I liked the first book in the series, Labyrinth Lost a great deal, so I was excited when I won an eARC through Netgalley for Bruja Born.
From the very start I found that a great deal of issues with the first book were cleared and I found myself enjoying this book a great deal more. This is due to two reasons. One the book setting’s remains in the real world and second the family dynamic is used to its full potential, along with being tested and strengthened throughout the story.
Bruja Born follows Lula, the eldest sister of the trio. In the previous book she was left with scars striping her face, and they serve as both of reminder what happened and symbol of her issues. The beginning shows her getting the scars healed by her sister in order to pretend things are normal. However normal is relative. The events of the previous book has brought her family out of favor by the other witches in her circle, some even going as far to say they are cursed. This sense of being curse is best illustrated when Lola on route to a game with her teammates is inovled in a deadly crash in which she becomes a sole survivor.
The crash is never explained at any point in the book, but is the right sort of chaotic event to propel the main thrust of the story. Lula desperate to not her lose boyfriend, casts a spell to keep him from dying but in turn changes into a type of zombie. Which is bad enough but she also managed to trap the Lady of Death between of worlds, making more zombie as the natural order of death is halted. What follows is a quest for information it undo all the magic business before lives are lost. From this point the plot moves along at a speedy pace with a few twists and turns along the way. While this plot certainly drives the piece it’s also a handy way for a world building, from fleshing out magic council, to detailing more rules that exists in the world, and expand on the history between various supernatural beings , not to mention characters that are sure to show up in forthcoming books.
Like Labyrinth Lost, this story is kicked off by a purely selfish motivation without thought of consequences, but I bought this more with Lula. Although the act was in line with YA cliques, I found never to be about the boyfriend and more about keeping things normal as possible in the wake of so many traumatic things. The circumstances also pushes Lola to rely more on her family and stopping her from pushing them away. This allowed for the showcase of her bond with her sisters, and anytime the trio is together is easily the best part of the book.
I liked a less of the shoehorning of a few characters into the story, and the obvious romantic lead that really didn’t need to be there. (Speaking of romance, Alex’s girlfriend Rishi is conveniently out of town for the story, with a flimsy excuse. Though I expect she be back in spades for Book 3). I also didn’t like spots where for magical foolishness, such as the curse to raise the boyfriend in the first place, needed the plot to go out of its way to make circumstances occur. Minor things, and perhaps a bit realistic, but disappointing overall.
Final Verdict: A vast improvement of already great series and I can’t wait to where the story goes next. ♥♥♥♥