Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Oh my Goodness, so this was one of the first books I ever requested and was accepted for on NetGalley. I let it sit there for a while and then there was a lot of hype and I still hadn’t read it yet. Then I read it. I loved it so much. I’m white so, as I do with all novels that feature characters with a different racial background to me, I might say something wrong, if I have please let me know and I will endeavour to fix it!
So Alex is a young girl in a family of Brujas (latinx witches) and she is about to come of age and gain her full powers. Alex, however, doesn’t want to be a witch and so performs a spell at her Deathday party in attempt to rid herself of her powers, but it backfires and all her family are gone. She needs to go to the world of Limbo which isn’t quite death but isn’t life either to rescue them.
There is some really cool diversity in this because not only is it in a Latinx community, but the MCs best friend is Guyanese, a place I hadn’t really thought about in terms of the people who live there. Not only is she Guyanese but she’s also of Indian descent and learning about that led me to looking up Guyana and finding out that the population of Guyana are majority Indian descent and had I not read this book I never would have learned this, which I thought was super cool. And she’s a Hindu! Not only is there racial diversity but there’s also Bi representation which made me incredibly happy but god damn do we need more good bi representation. What I loved about it was that Alex is bi but its just a thing there’s no big reveal there’s no “coming out” she just is.
I loved the characters, they were so multifaceted. The MC starts off super bratty but through her journey she grows, she learns to accept people into her life and her secrets. Nova is very much your classic morally ambiguous guy who you don’t know much about but feel like he’s maybe a “good guy” and I found myself attracted to his character a bit. And then Rishi, the best friend is so loyal and wonderful and deserves the whole world.
The world was super fleshed out, there was good explanations of everything that was going on without taking you out of your immersion with long detail. I could imagine everything in Los Lagos with ease, the flying people, the River of Souls, everything. The writing was so well done at making you feel creeped out and nervous.
One little random thing I really liked was there was a few Spanish(?) sounding words and after they were written for the first time there was a little way to pronounce it and it made me so happy. I love when books have pronunciation guides. People always complain when there’s made up languages and names but I actually like it, it helps my immersion.