Book #1 of the Brooklyn Brujas Series
Published by SourceFire Books (6th September 2016)
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Actual rating of 3.5
Alex is a bruja. She comes from a long line of powerful brujas. Her deathday is coming up, the day where she receives her family (both living and dead) blessing and comes into her power fully. The problem is, she hates magic, and she hates her magic the most. She feels completely responsible for her father leaving them when she was younger, and responsible for the bad luck and death that seems to follow her. As her deathday approaches, she comes up with the brilliant idea to get rid of her magic so she can be a normal girl. What she doesn’t count on, is the Devourer poking her head out of Los Lagos, vanishing Alex’s family into another realm and leaving her with Nova, a brujo that she’s just met. Can she trust Nova to help her get her family back? Will she learn that maybe magic isn’t so bad? She’s running out of time…
I’ve had this sitting on my kindle, for no joke, probably around two odd years. The premise sounded super interesting, I love stories centered around witches in general, and I have a weird fascination with Brujas especially. I decided to take a break from my never ending e-galley list and dive into something that I bought on a whim.
Straight up, I love the world that the author has created here. While she does state that some things are entirely fictional and her making, I still feel like it really added something to the whole Bruja culture. I also loved that she went down this particular road and wrote a story that centered entirely around Brujas and Brujos because honestly, I don’t feel like it has been done enough and there is a wealth of information that could be used to create absolutely riveting stories.
We get an idea from early on that Alex detests her magic, we get a brief backstory as to why, but I feel like it could have been explored a little more. I really enjoyed the character of Nova but am left feeling that there is a lot more about him than meets the eye, and I’m kinda hoping this gets explored more in the follow up book. Rishi was a cute addition to the cast, but I was left feeling like she was literally just included so there would be a love interest other than Nova. I don’t really see what she added to the story. We meet her, then heaps of stuff goes down, then she appears again and seems to take everything WAAAAYYY too calmly which I felt let the story down a little for me. I absolutely adored Alex’s family, especially Aunt Ro and Mama Juanita they sound like a hoot and a half and I sincerely hope we get to see more of them.
A lot of the time, I felt like the narration was telling more than showing me, which made it come across a little stilted and I feel like this had a hand in the pacing of the story not being the greatest. I just didn’t feel like I WANTED to pick this book up and continue reading which was a bit of a bummer. Especially because the world was so full of amazingness and mostly because it’s centered around something that interests me quite a lot. At times the story telling felt kind of clumsy, I think another round of editing may have helped to iron this out and make the writing flow a little better.
I didn’t really connect a whole lot with the characters as a whole, and I was more interested in Nova’s story than Alex’s if I’m completely honest. I’m hoping that things pick up a bit more in the follow up story, which I am planning on reading once I get my stupid TBR pile under some form of control (if that ever happens). So while this was an interesting story, I just felt like it needed a bit more work on the characters, the pacing and the narration to really make it shine. It had great potential but I feel like it just fell a bit short of the mark for me.