July 1, 2013

BOOK OF THE MONTH: THE FEAST OF SAN SEBASTIAN by Jonathan Marcantoni


  
For all the protest and rallies you’d think San Juan was on the brink of revolution. Revolution?
We’re too scared for a real revolution….We’ll serve our fancy drinks and our music and our beaches
and mountains, if you pay us we’ll put on a good show, and we’ll still bitch about all
that’s fucked up that we refuse to actually change. –Ilan


We are not like the Americans, who only see the individual. God calls us to see mankind as a whole,
as a common people and this is how the Puerto Rican people see each other….
We remain. We fight for our voice to be heard, for our community to be strengthened
and for our people to triumph. – Adria






Aignos Publishing, July 2013
 The author had me at Puerto Rico.

THE FEAST OF SAN SEBASTIAN is a raw, gritty and frightening socio-political thriller set in Puerto Rico. It’s frightening because this story could really happen and may even be happening now. The Island may be a mecca for tourists, but its strategic position in the Caribbean and proximity to the U.S. has made it a breeding ground for the black market in the last decade.

Marcantoni was inspired by an actual study on trafficking in Puerto Rico to write this story about the widespread “labyrinth” of the black market (drug trade, human trafficking, slave labor) and the corruption of politicians and police, and how they affect the whole island.

The book is told from the prospective of four individuals. Ilan, the main protagonist, is a middle man, who can get drugs, guns, girls and boys for corrupt politicians, state senators and businessmen. Adria was an activist who lost her family to police brutality. Now, she is just a quiet secretary for the electrical company and a surrogate mother to Ilan. Marcel left his beloved daughter in Haiti and is heading to the U.S. to make a better life for them; he doesn’t count on become slave labor at a North American factory. Jean-Baptiste is a hotel chef when a hurricane kills everyone he knows. He leaves Haiti to start fresh somewhere else. His outspokenness endangers him and Marcel.

Things come to a head when the two Haitians are offered their freedom if they assassinate the corrupt Superintendent of Police. This one act will set off an island-wide manhunt and blood bath that will have all the characters examining their values and their faith.

THE FEAST OF SAN SEBASTIAN is well-written and thought-provoking. Like the master craftsman that he is, Marcantoni does an excellent job in interweaving fact and fiction. His portrayal of Puerto Rico’s dark side is intense, realistic and shocking. Readers will not be able to put this book down until its fiery finish. Readers will cringe and cry at the horrific conditions portrayed, but cheer at the strength and faith of a people, of a country that are determined to work together for a better future.###




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Jonathan Marcantoni is the author of TRAVELER’S REST (Savant Books, 2012), a collection of short stories he wrote as an ode to Jack Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD and Che Guevara’s THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES. He also co-authored COMMUNION with Jean Blasiar (Savant Books, 2011). Jonathan is the current Editor in Chief at Aignos Publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Tampa. Follow him on Facebook @JonathanMarcantoni.


To read our 2012 interview with the author, click here.

To learn more about Aignos Publishing, click here.



FCC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I received no monetary gain nor was a good review guarantee.