Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA, Fictional, Paranormal
Enchanting and complex. Every page is filled with magic.”-Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die
Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.
Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.
The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…
This book came at a perfect time. Hispanic Heritage month has just started and I couldn’t feel more proud of where I come from. I’m so excited to begin decorating my house for Dia De Los Muertos ❤ a Mexican Holiday.
This was a phenomenal adventure. It wasn’t until after I finished that I realized I have been deprived of a really good book for a long time. I’m currently really in love with this book. That cover is beautiful and the colorful maps on the inside! I think I might have a book hangover tomorrow.
This is the first book in Cordova’s new series The Brooklyn Bruja’s. From page one this book captures the attention.
“The second time I saw my dead Aunt Rosaria, she was dancing.”
Uh, what? Wait you saw your dead aunt…….twice?…..dancing?? Everything is told from Alex’s (Alejandra’s) point of view. There are clear aspects of paranormal activity here with the bruja’s (witches), magic and the land of Los Lagos. It’s Wonderland meets the Yellow Brick Road to Oz meets Pans Labyrinth. There are new creatures introduced in this book that I honestly haven’t seen before. Some of them are surprisingly helpful while others sound like something right out of our worst night mares.
All of the characters felt very well rounded. There was no excess history being told that took away from the connection to them. Cordova wrote them so well that they didn’t need pages and pages of back story. Alex is an insecure teenager struggling to believe in herself and her great powers after watching her family suffer through tragedy. She has two sisters (Lula and Rose) that she has a great relationship with. She admires both of them for their courage. Their mother is very caring and works hard to support all four of them. She’s also a strong bruja. I would like to learn a little more about her mother (Carmen) and some of the other Elders in the book.
But was there romance? Why yes, yes there was. Subtly there is actually a love triangle that goes on in the book. Rishi (Alejandra’s best friend) and Nova (a punk teenage brujo who helps her through Los Lagos) are both in it to win it. While it’s easy to assume which one of the two characters will win Alex’s heart, you don’t really find out until the end. This is another thing I really enjoyed about the book. No insta-love!
The plot was brilliant! With a base in Latin culture it was very refreshing to see a huge difference in writing style and direction for YA. The author even goes as far as explaining where she got some of the inspiration for the book at the very end. She briefly explains what a bruja (witch) is in some Latin American countries. She also goes into Deathday which is a significant part of the book and was inspired by Dia De Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) plus more.
As much praise as this book deserves there was one thing that could have been a little bit better.
The epic battle with the Devourer was very…….anticlimactic. For all that build up and the entire process of getting through Los Lagos, it was kind of a let down in the end. After everything Alex, Nova and Rishi went through, all of the obstacles and creatures they fought?……..just no. The Devourer was supposed to be this incredibly evil bruja with hoards of power. It honestly felt as though she wasn’t even a big threat.
In this book it really is more about the journey than the destination.
Overall I still happily give this book a 4 of 5! I SO want to give this a full five stars but because the antagonist wasn’t written to her full potential I just can’t. I do of course HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone! If you haven’t picked it up yet don’t deprive yourself any longer. Especially with Halloween around the corner, it’s a really good read guys.
***Special thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***