Written by Cordova Zoraida
Published by Sourcebooks, September 6, 2016
My star rating: 3 stars
This is the 5th book I’ve read in the year of 2017, and it will also be the hardest one i’ve had to review. Alex is a Bruja, and is the most powerful witch in her family for many generations. But she hates magic. At her Deathday ceremony, which is where she is supposed to be coming into her powers and accepting the blessings of her ancestors, she performs a spell to rid herself of these powers. The spell backfires due to her inexperience and her entire family vanishes into thin air. The only way to get her family back is to travel to Los Lagos, a land of in-between, with a Brujo named Nova who she refuses to trust.
This is the first book in the Bruja’s of Brooklyn series and as soon as I saw the cover of this book back in September I knew I NEEDED to read this! Magic, Bruja’s, family, Latino culture, Deathday’s, an in-between land…… there was just so much that interested me! But now I’m wondering if my anticipation of this book hyped it up too much and my expectations were just too high…. I mean I wanted SO BADLY to love it, and I couldn’t.
The book started off so good. There was so much information about how magic impacted each member of the family, their traditions, their spells, and their rituals. And the family dynamic was probably the most interesting thing. The author did such a great job detailing that with a magic like this, it’s not only the friends and family that are within your circle that help increase your power, but it’s also your ancestors and family that have passed that come into play. I could have honestly read about all of that forever! Even the spells and rituals themselves were so interesting and so well written that the scenes played inside my head like a magical movie, so clear I could almost smell the smoke from the candles.
But when she travels with Nova to Los Lagos is where it all fell flat for me. The description of the world itself was in depth, descriptive, and sounded beautiful despite the destruction of the land. It was the situations she found herself in and the way that she got out of them that was the problem. Everything was too predictable, convenient and easy. The parts where the family and ancestral aspects came into play were unique and intriguing, but for the most part, it was just, well, flat. Alex as a character was great, strong, and finding herself. She wasn’t this immediately strong and powerful witch as soon as she walked into her powers which I greatly appreciated. Nova was a good character as well, with a mysterious past that I feel will be explored more in the sequel. Rishi, I’m sorry to say, kind of annoyed me and I found that her presence in the story wasn’t really necessary other than to be the supportive friend. I feel guilty for putting those words on this screen. I’m sorry! lol
The uniqueness of the premise of this story is what drew me into it, but I’m sad to say that it didn’t quite deliver to my expectations. I gave this book 3 stars and will have to see how book 2 is explained before I decide if I will pick it up.