“She reminds me of the protagonists I like to read about in adventure stories who are independent and free in a way that makes them untouchable. I used to think I was like that because I wanted to be an astronaut and travel the stars. But part of the appeal of outer space was the hope of finding a world where I belong.”
I adored Garber’s debut YA fantasy novel Lobizona, it was about an undocumented girl living in Miami who found out she was not only hiding from ICE but an entire race of mythical beings. (Note: It’s hard to do a proper review without spoilers about Lobizona as you can’t talk about the sequel without acknowledging the truth revealed in book one but I’ll try.)
When the truth of Manu’s existence is revealed she is on the run in not just one but two worlds. This second novel is about her acceptance of herself, finding a pack of loyal people who accept her for who she is and perhaps even changing the minds of those who find her an abomination. She takes up her father’s mantle and becomes the face of a movement that she didn’t want to be a part of but is the only way for her to survive.
I really loved the in depth analysis of self that these characters go through – it felt really mature for a YA novel. Their friendships and relationships had depth and sincerity.
Why this gets a ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 is for two reasons. This book suffers from the fantasy magical loophole syndrome, there is a ton of cool magic introduced but it always seems to appear at a convenient time when it’s just what we needed and yet the reader had no foresight of it. Lots of YA fantasies do this, probably to be more readable, but it’s a pet peeve of mine. Second, the ending. It had such potential to be a good ending. Then there was the epilogue. It was unnecessary and did not fit in with the book’s theme of acceptance. There was major character regression and it made me angry. But maybe you’ll like it, just be forewarned that it doesn’t fit the rest of the story.
Thanks to Netgalley for access to this novel. All opinions above are my own.
This one is out on Tuesday. Any upcoming releases you are excited for?