Series: Brooklyn Brujas #2
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on June 5, 2018
Source: Publisher, Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Diversity, Own Voices, Fantasy & Magic, Action & Adventure
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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...
Note: This is the second book of the Brooklyn Brujas series, and my review of the first book can be found here. There will be minor spoilers!
Step back into Cordova’s twisted world where brujas and casimuertos roam the land, and your friends and family may not be who you remember them to be…
Bruja Born picks up a little bit after Labyrinth Lost, the first book to this trilogy. This time, we’re reading from the first person POV of Lula, the beautiful sister who can heal. While last book we focused on Alex saving their father from Los Lagos, in this book we try to fix the zombies-like people – or casimuertos – who are plaguing the land after one of Lula’s mistakes. The magic was executed so brilliantly, and I really grew to like all the characters (although I’m so sorry, Lula is probably my least favorite of the sisters). Nonetheless, I thought this was a solid sequel to the series and absolutely cannot wait for Rose’s story!
We start the book with Lula feeling very… lost. Ever since her incidents in Los Lagos in the previous book, she’s been very out-of-sorts and is quite vulnerable due to the fact that her once gorgeous face is now marred by a scar. This vulnerability gets tested when her longtime boyfriend, Maks, breaks up with her. But just as they were to continue on with school, a nasty auto accident happens where most of the students were fatally injured. In order to save Maks, Lula selfishly breaks the rules and tries to revive him, causing the Lady de Las Muertes (the Goddess of Death and the Mortal Earth’s Dawn) to get stuck in between realms and for casimuertos to arise from the dead, seeking human hearts.
My aunt Maria Azul told me beauty was power. My mother told me beauty was a gift. If they’re right, then what am I now? All I know is I left fragments of myself in Los Lagos and I don’t know how to get them back.
Lula was a very flawed and genuine character. I was quite empathetic to her struggles… to an extent. Because of her deep capacity to love and be loved, she ends up trying to save and preserve Maks out of this intense feeling. Me though? I’m not a fan of a romance that causes so many problems, and it kind of left me disgruntled. So while I can say I appreciated how this turn of events made it for a NON-love story (it really isn’t, huzzah), the initial justification behind certain actions was a bit iffy. Just personally.
I also enjoyed how Cordova mentions the different TYPES of love: romantic, platonic, familial, and everything in between, without putting down the other. I always like seeing that in stories because I feel like especially with YA, romance gets put before a lot of other relationships. Which honestly shouldn’t be true in real life. And the family elements in this story are very heart-tugging and as sweet as a sugar skull. The sisterly bond between Rose, Alex, and Lula is honestly the highlight of the story.
‘Because you’re my sister. You might be a pain in the ass, but you and Rose are all I’ve got. I’d do anything for you.’
While Bruja Born cuts back on the romance and instead focuses on the adventure and other character relationships, it still made for a fun and fast read. I especially adored how Cordova resolved everything and the set-up she brings for the next book, as well as really cool twists that I’m here for. I just know Rose’s book is going to be a blast!
My strength is different from my mom’s. It’s different from my sister’s too. And maybe that’s okay because after everything I’ve done has led me back to the place where I belong – with my family.
Filled with family love and brujx magic, Bruja Bornwill send readers to another thrilling adventure that stems from a single mistake. Lessons are learned, and hearts are forgiven. But will the bruja sisters’ magic be enough to save the population of Brooklyn and beyond? I really urge fantasy YA readers to pick this series up and fall in love with these flawed but emotional and so very real girls and their shenanigans!
Content/Trigger Warnings: mild violence, death, blood/gore
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Thank you Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for the review copy!