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Paolo Santiago and the River of Tears is the first book in the Paola Santiago series by Tehlor Kay Mejia under the Rick Riordan Presents imprint that focuses on Mexican mythology.


Space-obsessed 12-year-old Paola Santiago and her two best friends, Emma and Dante, know the rule: Stay away from the river. It's all they’ve heard since a schoolmate of theirs drowned a year ago. Pao is embarrassed to admit that she has been told to stay away for even longer than that, because her mother is constantly warning her about La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders the banks of the Gila at night, looking for young people to drag into its murky depths.

Hating her mother's humiliating superstitions and knowing that she and her friends would never venture into the water, Pao organizes a meet-up to test out her new telescope near the Gila, since it's the best stargazing spot. But when Emma never arrives and Pao sees a shadowy figure in the reeds, it seems like maybe her mom was right. . . .

Pao has always relied on hard science to make sense of the world, but to find her friend she will have to enter the world of her nightmares, which includes unnatural mist, mind-bending monsters, and relentless spirits controlled by a terrifying force that defies both logic and legend. .[1]


Studying the Riverside and Dreaming of Drowning

Paola Santiago

Paola Santiago, along with her friends Emma Lockwood and Dante Mata hang out by the bank of the Gila River in Silver Springs, Arizona. Then the sun goes down, so they must be home due to the curfew brought on by the drowning of Marisa Martinez, a former classmate of theirs, last year who’s body was never found. As Dante goes to throw away the trash, the girls scoop up some algae and chase him around when he returns. As Emma bikes back to her house, Pao and Dante go to the Riverside Palace Apartments and say their goodbyes to each other. Pao walks in on her mother reading tarot cards and reminds her that it's dinner time. Her mother takes out some cheese and jalapeño tamales from the freezer and sticks them in the oven. Pao goes to her room and falls asleep. She dreams the same dream she had since she was nine, but this time it was different. In the dream, she was by the river and she saw a hand with purple nails and a ruby ring like Emma's, but before she can run away, the hand grabbed her and pulled her under. Pao woke up at 11:15 P.M. and found that her mother has left for work and with leftover tamales for Pao as a midnight snack.[2]

At ten in the morning, Pao found cold pizza from her mother, she ate and threw the crust to Charlie, one of the stray cats that lived around the apartment building. As her mother had an appointment with a client, she went to Dante's apartment just as her mother woke up. His grandmother let her in and the two played a racing game. As they played, Pao felt strange around Dante. As they eat lunch, they heard on the news about a string of kidnappings in Mesa, a town three counties north of them, and that it is the adversary of Marisa's disappearance. Dante's grandmother commented on how beautiful she was and Pao said beauty isn't everything. This shocks her and Dante forces her to leave. Later that day, her mother is getting ready to go to work, as Dante arrives she tells them they are planning on using Emma's telescope and she tells her to stay away from the Gila to avoid La Llorona. She leaves and, after Dante apologizes for his grandmother and she hugs him, they go to the Gila and wait for Emma. When she doesn't arrive they start to worry, Dante thinks she forgot and Pao suggests they should try again the following day, but Dante says he'd be hanging out with his soccer friends then, he reluctantly invited her to join. When the sun is nearly set, they decide to go back and she sees someone on the other side, but when she looks again the person is gone.

Another Disappearance, Omens in Dreams, and Investigating the River

Dante Mata

They call Emma's parents and discover she hasn't been seen in over two hours, the Lockwoods tell them to meet them at the police station. When they arrive, an officer approached them and told them to leave. They try to explain why they are there and that their friend is missing, but he thinks she is at another friend's house and calls the pair crazy and superstitious. Pao leaves and convinces Dante to come with her. After they return home, she looks around at her mother's candles and alters and, out of anger, picks up a jar and a candle and smashes it on the floor. She falls asleep on the couch and dreams of the river, seeing the figure from the river and she sees his face pixelated and all light moving away from him. Pao then wakes up just as her mother returns and, after seeing the shattered jar in the kitchen, asks Pao if someone broke in. She tells her mother she did it and checks the phone to find no messages. After her mother scolds her for breaking the jar, Pao tells her mother Emma is missing and that she went to the police, but they assumed she was crazy because of people like her mother believing in the supernatural. Her mother explains that the treatment of Latinos by the police goes further then superstition and tells Pao to clean up the mess before going to bed. The following morning she woke up to the smell of coffee and the sound of male voices, she leaves her bedroom to find two police officers who introduce them as James and Tyler, speaking with her mother, Dante, and his Abuela. They ask them questions and Emma and the two and her mother leave with the officers to show them the river. When they ask the two why they didn't go to the station, Pao says they did but the officer they spoke to called them crazy and kicked them out. When they arrive they the officers ask how frequently they come to this spot and if anyone else knows about it. Pao mentions seeing someone on the other side of the river and gives a very basic description. When the officers say they heard enough, Dante tries to get them to do more but they brush him off. As they talk, Pao goes over to the river bank and pulls out some reeds as it cuts her palm. She starts to cry as she notices someone. She takes a closer look and realizes it is Emma's ring.


The police go back to the station to mount a search and Pao's mother asks her if she wants her to take the day off, but Pao says she is fine and spends the day with the Matas. As she and Dante are in his room, she reveals that she had dreams that foreshadowed Emma's disappearance and the Mesa kidnappings and he belies her. Dante's grandmother is out as they eat lunch and they watch the report on Emma's case, just as they learn that other kidnappings of girls around their early teens with expensive jewelry occurred and Dante asks about that just as his grandmother returns from the storage unit and turns the television off. That night Pao sleeps on the couch and dreams she is by the Gila as Emma's hand comes near her. She hears a disembodied voice come out of nowhere and a girl materializes who introduces herself as Ondina. Ondina tells her to find her friend as she wakes up. Pao's mother appears in front of her as she comes to take her home. As they walk she tells her mother she had a dream, but that she forgot what it was about. She wakes up two hours later and goes into Dante's bedroom to get him to join her in searching the river before the authorities get there so they can get a clearer idea of who kidnapped Emma. Dante gives her a look that he thinks she has lost it and soon his grandmother appears him his doorway and tells them to go. She closes the blinds and lights some candles before performing a ritual. She has them smear themselves with her Florida Water and the room suddenly turns green. Dante’s grandmother informs them they have five days to complete the task before the Summer Solstice, and that someone is after the dreamer, which Pao realizes is her. Dante's grandmother then gives him her slipper, which changes into a blue men’s slipper, and a bag to Pao before she passes out as her eyes glow green. He lifts on on to the couch and checks her pulse. Just them wave start to push them away and Pao goes to the window as Dante stays with his grandmother until the waves push him away. They are pushed out of his bedroom window and see green light coming from his apartment as Dante tries and fails to return. Pro realizes they have no choice but to head out and they go.

They reach the spot and Dante, who has been quiet the entire walk, asks Pao what she is supposed to do. She at it’s she doesn’t know and that that knowledge only comes to her in dreams. After a brief argument, Dante apologizes for his behavior and they hear a scream. Pap runs into the nearby cactus field and she and Dante get separated. She sees two girls fighting and hopes one of them is Emma, however after a closer look she realizes it is Ondina trying to get away from Marisa Martínez. When Pao makes herself noticed, Marisa calls her a tourist from calls Ondina an Ahogada before telling Pao, who she does not recognize, to leave. Pao tries to help Ondina as she explains that something is happening with the moon in three days and Marisa stabs the girl with a knife as Ondina barely reacts and dissolves. Marisa then turns the knife on Pao and stabs her as she runs away. Pao then passes out. She wakes up with Dante kneeling beside her and he is overjoyed that she is okay. She tells him about Marisa and asks him to check her back for the stab wound, he reluctantly agrees but finds nothing. Dante suggests they head back and she dumps out the contents of the bag his grandmother gave her, revealing it to be Florida Water and a toy flashlight Pao's father gave her. Dante becomes enraged and demands they head back and get the police. Pao refuses to do so and she berates him for wanting to leave her and Emma for the cool kids, she then walks away with Dante calling after her, however she ends up right back where she started and gets the same result every time. She kicks the flashlight in frustration and she and Dante laugh at the situation. She notices that the flashlight is on and the light beam bends east no mater which way they turn it. They apologize again and follow the light east.

As dusk approaches they continue to follow the beam, Pao marks an X on the ground to know if they were backtracking when it changes directions to west. Pap insists on continuing west but they end up right back at the X and follow the beam. The scenery becomes more distorted as Dante yells at Pan to stop and the two become separated again. Soon Pao comes face to face with a dog like creature and fears for her life. However soon a girl with silver hair tackles it and they get into a fight. Remembering the Florida Water, Pao takes the vial and dowses the creature with it. While it is distracted, the silver haired girl hands Pao some rope and they tie up the creature. The girl takes out a knife and stabs it, Pao watches as it disintegrates and the girl turns her attention to her. She asks what Pao is doing there and they are soon joined by Dante. They explain what they have been through since dawn and, after seeing Abuela Mata's clancha, she backs away and calls it an Arma del Alma. She reluctantly tells them to join her as she heads out.

Camping with the Niños de la Luz and Joining the Cause

Pao and Dante follow the silver haired girl as she leads them to an encampment of children around their age and younger. The girl, and they learn her name is Naomi takes them to the group's leader, Marisa, and they ask the pair what they were doing out in the desert and how they came into possession of powerful artifacts. They tell them Dante's grandmother gave them the items and they demand to know if their friend is with them. They explain that they defend the light from dark forces and they have not taken in any newcomers. They tell them about ahogada, especially how they drag children into the river, and let Pao and Dante spend the night with them.

As they eat, Dante stares at the fire and falls asleep while Pao looks around the camp. She recognizes one of the children as Sal, a boy who she saw getting taken by ICE. She goes up to him and she asked Sal questions. She learn that he remembers her but Marisa doesn't want them to talk about their pasts. She persuades him to do so and he reveals he escaped ICE and Marisa found him and brought him to base camp. He reveals that the third quarter is the third quarter moon, when the veil between worlds weakens and monsters can break through into their world. He leaves before she can get more information and when she returns to Dante he wakes up and a horn sounds. Marisa tell her followers to get to their battle stations as Naomi drags Pao and Dante into a tent and tells them to stay put. They leave the tent to find the campsite crawling with hairy severed hands. Dante recognizes them as La Mano Panchona as one grabs his ankle and drags him away from camp as Pao tries and fails to free her friend. She remembers the clancha and takes it out of Dante's pocket. Nothing happens and she realizes it can only work for Dante, she gives it to him and it turns into a yard long black cloud that revitalizes his strength and he uses it to destroy it. They rush back to camp where they Niños de la Luz are struggling to fight off the Mano. Dante goes around the camp smashing the severed hands as Pao tries to save Sal. Dante lends her his club and it flies back to him after she kills it. She sees Naomi on fire and Pao takes a sheet to help put her out. However a man lunches at her and chokes her. As she fears she is about to die, Pao hears Ondina telling the Mano to spare her and it becomes inactive. She slowly recovers from the shock and finds Dante leaning over her. When he helps her up she sees the inactive hand and kicks it into the fire, creating a huge inferno and scorching off her eyebrows. After they finish of the last of the Mano and search the camp for any they might have missed, Naomi goes over to Pao and Dante and apologizes for mistrusting them earlier. She complements them on their work during the attack as she and Dante look at each other, much to Pao's distrust. After a moment Naomi sees the bruises on Pao's neck and tells her to head to the mess tent for a meeting and medical treatment. Pao and Dante follow as she debates on telling him about the voice or not. When they get inside, Marisa tells the Niños to read and recuperate and to be ready to fix the camp in the morning. Pap and Dante are told to stay behind as Marisa and Naomi explain more about their organization. They reveal that they are one of many groups in countless worlds fending off monsters from a place known as the Rift from destroying Silver Springs, however the veil between this world weakens during the Summer Solstice and this is even more so due to overlapping with the third quarter. When Pao asks about Emma again, they say she is beyond her help. They ask Pao and Dante to stay and fight. Pao still wants to find Emma but Dante considers taking them up on the offer. She berates him for wanting to give up on Emma for wanting to impress girls. Dante tells Pao that it would be best to find Emma after the solstice so that they can keep the town safe. Dante calls her jealous as Pao walks out of the tent.

As Pao walks into the desert, she takes out her toy flashlight and thinks of her father. Soon Sal approaches her and asks if she is joining them. Pao says she doesn't know and the boy tells her to get back to camp and she heads back. She falls asleep and dreams she is a monster dragging Dante into the Gila. It then changes to Marisa in a tent in front of an ofrenda with a picture of a boy named Franco on it. Pao recognizes him as the kidnapper and watches in horror as Marisa throws the picture into the fire as she says something in Spanish before eating the embers and crying. The dream shifts again to Ondina standing over her and the goth girl tells Pao not to trust the Niños as they are murderers and thieves. Pao asks why she should trust her and if she had the Mano spare her, but Ondina says they don't have time for this and she vanishes as Emma's hand appears drags her into the Gila. As she is pulled under, she sees Emma and her friend tells her not to give up on her. Pao wakes up to find Dante leaning against her and gets up to find Marisa. She meets up with her in the mess tent and asked about Franco. While she is shocked that Pao knows about Franco, she explains it to her. She tells Pao that Franco was the leader of the niños before her and found her. She goes on to say that Franco had a theory that he could go into the rift to get rid of the dark forces once and for all. Based on the poem he read, he believed that he needed a jewel to open the door and Pao notices a pile of jewelry next to them. When Marisa explains that the ahagadas were always close behind, Pao berates her for robbing the girls and leaving them to die. Marisa stays silent for a few seconds before continuing her story. She explains that there days ago, she and Naomi joined Franco in going into the Rift, as the veil was weakened during the third quarter, they were reluctant but he persuaded them to join him. However they were quickly overrun and Franco ordered them to leave him as he covered their escape and named Marisa his successor, but they watched as the ahagadas drained him of his life force. Marisa explains that she by taking on the roll of leader, she takes on the memories of the past leaders and becomes immortal while the rest of the Niños are unable to age so long as they stay within the confines of camp. When Marisa says they have a leader, Pao thinks it is La Llorona until Marisa says Franco took care of her years ago and she was not much a threat to begin with. When she says she lost most of her memories upon becoming leader, Pao explains they went to the same school but Marisa doesn't remember it. Pap agrees that her and Dante will ally themselves with the Niños until they find Emma and Marisa agrees. Pao wakes Dante to tell him she is staying and they apologize.

Training, Defending Camp, and Finding the Key

Pao fills Dante in on what she learned and soon Sal comes in to congratulate them on staying. As Pao and Dante head to help with the cleaning, they are called to the training pit by Naomi. The older girls explain that they need training and they tell Pao to pick a weapon from a rug. As she inspects the worn out weapons and selects a sword, the edge of the rug comes up and she sees a dagger. She chooses it as Marisa questions where it came from. As they ready for training, Dante struggles to activate his club and Naomi throws a dagger at Pao. It misses the the action triggers the club. Marisa advises him to think of another way to activate it as training starts. Pao train with Naomi as Dante trains with Marisa, during the training Pao deflects much more blows then Dante. They take a break for Marisa to explain the dangers they face for the upcoming overlap of the Summer Solstice and the third quarter. They resume training but a horn sounds and an attack is coming from the east. Marisa tells Dante to go with Naomi and for Pao to stay behind with her. Marisa explains they need Dante's club and Pao is to distracting for him. Before Pao can say more, Dante kisses her cheek and says he will be alright.

As the others leave, Pao and Marisa guard the fire with the help of Sal and a boy and girl. She worries for Dante and when the horn sounds again, Marisa informs her that one of them was just taken. Before she can ask more the horn sounds again and Marisa says they are coming for the fire. As at least fifty aghada swarm the came, they are joined by the Niños that left and she doesn’t see Dante. One of the aghada grabs her but she fends it off but loses her knife, however half a dozen soon over power her and start to drain her. She takes out her flashlight and turns it on before she is drained and a warmth fills her that repels the evil spirits and surrounds the camp in a protective barrier. When the fighting dies down she asks for Dante before passing out. She dreams she is by the riverside with Ondina standing over her, mocking her for losing her friends. Pao demands she tells her where Emma and Dante are and who is leading the malevolent forces. Ondina becomes silent and starts to fade away, but she tells Pao she is known as "La Hija de Lágrimas". The dream shifts to a mouth of darkness swallowing Pao before she wakes up to find Naomi and Marisa kneeling over her. They tell her Dante was taken and ask why she hid the key from them. She tries to get up and asks her the flashlight, but they keep it from her and she screams at them for breaking their promise. They show her the white streak in her hair from using it, that it drains her life force. Pay agrees to rest and they take her to a cot for sleep. When she wakes up it is dark and she is tied to the cot. Sal comes and frees her, telling her that Naomi and Marisa thought she would take the flashlight and run. He gives her the flashlight and some supplies and she promises that if she succeeds in finding her friends, there will be no more monsters to fight.

Going to the Rift


As Pao journeys to the rift, she questions if she made the right choice as she walks whichever way the flashlight told her to. As Pao walks, the scenery changes and she hears something coming from a large dead cactus. She slowly goes over to investigate and finds a chupacabra puppy who starts to lick her. Pao shoes it away I. shock but it keeps coming over to her before she relents and lets the puppy fall asleep in her lap. She remembers a Rottweiler named Spooky that lived in the apartment complex that Dante's grandmother would shout at and call "Callate, Bruto!" She decides to call him Bruto and he responds well to the name. He sees the flashlight and becomes defensive. Realizing that it can hurt something like Bruto, Pao gives him the option to come with her as she starts walking. To her joy, Bruto goes with her.

They walk and when she gets hungry, she checks out the pack Sal made for her. She finds that it contains hard bread, three bottles of water, dried meat, and, to her joy, a pack of starbursts. She pops a pink one in her mouth and uses her yellow ones to train Bruto as they walk, however he does the opposite of what she asks him to do. The scene then changes to the scenery from her dreams and Bruto becomes overjoyed to be back in his natural habitat. She becomes uneasy but pushes the feeling aside. She sees a hole in the air in front of her that starts to grow until she can walk through it. She looks inside to see various Ahgada and she steels herself before going in. The second they enter the Rift, they are swarmed by ahgada she takes out her knife and takes out as many as she can while Bruto bites the ghost children. However she is gets tired and Bruto is hurt, she picks him up and decides to use her flashlight. At first nothing happens but the light begins to glow and the ghost children back off. She thinks of happy memories of her friends and mother, but she feels guilty when she thinks of her father and all her negative aspects, causing the light to weaken. However when she highlights her courage the light gains power. She notices that the flashlight has broken and when the light eventually fades, she is in a water filled dome with a structure nearby. She sees Bruto backing away from her in fear. She sees green lights heading towards her and she runs. When she losses them she looks around and finds wonders if things can get worse. They head to the palace and sees a pair of ancient looking chupacabras on one side and a hoard of Mano on the other. Soon a black hole opens up over the palace and three children are lowered down. As she thinks of ways to save them, Dante appears out of nowhere and starts attacking the void beasts. She uses this as a distraction and takes out her knife to join him. They meet up and she stops him from hurting Bruto. Soon the ancient chupacabra approach them and all the paranormal beings, including Bruto, freeze in place. Pao picks up Bruto and tells Dante to put his club away as Ondina jumps off one of the chupacabra, saying it took Pao long enough to get there.

Pao is shocked as Ondina freezes her and Dante in place and sends the kids through another portal. They two became tired and Ondina orders them on the chupacabra. Dante gets in immediately but Pao manages to resist slightly but mounts one in the end. The chupacabra take them inside and they get off, Pao drops Bruto and the chupacabra puppy as she dismounts and he becomes himself again. Ondina has the pair walk up a set of stairs and Pao sees skeletal figures as she blacks out.

Confronting the General

Pao wakes up alone in a doorless holding cell, as panic starts to set in a doorway appears and vanishes just as quickly. Ondina appears and orders Pao get up. She refuses and Ondina is forced to drag her out. When the door reopens Pao overpowers Ondina and escapes the cell. She goes up a floor to find more cells as she hears Bruto, Ondina storms up the stairs and she uses the ghost girl to open Bruto's cell and another one releasing the skeletal creatures she saw earlier and recognizes them as Lechuza, shapeshifting witches. As They swarm Ondina, Pao calls Dante over to her and he obeys. They go up a level just as Ondina escapes. They find themselves in a dark room with water on the floor and a disembodied voice scolds Ondina into submission. As Ondina quivers, Pao demands she does something to get them out of the room, but she says she can't without the general's permission. Ondina blames Pao for the current situation and body slams her to the ground. Pao fights back at they grab each other's hair. Pao calls her a lackey and Ondina says she and the general made a promise to each other and she reveals that the general is her mother. After Pao mockingly calls her a princess, she realizes Ondina's mother, as well as her killer, is La Llorona. Ondina reveals her mother has been stealing children to resurrect her and her siblings and that Pao's soul, with her pent up anger, was a perfect match for her, with Emma and Franco not fitting just right and Dante being used as bait to lure her into the Rift. Pao convinces Ondina to help her speak with La Llorona by saying they are more alike then she thinks. As Ondina opens a portal, Bruto backs away and decides to stay behind as Pao confronts the weeping woman. Pao appears in a different room filled with spirits and sees La Llorona weeping over her children. She walks over to the specter and asks that she release Ondina. However she attacks Pao when the girl says she killed her children and blames her lover for their deaths. Pap tries and fails to get her to see reason as she keeps attacking Pao and keeps screaming for her children as Pao passes out.

She wakes up in a cave as she hears La Llorona compare her to Ondina, when the weeping woman appears, four prisms lower from the ceiling and Pao sees three of them occupied by Emma, Dante, and Franco. La Llorona reveals she is planning to resurrect only her daughter, as her sons have vanished long ago. Pao sees a glowing green orb in front of them as La Llorona starts the ritual. She concludes that the orb gave La Llorona a great increase power when Franco took care of her and that she can't stop it. She is frozen with fear as she hears La Llorona scream in pain along with snarling and she realizes Bruto is with them. As cords move forward to grab her, she manages to fend them off. She hears a whimper of pain from Bruto and pushes La Llorona aside. But before La Llorona can attack, Ondina appears and tells her mother to stop. La Llorona says it is to late and that she is doing this so that she could have the life she deserved. Pao tries to distract as Ondina tries to stop the process. When the mother and daughter reach a platform and go for the orb, green energy starts to wrap around Ondina as it explodes and the caves becomes a network of webs showing time as Pao sees the weeping woman's life with her lover and drowns her children to, in her eyes, spare them from a life of shame. She sees Ondina's younger brother Luis fade away and her older brother Beto, who looks familiar to her, leave his mother for killing others to restore him to life. She also sees herself as in adult with an incredibly successful future, but she forces herself to turn it down to save her friends. When she does she finds herself one the ground with Emma kneeling over her with Franco close by and Dante standing between her and La Llorona as Ondina lays down a few feet away. Pao throws the orb, which is now powerless, to the ground and the cavern starts to collapse and everyone gathers around Pao. However it will not truly vanish until La Llorona gives up and Ondina convinces her to finally do so and mother and daughter finally pass on.

Revelations and Home Comings

The group floats out of The Rift and emerges on the surface of the Gila. They head to shore and Pao realizes Bruto is gone. After a brief pause Pao tells Franco about the key and he mulls over what she told him. As they walk Emma says she kept telling La Llorona her friends would come for her and they run into three of the Niños who happily swarm Franco at the sight of him and they head to the camp. Once they arrive everyone marvels at Franco as he and Marisa hug by the fire. Emma reveals she was meeting up with Ondina, who she met at the country club, to show her their spot. It was then that Franco arrived and asked about her ring before she was pulled under the river. Pao feels hurt but they agree to not keep anymore secrets. Naomi walks up to them and reveals they will need to do research on what will happen know that The Rift was destroyed and asks what Pao's next move is. She says she will head home just as Dante comes over to them and points out Bruto.Girl and blood sucking monster embrace as Marisa offers to show the four out of the cactus field. As they reach the Riverside Palace Apartments, Pao creates a story about Emma getting lost in the cactus field and staying put so she can be found with her and Dante heading out to find her and getting lost as well. Dante's grandmother appears from behind them and he hugged her before they head to the Mata's apartment for a meal. As they talk about the events, Carmela has Dante return the Arma del Alma as she realizes she was a former leader of the Niños de la Luz. They try to press her for more, but she remains tight lipped and only says this is just the beginning.

Pao and Emma's mothers are called and they happily embrace their daughters. Pao's mother is happy to see Bruto and allows her daughter to keep him. The three's parents and guardians are over protective and keep them isolated at home for three days before relenting and allowing them to meet up at the Santiago apartment for the SpaceX launch. Emma arrives first and Dante arrives soon after. As they wait they watch a report on the news about themselves and how warning signs were placed around cactus fields. They also see images of still missing children, including Naomi and Marisa. Pao lights a candle for them with her mother and quickly sits next to Dante and holds Emma's hand as she thinks of her future.



  1. Algae Again
  2. Tarot Cards Never Tell You What's For Dinner
  3. Cold Pizza and Cold Cases
  4. Things You Can't Take Back
  5. Not Blood
  6. Stupid, Snarky Subconscious
  7. Bad Plans and Bad Surprises
  8. The Last Two People You'd Ever Expect to Meet in a Haunted Cactus Field
  9. The Moment You Realize Your Mother Was Right All Along
  10. Does Doing the Right Thing Always Involve So Many Demon Lizard-Dogs?
  11. One Free Night at the Camp Between Worlds
  12. The Boy from Apartment B
  13. Out of Hand
  14. Meatheads and Monsters
  15. A Dream Within a Dream Within a Dream
  16. Truce With a Side of Abject Humiliation
  17. Stupid Savior Complex
  18. How to Get That Supernatural Glow
  19. La Hija de Lágrimas
  20. Someone Get This Paranormal Beast a Breath mint
  21. This Mouth Is No Metaphor
  22. How to Banish Demons in Ten Easy Steps
  23. Even Bigger Dragon-Lizard-Dogs
  24. The Blood Thirsty Stairs
  25. Never Cage a Lechuza
  26. And They Say Relentlessness Is a Bad Thing
  27. There's No Halfway When You Have To Fight a Villain
  28. Rising Water, Rising Panic
  29. The Source Unmasked
  30. Down the Mythological Drain
  31. Lonely in a Crowd
  32. Just the Beginning
  33. Florida Water, Anyone


  • The book was originally titled Paola Santiago and the Drowned Palace.


Paola Santiago series
Books: Paola Santiago and the River of Tears | Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares | Paola Santiago and the Sanctuary of Shadows
Main Characters: Paola Santiago | Dante Mata | Bruto | Naomi
Secondary Characters: Maria Santiago | Marisa Martínez | Ondina | Carmela Mata | Beto | Emma Lockwood | Joaquín
Minor Characters: Sal | Franco | Aaron | Johnny
Mythical Creatures: Chupacabra | La Llorona | Ahogada | La Mano Panchona | Lechuza | Duendecillos | Cadejo | The Hitchhiker
Related Content: Tehlor Kay Mejia | Rick Riordan Presents
Rick Riordan Presents
Pandava Quintet: Aru Shah and the End of Time | Aru Shah and the Song of Death | Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes | Aru Shah and the City of Gold
Storm Runner Trilogy: The Storm Runner | The Fire Keeper | The Shadow Crosser
Throne of Sand Duology: Throne of Sand
Sal & Gabi Duology: Sal & Gabi Break the Universe | Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe
Tristan Strong Trilogy: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky | Tristan Strong Destroys the World | Tristan Strong Keeps Punching
Paola Santiago series: Paola Santiago and the River of Tears | Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares | Paola Santiago and the Sanctuary of Shadows
The Gifted Clans series: The Last Fallen Star | The Last Fallen Moon | The Last Fallen Realm
Serwa Boateng series: Serwa Boateng's Guide to Vampire Hunting
Outlaw Saints: Ballad & Dagger
Winston Chu Duology: Winston Chu Versus the Whimsies
Moko Magic Duology: Moko Magic
Stand Alone Novels: Dragon Pearl | Race to the Sun | City of the Plague God | Pahua and the Soul Stealer
Others: The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities: New Stories About Mythic Heroes