“But why settle for being a son of the system, when you can be the mother of a movement?”
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Thank you Wednesday Books for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour and providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for a honest review!
Some people ARE illegal.
Lobizonas do NOT exist.
Both of these statements are false.
Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.
Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.
As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.
Don’t mind me I’m just over here drooling over how good this was!
I have yet to see a bad review about Lobizona and honestly after reading it I completely understand why. This was so freaking good and I devoured pretty much the entire book in one sitting. If you love stories with magic, lovable characters, beautiful writing, hard-hitting but important topics, impeccable world building, and lots of folklore this book absolutely deserves to be on your TBR and currently reading shelves immediately!
What I Liked
🌎 Dual worlds. I truly LOVED that this takes place in two worlds. The first being in Miami with Manu and her mother and the second is the world of the Septimus where all the magic happens – literally. The author does a great job of building both worlds to have both similarities and differences. Once Manu and her mother are separated and Manu is drawn to the world that has the magic I was 100% invested in everything about it and would happily still be reading about the world if this book was 1,000 pages long.
💖 Tugs on the heart. This book had me feeling emotional quite a bit. Manu and her mother are undocumented immigrants living in Miami who are doing everything they can to remain undetected and try to earn their citizenship in the U.S. (or so Manu believes). But when Manu’s mother is taken by ICE and the two of them are separated it truly broke my heart – especially knowing this happens to so many people every single day that are just trying to build a better life for their families. Their love for one another is so strong and I loved the dynamic of their relationship even if it wasn’t always perfect. Once Manu enters the “fantasy world” she quickly finds out that even though she finally feels like this is where she belongs she is also considered “illegal” there as well which tugs on the heart even more.
✨ Magic, mystery, and folklore. Women are brujas (witches) and men are lobizons (werewolves) in the fantasy world of this story. It’s been set in stone for quite some time, however, Manu quickly learns that the last person who tried to change that way of thinking was her father. As the story progresses Manu tries to pick up where her father left off all the while unraveling all the things she never knew about him Between the types of magic each witch possesses, the werewolves, the mystery of Manu’s father, and history of the folklore I truly never wanted to put this down. It might seem like there’s a lot going on but the way this story is written it all comes together so well, which brings us to the next thing I loved about this book.
🖋 Writing. From the minute I picked this up I knew I was going to like it just from the writing alone. It feels flawless, effortless, and dreamy all wrapped in one. The descriptions and world building of the fantasy world practically had me salivating at the mouth with how pretty it was and the best part was that it all never felt overly descriptive. It was just the right amount of flowy and informative. I’ll definitely be reading more from this author in the future, that’s for sure!
What I Didn’t Like
📈 Pacing. If there is one thing in this book that I feel could have been slightly better it would be the pacing. Even though I knew this was going to be an enjoyable read the beginning started off a little slow, however, once the story picked up it took off and never looked back. So, it’s not something that killed the story for me in any way but something I think is worth mentioning.
All in all, even though this book falls into the fantasy genre I would say it more so feels like a contemporary with magical realism. I adored the writing, the characters, and the overall themes that this book discusses. Y’all better believe I will eagerly be awaiting the sequel to this novel and anything else the author writes in the future!
Until next time,