My rating: 5 of 5 stars
4.5 stars, actually. (and as of 6.22.17 the ebook is only $1.25 on Amazon)
Alex has this social problem that her beautiful, older sister (okay gossip calls her sister a slut sometimes) doesn’t seem to have despite sharing the same Bruja/Brujo family: magic makes Alex uncomfortable. And after accidentally interrupting her beloved dead Aunt’s summoning ceremony, she doesn’t want the ancestral magic about to descend upon her on her Deathday (like a magical birthday where you receive the blessing of all your family: living and dead).
So she concocts a plan to get rid of it, and things go awry.
Most of the book is Alex and a mysterious Brujo boy she bribes to help her, traveling through Los Lagos– a magical Latin-American-inspired Hades complete with awesome things like corrosive rivers of souls, flying bird-women, meadow fae with seductive feasts, and at the heart: a labyrinth that Alex will have to transverse to save her family.
The coolness of Los Lagos and the Bruja elements are fabulous. This is a very cool book. And I loved the fact that Alex and her mysterious Brujo boy have a complicated relationship. And I loved that Alex and her best friend, Rishi, also have a strong, pure connection that shades to the romantic as well.
However, I wanted more. More of Alex’s relationships with her sisters and her mother. And more development between Alex and Rishi. Because while traveling around in Los Lagos was fun and cool, what struck me about this book was the depth of the commitment to family and love and supporting each other even when people make mistakes and are cranky. This shone through a little bit, but I took away half a star because I think that more time could have been spent on that and less on the meadow fae.
The book ends with the surprise entrance of a character that bodes for continuation of the story. Hopefully it will let us hang out longer with Alex’s sisters.