ARC provided by Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Book: Bruja Born
Series: Brooklyn Brujas, #2
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Genre: YA Fantasy, Paranormal
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
My rating: ★★★★★
Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.
Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula’s bruja healing powers can’t fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.
Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back..
I really enjoyed the first book in the Brooklyn Brujas series, Labyrinth Lost. However, Bruja Born is so much different than Labyrinth Lost — but in a good way! Labyrinth Lost took us on a journey through the magical realm of Los Lagos. Alex accidentally cast a spell that sent her entire family to ‘hell’, so she and a brujo named Nova enter that world to save her family.
Bruja Born doesn’t return to Los Lagos, but instead takes place in Brooklyn, NY. It’s definitely more of an urban fantasy, but in my opinion, packs a bigger punch. In Bruja Born we get so much more paranormal lore such as casimuertos (people who are similar to zombies; they’re stuck between being dead and undead), vampires, shapeshifters, and more heightened magic from our favorite bruja family.
Instead of Alex being our main character, this time it’s the eldest sister, Lula. Lula is still dealing with the aftermath of escaping hell, and she’s still coping with her father mysteriously returning. As she boards a bus with her boyfriend Maks to a soccer game, they get into a horrific crash. Lula barely escapes death, and she faces the tough decision of saving Maks with magic.
However, just like in the last book, the magic goes horribly wrong. Playing with Death comes at a heavy price with many strings attached. Lula and her sisters fight for their lives and race against the clock to contain the major disaster they created. Dead bodies disappear and reappear all over town, and there’s a mysterious person that keeps stalking the sisters.
The bonds of sisterhood, friendships, and family stood out to me the most in the midst of all the chaos. I am so excited to see where book 3 goes. I really hope we get a perspective from Rose, the youngest sister, because her powers fascinate me. She’s quiet but fierce. I love her.
I absolutely loved all the layers of plot and magic woven into this gorgeous book. I could not put it down. This entire read was exhilarating and kept me up until the wee hours of the morning. Zoraida Córdova once again proves she can weave such a magical, empowering story, while still making all the characters extremely relatable.
Bruja Born releases on June 5, 2018. Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.