Sub­texts Chu­paCabra Meets Billy the Kid by Ru­dolfo Anaya

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The blood­sucker and the out­law: Chu­paCabra Meets Billy the Kid

The ti­tle alone of Ru­dolfo Anaya’s new fan­tas­ti­cal youn­gadult novel, Chu­paCabra Meets Billy the Kid (Univer­sity of Ok­la­homa Press, Aug. 2018), is enough to let any reader know that they are in for an un­usual story. A chu­pacabra is a goat-like mon­ster that sucks blood — a leg­end from the Amer­i­cas — and Billy the Kid is a his­tor­i­cal fig­ure who has been turned into a folk hero by the pas­sage of time and by those who ro­man­ti­cize the vi­o­lence of the Old West. So how are these two meet­ing any­where at any time?

For that we turn to Rosa Me­d­ina, a so­cial worker from Los An­ge­les who has re­turned to her an­ces­tral home in New Mex­ico, a vil­lage called Puerto de Luna, to write a novel about Billy the Kid, about whom she has re­searched ex­ten­sively and knows a tremen­dous amount. Still, she doesn’t quite feel like she’s get­ting to the heart of the man. When we first meet Rosa, she is in­stant-mes­sag­ing with a friend, Marcy, who has, ap­par­ently, been kid­napped by aliens. She of­fers to sell her soul to get to know Billy a lit­tle bit bet­ter, and sud­denly he shows up at her front door. He knows Marcy, and he has a flash drive with some very im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion on it. Rosa grabs her lap­top com­puter and time­trav­els with Billy to the 19th cen­tury — and this jam-packed sum­mary barely scratches the sur­face of the wild sce­nario Anaya has cre­ated, let alone the rest of the book. Chu­paCabra Meets Billy the Kid is the third novel in Anaya’s Chu­paCabra se­ries, af­ter Curse of the Chu­paCabra (2006) and Chu­paCabra and the Roswell UFO (2008), both of which also fea­ture Rosa as the stu­dious, ad­ven­tur­ous pro­tag­o­nist. — Jen­nifer Levin

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