Bruja Born

Bruja Born

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 t...

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Title:Bruja Born
Author:Zoraida Córdova
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Bruja Born Reviews

  • Lilly (Lair Of Books)

    Buddy Read with Melanie from

    There's something special about the second book in a trilogy, it's almost always the book to determine whether you keep going or hit the brakes. Bruja Born had me entranced in its spell, I couldn't think of anything else when I wasn't reading it. I enjoyed Labyrinth Lost last year but Bruja Born has left me head over heels in love with Zoraida Córdova's writing, characters, and expanded world (more on this further down). I'm a Latinx Brooklynite myself & all I would've needed to top this read off was a front stoop or Brooklyn rooftop to read under the night sky. Atmospheric, dark, lush with culture & lore, a story filled with magic & its consequences. A tale about love & letting go, acceptance and self-love...I didn't expect the many layers we got in this book but can honestly say Bruja Born blew me away!

    Bruja Born picks up after the events in Los Lagos (the underworld) in the first book Labyrinth Lost. Since this is a sequel I won't go into too much detail to avoid all the spoilery things. When I think of Los Lagos I picture Guillermo Del Torro's Pan's Labyrinth in terms of how dark this world is. Labyrinth Lost was told from the point of view of Alex, the actions she took had some serious shared consequences between her & her sisters. These consequences play out in this second installment which is told from Alex's sister Lula's POV. Lula has had the most burden to bear from the events in the last book but they all pretty much came back changed one way or another. Lula is struggling with all of her relationships & is facing a possible break-up with her boyfriend Maks who cares a lot for her but is finding it hard to deal with her distance. Lula is hiding things from Maks both beneath & on surface level. In the Goodreads blurb we are told there's an accident that leads to the deaths of many of Lula's classmates including Maks. Lula's inability to let Maks go leads her down a path of defiance where she'll have to answer to Lady De La Muerte aka Lady Death herself. Lula and her sisters have a history of going up against the Deos (Gods) but this time they may have bitten off more than they can chew.

    There's a system of checks & balances where Lady De La Muerte is concerned and defying death has never gone unpunished. As frightening as Lady De La Muerte sounds, seeing her come to life on the page was terrifying! envisioning her staff alone was enough to make me read with the lights on. The depiction was on point & whenever there was a scene with Lady De La Muerte I was left shooketh! There's so much to this book to love but perhaps the expansion & inclusion of other magical beings we all know and love, is what took this book to yet another level of enjoyment. I picked up on some Mortal Instruments vibes as well but make no mistake Bruja Born is its own thing & the Latinx representation is strong and beautiful! The family bonds in this sequel are strengthened and we get to see their ups & downs. This isn't just your straight forward Fantasy where demons are fought & the hero comes to the rescue. This is a story where there aren't any clear winners and the consequences of defying the laws of nature are as big as the deed itself. The characters you meet on the page are complex and flawed but they all have come to love the magic that runs deep in their blood.

    Córdova has created a world centered around a Latinx family of Brujas & Brujos I've come to love spending time with between the pages. Maybe it's the snippets of Spanish sprinkled throughout the pages or the familiarity of this family that pull me in but seeing more diversity in YA Fantasy has genuinely made me fall in love with the genre once again!

  • Acqua

    is the second book in the urban fantasy series

    , and

    .

    I almost didn't read this. The first book,

    , followed middle sister Alex. I read it when I was Alex's age, and I still found both the narration and the writing to be very juvenile, the plot predictable.

    This nove

    is the second book in the urban fantasy series

    , and

    .

    I almost didn't read this. The first book,

    , followed middle sister Alex. I read it when I was Alex's age, and I still found both the narration and the writing to be very juvenile, the plot predictable.

    This novel follows older sister Lula, who is struggling to cope with the return of her dad and the way Los Lagos affected her. When her boyfriend breaks up with her and is victim of a car accident just a few minutes later, Lula knows she will do anything to get him back. She is a healer Bruja, after all: can't she make him return from his coma and heal their love?

    is a very unique book.

    . For a genre that is so obsessed with teenagers and their romantic relationships (finding a YA book without a romance is a struggle), I rarely see this aspect in YA fiction, especially in regard to the protagonist's crushes (the evil ex trope does

    count). Also, Lula isn't demonized for it, which is important.

    .

    Because here's the thing about

    , and that will become even worse when they're in love. Most of them will probably use their power not only to unselfishly save the world.

    . It feels far more real than any demon invasion or urban fantasy supervillain.

    Another of my problems with

    was that it didn't go far enough. It was set in a paranormal world but it was never as creepy and atmospheric as it could have been.

    didn't have this problem.

    . It's the kind of book that makes you want to look around you when you're alone in your room because it makes silence feel unsettling. Also, real-world casimuerto-infested New York is far more atmospheric than Los Lagos was.

    I feel like this series is very underrated. This book made me want to reread

    to see if I'd like it more now, to understand if I reviewed it too harshly because I wasn't in the mood for it when I read it.

    The

    series reminds me of

    , except there's more diversity, less cheesy romance tropes, and more depth in far less pages.

    - the magic system (Brujeria) and the atmosphere are unique, but they have the same feel. Also, in this novel we're introduced to a wider variety of magical creatures: vampires, shifters, hunters, zombies...

    Another thing I love about this series is the focus on family.

    , and their bond it's one of the things that makes it stand out from many other urban fantasy series. Parents and extended family are also relevant to the plot.

    While I liked this book far more than I expected, I can't say it was flawless. Some of the small problems I had with the writing in book one are still here - mostly, the descriptions of Nova's eyes, at least they aren't "bipolar" anymore, but why would you describe someone's eyes as "Caribbean Sea" eyes?

    The other small problem I had with this is also one of the main reasons I didn't like the first book:

    Instead, we get a lot of Nova. In the first book, Alex spends a lot of time describing how attractive is Nova, and says almost nothing about Rishi - and then the endgame relationship is her and Rishi. It almost comes out of nowhere, and it has very little development,

  • Cait • A Page with a View

    This whole book read like a super awesome blockbuster movie that I NEED to see asap. It all builds up into the most epic showdown, but it's so much

    than just an action-packed rollercoaster of fun.

    Lula has physical and emotional scars from everything that happened in Los Lagos in the previous book and is trying to learn how to deal with everything. She faces some big challenges throughout the story and has so much amazing character growth that I wanted to cheer out loud for her a few times.

    This whole book read like a super awesome blockbuster movie that I NEED to see asap. It all builds up into the most epic showdown, but it's so much

    than just an action-packed rollercoaster of fun.

    Lula has physical and emotional scars from everything that happened in Los Lagos in the previous book and is trying to learn how to deal with everything. She faces some big challenges throughout the story and has so much amazing character growth that I wanted to cheer out loud for her a few times. Her narration is just so engaging and has so much personality. The entire story flows really well, actually! And I love how Lula copes and figures out life as she goes in a healthy way instead of the story having some forced cure narrative. She's a really realistic, relatable character with an incredible family (I love how much they have each other's backs and truly care).

    There are so many moments in this story I did NOT see coming. Ok, I don't think this is a spoiler since it comes so early in the story (aaaaand I feel like it needs to be shared because it will make people rush out and buy the book so fast): ZOMBIES. THERE IS AN EPIC ZOMBIE INVASION & BATTLE. They're called casimuertos and you can probably see where they come in based on the book description. Some pretty great new characters are introduced as well... basically, this was every level of epic and so well done.

  • Melanie

    1.)

    ★★★★

    🔮 My favorite review for

    :

    Friends,

    was such a treat. It’s the ownvoices, Latinx, magical story you’ve been looking for. And I liked it even more than

    , which I loved! When I first requested an ARC of this, I was completely surprised when I found out it wouldn’t be following Alex, the main cha

    1.)

    ★★★★

    🔮 My favorite review for

    :

    Friends,

    was such a treat. It’s the ownvoices, Latinx, magical story you’ve been looking for. And I liked it even more than

    , which I loved! When I first requested an ARC of this, I was completely surprised when I found out it wouldn’t be following Alex, the main character of

    , but her sister, Lula, who I quickly and easily fell in love with, too.

    But Lula’s story also quickly and easily breaks my heart. I want to write so much here to give you guys a synopsis, but I’m going to be very vague. The book’s actual synopsis feels really spoilery, in my opinion. I went into the book without reading the synopsis, and I truly think I had a better reading experience because of it. But Lula finds herself in a very heartbreaking situation, and when this tragedy strikes, the goddess of death herself is there to pick up the pieces. Lula finds herself unable to give someone up and uses her magic to desperately try to keep them close to her, but she quickly discovers that not all things are meant to stay.

    (please do not read if you want to go into this book completely unaware of the events) for car crash, blood, gore, loss of a loved one, grief, trauma, a lot of talk of death, talk of dead bodies, and scenes with physically harming oneself.

    One of the best elements of

    is the strong emphasis on familial bonds, and how unconditional love will always be the most powerful kind of magic any of us will ever possess. Lula, Alex, and Rose are such sister goals, but their entire family and their willingness to sacrifice is something so beautiful that I don’t even have words for it.

    And Lula’s personal journey, to loving herself, outside and inside, is so powerful that I wish I could put this book in the hands of every teenage girl in the world. Being able to sacrifice for the ones you love, but to ultimately put yourself and your life first is a combination I hardly ever read in books, but it is so very needed. This truly is the most beautiful love story of all time: the love story of loving yourself, unapologetically.

    And this book also heavily deals with the effects of grief. Everyone in this family is grieving from what they’ve lost or what they’ve found. PTSD, trauma, and grief are all touched upon in this book, and everyone is coping and dealing with it differently. Lula is the star of this book, and everything she is dealing with breaks my heart, but seeing her deal with it is so important and so inspiring.

    Overall, I loved this and I think the world will love it, too. And I feel like I could never get enough stories about these Brooklyn Brujas! I’m guessing the next installment will be about Rose, and I’ll be honest with you all: she’s my favorite sister. So, I’m extra hyped. Also, Nova totally won me over in this book as well. So, hopefully we get both of them and more paranormal beings, because this book had vampires, shifters, zombies, and more! Please, Zoraida, give me all the fae! I loved

    and I hope you all fall in love with it too!

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  • kat

    3.5 stars!

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