- Page Count: 336
- Release Date: September 6, 2016
- My Rating: 4 stars
Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.
I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.
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 markings 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…
Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure.
I NEED more books like this. It’s like a Latina version of The Raven Cycle meets The Mortal Instruments & Alice in Wonderland with some mythology thrown in. So… YES.
Alex is a bruja/witch from Brooklyn who has this special kind of “chosen one” magic and has to go through a Deathday celebration to get her family’s blessing so her magic works the right way. She accidentally banishes her family to Los Lagos, another realm that’s like a creepy dark Wonderland with tons of mythological references. Her relatives are trapped there in the Tree of Souls, which used to feed the land every month on the eclipse by turning everything in it to raw energy. But then the Devourer with her awesome bone mask took over Los Lagos and feeds off the tree herself. So Alex pays this brujo guy Nova her college tuition to be her guide, but there’s a lot at stake for both of them.
Parts I loved:
– absolutely amazing worldbuilding
– they take the ferry across a river of souls & the salt in the air is tears
– emphasis on the importance of family
– the aviana bird people
– the DIVERSITY
– the love triangle involves a guy & 2 girls
– the main character is bisexual and it’s treated like nbd, just another character trait
– creepy awesome details like skin on her palms bubbling from touching a soul
– Princess Bride flashbacks with the fire swamp scenario
This book has such a different feel from anything I’ve read so far this year and I absolutely LOVED it. The pacing was pretty good for the most part, although I did lose some enthusiasm in the middle of the second half. But I loved Alex as a main character and got a really strong sense of her. Like she’s super determined, loyal, and brave despite being a bit uncertain of herself at times.
This story was just so wonderfully unique and I need more Latin American fantasy novels immediately please.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC!
Check out my Q&A with the author here.