Analysis of Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal (ch 3)

Buy Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal

Five friends cursed. Five deadly fates. Five nights of retribución.

If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they’ll have to step into the shadows to see what’s lurking there–murderer, or monster?

This is a craft analysis of Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal. I will be analyzing this book over the next few weeks. I will analyze the first 5-10 chapters, looking for craft issues and then review the book as a whole as a reader.

He should have stayed in touch with Vico. Maybe he could have helped, made him talk to Padre Sebastian.

Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal

I like the voice here. It’s very smooth and feels human. The small list statement at the end here is what makes it feel close to Javier’s point of view and less like a narrator.

The church was filled with viejitas, powder-scented ladies all around him, so now way in hell was he going to let something happen to them, in a church no less. He’s only taken a few steps when a tiny old woman dressed in black from head to toe made her way to the center of the aisle.

Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal

This is the first cross over information between the viewpoints. But there’s a lot going on in these lines.

First, the viejitas, the powder scented ladies. That is such a specific draw to the senses. At some point in your life, you’ve been around a group of older woman who all wear the same perfume for every function. It doesn’t need a name and the draw to our senses helps put us in the scene beyond a description of a group of old ladies.

Second, Javier is protective of these women and his church. And rather than saying “he felt protective” we get that feeling with his intent not to let any harm come to them, especially in church, a place he clearly believes should be safe.

Third, the little old woman dressed in black. She is the first piece of information to connect us to Lupe’s viewpoint. And really the only mysterious draw outside of the creature from chapter one.

But the way Javier figured it, it was just Vico’s time to pay the check for years of peddling the hard shit on las calles. After that much darkness, no one gets away clean.

Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal

This line is a great look into Javier’s character. We already know that Javier used to use drugs and he got help, but the way he talks about “Vico’s time to pay the check” feels bitter, cynical, and a little pompous. Javier sees himself as better, because he got clean.

Javier was always surprised to hear what ther people thought of his mother. They didn’t know her like he did.

Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal

“They didn’t know her like he did” hints at something truly sinister. It sounds like Javier’s homelife is not pleasant, at the very least it’s comlicated.

Memo’s eyes darted toward the crucifix hanging at the back of the church, whispering as if God himself was trying to overhear their conversation. “I been getting that feeling, you know? That dark feeling we used to get?”

Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal

This is forboding information, especially when you mix it with what the old lady in black said to Lupe. But without some further context, it falls flat. I wonder what dark feeling Memo is talking about but it also feels like half felt ploy to keep me reading. Just a sentence further could make this feel less cheap.

Javier smiled. Gotta love a girl who used a curse word at the entrance to a church.

Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal

Just like in Lupe’s chapter, I feel like cursing is being equated with being “adult.” Foul language doesn’t make a character mature, their actions do. And earlier, Javier was portrayed as being protective of the church’s sanctity, now he’s okay with someone cursing in it.

Buy Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal

Five friends cursed. Five deadly fates. Five nights of retribución.

If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they’ll have to step into the shadows to see what’s lurking there–murderer, or monster?

Originally posted on June 30, 2021 @ 12:00 pm

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Published by J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.

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