thing as normality anymore, and yet it is what they strive for in the second book of the series.
“Curse of the Chupacabra” continues Jessie’s adventures now with Suzanne by train to Virginia City. Both have left the horrors of Dillmore Valley behind in hopes to start a new life. Although it is Suzanne’s hope that her arrangement with a couple called The Hutchinsons will help provide Jessie with a better life than she can herself. It is her thought that a whore cannot be a suitable mother for a child. There is obviously some shame in her former life, and it only grows as she is assaulted by a former Dillmore Valley resident in the back of the train before being rescued by a mysterious savior. There is also some regret as well for leaving Jessie with people she is not so sure of herself. Her misgivings turn out to be on point once they reach Virginia City, and she gives Jessie to the Hutchinsons. Both Mary and George are walking skeletons stretching out their last dollar, and placing all their bets on Jessie to one day be suitable enough to marry the Mayor of Virginia City. Jessie being the firecracker she is will have none of it, and tries to escape. In the middle of her escape she hears a familiar horrible sucking sound, and it seems the chupacabra has appeared out of nowhere once again. For once, the chupacabra is a welcome surprise as it distracts, and kills the Hutchinsons allowing Jessie to find Suzanne. Once the two girls are reunited again they find a kind hand in James who turned out to be not only Suzanne’s hero from the train, but an actor with a traveling troupe. James appearing to take a liking to them allows them to travel with them by wagon since they cannot afford a train. It appears the girls have finally met a decent human being until they find out they are not the only ones with secrets to hide. The girls seem to have caught a break until Jessie begins to develop a sickness at the same time something is following the wagons. Suzanne, and Jessie cannot escape towards the light no matter how hard they try.
As it was stated in the last review of the first book many of the questions were answered from the third book. It seems these girls attract the scum of the Earth no matter where they go, and as they encounter these people they only get stronger. Their bond obviously becomes stronger, and perhaps that is why I thought of them as sisters in the third book. They want what is best for each other, and they look out for one another. You really do want these two to make it to their dreams, and you want them to finally catch a break. Everyone has their highs, and lows but it is what you do after you reach that low that makes you what you really are. Jessie, and Suzanne are made of the strongest material on Earth if they can continue to hope for the better after the things they have witnessed. It is inspiring to see such strong female characters, and it makes you think if these two can get through hell then so can you. That is one thing especially in a time like this we all need to remember. We may come up against our worst nightmares, and demons but if we can fight them off we will become stronger.