A Brooklyn bruja who doesn't want her powers must journey to another dimension to save her family.
Alejandra Mortiz wishes she were a typical Brooklyn high schooler, but the Ecuadorian–Puerto Rican teen comes from a long line of Latina brujas (witches). Her mother and older sister, Lola, are healers, while her younger sister, Rose, is a dream-walking psychic. Alex, meanwhile, is revealed to be an encantrix—the most powerful kind of bruja, with the potential to master all forms of magic. Believing her magic to be a dangerous burden, she dreads her upcoming Deathday ceremony (a bruja or brujo's coming-of-age rite) until Nova, a mysterious (and gorgeous) brujo, informs her she could probably find the right enchantment to block her ceremonial blessing or even spell away her powers. When an evil supernatural force kidnaps her entire family during her Deathday, Alex must summon her powers—and Nova's knowledge of Los Lagos (the magical underworld)—to find her family and defeat her enemies. The author's blending of Latin American traditions, matriarchy, and religions makes the premise interesting, but the story is ultimately a predictable chosen-one quest. Props to Córdova for Alex's diverse family heritage, but readers will likely spend more time trying to keep track of the Los Lagos geography, various supernatural rules, living (and dead) characters, and off-putting animal sacrifices to feel invested in the multicultural bisexual love triangle.
Underwhelming bruja adventure is fine for fans of diverse or urban paranormal stories. (author's note, map) (Fantasy. 13-17)