Werewolves. Witches. Romance. Resistance. Enter a world straight out of Argentine folklore…
I was granted eARC/audio ARC access to Cazadora by the Macmillan team via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to whoever does the approvals for the YA titles! This is a highly anticipated one for me. My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
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About the Book
Wolves of No World Book Two
by Romina Garber
Publishing 17 August 2021
Wednesday Books / MacMillan Audio
Genre: YA Fantasy, Magical Realism
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Page Count: 404
Audio Length: 11 hours and 37 minutes
Audio Narrator: Sol Madariaga
In Cazadora, Romina Garber weaves together Argentine folklore and what it means to be illegal in a timely, intimate, and emotionally powerful narrative.
Werewolves. Witches. Romance. Resistance.
Enter a world straight out of Argentine folklore…
Following the events of Lobizona, Manu and her friends cross the mystical border into Kerana—a cursed realm in Argentina—searching for allies and a hiding place. As they chase down leads about the Coven—a mythical resistance manada that might not even exist—the Cazadores chase down leads about Manu, setting up traps to capture and arrest her.
Just as it seems the Cazadores have Manu and her friends cornered, the Coven answers their call for help. As Manu catches her breath among these non-conforming Septimus, she discovers they need a revolution as much as she does.
But is she the right one to lead them? After all, hybrids aren’t just outlawed. They’re feared and reviled. What happens when the Coven learns of Manu’s dual heritage? Will they still protect her? Or will they betray her?
And after running this far, for this long—how much farther can Manu go before her feet get tired, and she stops to take a stand?
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Check out my review of book one, Lobizona, here!
My Rating: 4 Stars
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I was granted eARC/audio ARC access to Cazadora by the Wednesday Books/Macmillan team via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to whoever does the approvals for the YA titles! This is a highly anticipated one for me. My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
While the first book in this series opened in the real world a spent a lot of time introducing readers to the plight of an undocumented immigrant in the USA and the experience of a Latin American girl being raised far from home, which both blended into and foreshadowed the equally misfit status Manu would face in the magical world, Cazadora focuses entirely on the magical and only occasionally highlights parallels to issues in the real world. I really enjoyed all the additional exploration we got to do in this world, getting to know how it works, getting to know more about the other characters, and learning more about the magic system. The world(s) of this series feel much more tangible to me now, and I love that.
The plot follows Manu and her allies as she tries to run from the law long enough to form a plan to make the stubbornly stuck in their old ways elders of this world accept not only her, a hybrid and an unprecedented female wolf but also her friends who are ready to challenge tradition and embrace non-traditional relationships and orientations. This group of young people has a lot to fight for, and a lot to lose, and this book doesn’t cut them any slack. If you’re only reading to be entertained, then it’s a high-stakes action-adventure fantasy about a group of teens trying to change their world (a mainstay of YA in this century.) If you’re here to learn and grow and acknowledge all of the real-world plights this book points spotlights at, it’s a beautifully crafted metaphorical essay on racism, sexism, and homophobia in our modern world.
This is definitely shaping up to be the sort of series that must be read in order. There’s absolutely no recap (which is not a complaint from me, those are often so poorly handled and they’re annoying for readers who aren’t jumping in midstream) and that means a lot of world-building and character introductions don’t happen here. This one assumes you’ve read Lobizona, likely recently, and throws you right back into the action where you left off, ready to send you off on a chosen one type middle book goose chase. It remains to be seen whether or not this will prove to be a sagging middle book or not, only reading later books in the series will reveal that for sure, but I can see the potential for this book to be something readers would struggle to connect with and get pulled into if they aren’t reading in order or take too long of a break between books. You really need to already have a connection with Manu and friends to care and feel invested enough to hang on through all the twists and turns. This book won’t take time to convince you to love her if you don’t already.
Without being specific enough to reveal a spoiler, there is a character death mid-book that just doesn’t hit me the way I think the author intended. I think I was meant to feel more connected to that character than I did. I think the events that character’s death set in motion are supposed to feel more significant than they did. In execution, it felt pointless. When a witch in this world dies, one last spell is cast. The spell cast in this case is basically an “undo” on the consequences of the event that kills her. It just feels like the most unnecessary deus ex machina moment I’ve ever come across.
Sol Madariaga’s narration was a pleasure to listen to, for the most part, and I think the minor thing I didn’t like is a language barrier issue with the original text. Sol speaks every Spanish line with a beautiful authentic-sounding accent (as far as this non-Spanish speaker can tell at least!) I love listening to the cadence of this language and hearing these beautiful names pronounced correctly, but when characters read or speak lengthy passages entirely in Spanish, it’s a bit overwhelming. This book opens entirely in Spanish and then (I assume) provides the English translation. It was long enough that I started to wonder if either I’d accidentally accepted a Spanish language audio ARC or if the narrator’s accent was so strong that I was going to need to slow it way down to parse it. I hadn’t, and it wasn’t, but it was overwhelming. If I were reading it with my eyes rather than my ears I would have seen the English text following it and just skipped to it. I recognize that language is integral to culture, this is based on Argentine folklore, and that even the domestic audience for the publisher in the USA should be used to seeing/hearing the Spanish language even if they aren’t fluent themselves. As a Canadian, this isn’t a language I’m exposed to frequently, so that’s my genuine reaction to hearing it.
Overall I really enjoyed returning to this world and I can tell there’s a lot of story left to tell in the series. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoyed the first, and I eagerly await the next installment.
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