Book Review: Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado

A creepy, breathtaking, and all-encompassing thrill ride

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Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado

Raquel has been crushing on Charlize, so when Charlize’s cousin goes missing, Raquel is enthusiastic to team up to find him, but they soon realize his disappearance is linked to a terrifying urban legend, The Echo Game. They must decide together what they’re willing to risk to find Charlize’s cousin.

💫 Atmospheric 🌎 Latinx Diaspora 🎢 Thriller 🤔 Thought Provoking

Book Review

Riveting, encompassing, dark, fast-paced, worrisome, mysterious, creepy

Burn Down, Rise Up was a complete surprise to me. I don’t know what I was expecting but I wasn’t expecting a high-stakes, action-packed, paranormal thriller… Cosmic horror? This book is so many things and they are all put together so well. The history of the Bronx tied in with a cosmic horror-esque mysterious game with a worrisome mystery somehow balanced each other out in this truly exciting contemporary thriller. I can’t wait to read more from Vincent Tirado because this book really blew it out of the water. I was at the edge of my seat the entire time.

The Bronx has been plagued by mysterious disappearances for over a year. No one can explain them but the residents of the Bronx aren’t surprised because they know that they only search for the white kids anyway. When Raquel’s crush Charlize’s cousin goes missing, Raquel starts to pay attention. Raquel and Charlize team up to investigate but soon discover that they are in way over their head and find themselves mixed up with a terrifying urban legend called the Echo Game.

Burn Down, Rise Up shines in its writing. The worlds that the characters go to during the Echo Game are remarkably easy to picture without being too densely detailed in the writing. Tirado strikes the perfect balance of building the world just enough to let the reader fill in the blanks. This is an especially important skill when writing settings that are similar to parallel worlds like the Echo Game. The sharp writing and world-building kept me at the edge of my seat throughout the entire novel.

The history embedded in Burn Down, Rise Up is exceptional. It is woven into the plot without bogging it down. Readers can learn about the history of the Bronx through Tirado’s well-researched story without feeling like they are taking a history lesson. The real history of the Bronx reveals a darker past than the children of today realize, both in real life and in the book. In Burn Down, Rise Up, that real-life horror in the 70’s is masterfully emphasized by the cosmic horror of the Echo Game to horrify you from multiple angles. This ultimately creates such an encompassing horror that will stick with you for days.

Burn Down, Rise Up is a brilliant contemporary horror that masterfully emphasizes the dark history of the Bronx into the thing of urban legends. The writing and the wonderful world-building is sure to stick with you for days after you read.

Vincent Tirado

Vincent is a nonbinary afrolatine living in New York City with a background in biology and research. Sometimes they have an insatiable hunger for horror and existential dread. Sometimes they have a craving for the whimsical. But no matter what their appetite, they are always looking to share. Past short stories have appeared in Desert Rose Lit Mag, InQluded and FIYAH Lit Magazine. Feel free to read their free stories here.

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Hi! I’m Amanda. Bookish Brews started as a personal project to decolonize my bookshelf turned into a passion for diverse stories. Once I realized how much we can grow personally from stories by people with different experiences than our own, I realized how much they impact our world. But I also know that growth from stories does not happen without intentionality. Bookish Brews is dedicated to building meaningful conversations about how stories by diverse voices can change our lives, our culture, and our world.

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2 Comments

  1. Sounds like an amazing read! Love your review. I think I just love the book for the characters! 💕

    1. Gosh it was really good! I’m really big on characters too haha 🥰

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