Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova

three and a half out of five dragons

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Bruja Born is the second in the Brooklyn Brujas series. The first was Labyrinth Lost for which you can find the review here.

The disconnected sentences again! This book was worse than the first about non sequitur sentences. It didn’t feel like the sentences connected to each other. That’s not to say that the writing itself was bad. Each sentence was okay on its own, but taken together they painted a slightly Picasso-esque picture.

I kept forgetting it was Lula not Alex for some reason. I supposed because I was so connected to Alex. However, Lula is a very different character. From the way she feels about her physical beauty to the anger she still has toward Alex for the events in Labyrinth Lost. I think this was my fault not the author’s because she made sure to remind the reader on multiple occasions early on that it was Lula’s feelings we were reading.

There are some gruesome fight scenes. This was a grotesque zombie book. Eyes falling out of faces and oozing wounds. Ick. Entertaining though. Such a shift from the first one. Basically, these books are only in the same series because the protagonists are sisters and both brujas. Otherwise so much is different from the style to the characters and the action scenes. Labyrinth Lost was about a person not used to magic learning to use it, while Bruja Born was about a magical person trying to survive without it. I preferred the first one because I came for brujas not zombies.

The lines kept blurring in regard to Maks but it didn’t feel clean and intentional. Though perhaps that itself was intentional. Hard to tell. But the writing had the feel that many second books in a series have: like the author really had time with the first one, but then had to rush the second one a little bit and the writing suffered.

I was annoyed at the complete lack of Rishi. She was important in the first one and is still important to Alex in the second book, yet she gets completely cut out like some unneeded back character.

**Sort of a spoiler** I kept expecting there to be something deeper happening. Like Lula can’t heal after what happened in the labyrinth, but it made it seem that was due to something evil rather than just a normal healing process. It just seemed like there should have been more reason for this than Lula not handling it well. That’s just my opinion because these are action fantasy books not introspective literary fiction. *end of sort of spoiler**

I almost stopped reading at 72% because it felt predictable, but I’m glad I didn’t. The final idea of how everything is fixed was fresh and original. I came back to feeling the story in the last four or so chapters. I kind of expected a cop out with very little resolution. However, there was a full conclusion to this story and it was something new and unexpected. The ending was deserving of the originality of this series.

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