Series: Brooklyn Brujas (#1)
Author: Córdova, Zoraida
Format: e-book ARC provided by NetGalley
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication: September 6th, 2016
" 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. "
My Rating: ✿✿✿✿✿
This novel was the kind of book that I started with the intent to only read the first few pages and get a feel of it, and ended up, three hours and 7 chapters later (at 6am none the less), grudgingly putting it down in order to get some sleep, all the while thinking about the story!
It was the kind of book that kept me up in my sleepless nights, for the sole reason that you just CAN'T put it down so easily!
Every time I vowed that I will read on more chapter, or even a few more pages, I would find myself addicted and unable to stop!
So much is happening, and when you think things are going to get a little more steady for our dear bruja protagonist, BAM, new plot twists and challenges arise!
But, let's take things one at a time...
The story follows Alejandra, a young bruja (the Spanish/Mexican word for a witch, because our heroine is descented from these countries, as well as from Africa, and not from European witch bloodlines), who lives in Brooklyn, and all she wants is to become an ordinary girl!
Right from the first chapter, the first line actually ("The second time I saw my dead Aunt Rosaria, she was dancing") the book introduces us to the many mysteries that surround Alex and her powers.
Mysteries like her Aunt Rosaria's death, her father's disappearance, the constant guilty feelings of Alex, who blames herself regarding that fact, as well as her powers, which are supposed to have been manifested, although our heroine keeps that a secret from her mother and her two sisters.
Alejandra is a shy, introverted girl, that only has one friend, Rishi, from whom, of course, she withholds the fact she is actually a bruja, even if the whole school regards her as strange and unusual (not in a good way, though).
After an incident which involved her best and only friend, Alex is forced to act on her powers, a fact that, of course, can't be kept a secret.
Soon, she learns that her power is unlike that of her mother and older sister Lula's (who are healers) and her younger sister Rose's (who is able to speak with the dead and foresee what's coming).
On the contrary, she is far more special and unique than she could have ever imagined!
She continues wishing that she can get rid of her powers though, a thought that only gets greater after her meeting with Nova, a charming young brujo.
At her Deathday (the ceremony in which young brujas and brujos get a blessing from all of their blood relatives - alive or not), she decides to act on it, and instead cast an enchantment with which she hopes to be relieved of her power.
But, when she acts on that urge, all hell breaks loose. Literally!
In order to protect Alejandra, her whole family (both the living and the dead, at that) stands in front of her and gets sucked into another dimension, a dark one, where souls of dead people usually end up!
Now, Alejandra needs to create a portal and travel to that dimension (Los Lagos), in order to free her family.
Only Nova can help her do that, who asks for a fat payment in order to guide her.
From that point on, the story gets more and more adventurous, with Alex and Nova facing many difficulties, seeing new, dangerous places while the travel through Los Lagos, and meet people that could either harm them, or help them reach their goal and face The Devourer, the dark being, former bruja, who is after Alex's powers.
I loved all the side characters, with each and every one of them having their own unique personality, from the heroine's family and friends to the beings they encountered on this epic journey!
There was also a love triangle, which believe it or not, was half GLBT, a fact that amazed me, as this was the first time I encountered it in a book!
I had a preference regarding whom the heroine should end up with, a fact that had to do more with Alex's actual feelings, than my own preferences.
But, then, my whole world collapsed along with Alex's, as the events unfolded in such a quick way that had me devouring the book 'till the not-so-early hours of the day, in order to find out exactly what is going on, and how things came to this, and, most importantly, why?!
All in all, 5 stars for a book that I deeply loved and literally couldn't put down,
as it made me anxious about everything going on.
5 stars for a fast-paced adventure that will make you, too,
obsessed with this new series and its author,
and devastated that its sequel will be coming almost at the end of the year!