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Book Review: Lobizona (Wolves of No World #1) by Romina Garber (2020)

August 4th, 2020 7:00 am by mad mags

“I’ve always been a voracious reader, and this is quite the story.”

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for racist violence, including a scene involving an ICE raid, and violence against women, including rape.)

“Manuela de La Mancha,” says a deep voice. It sounds strange to hear such a long name, but that’s the manada I’m pretending to be from.

“Hola, Marilén,” I say to Tiago and Saysa’s great-grandmother, whom I met moments ago kostenlose hintergrundbilderen.

“No sos bruja.” You’re not a witch.

My tongue feels like sandpaper, and my mouth seals dry. Since our wolf-shadows roam outside the Citadel, and my fangs and claws are retracted, I didn’t think there would be any indicator of my identity—

“No te preocupes, no vengo a interrogarte.” Don’t worry, I’m not here to interrogate you.

She moves closer, and the way her steely eyes seem to see more than others reminds me of Perla. “Toda la vida soñé con conocerte,” she whispers. My whole life I’ve dreamt of meeting you.

Her long black hair is in a tight, elegant bun that pulls her skin, stretching it so that if there’s a single wrinkle, I don’t see it Combine pdf for free Download. “La primera de nosotras que nació fuera de su jaula.”

The first of us to be born outside her cage.

“Anything you do that’s traditional wolf territory could be challenged by some zealot, and you could wind up before the tribunal. I’ve been studying their decisions, and they tend to be led by their pragmatism. Our world is gray, and rapidly gray-ing, and the tribunal navigates it by sticking to a determinedly black-and-white approach. They rule by the book and can’t be swayed by emotion. If you don’t fit the exact letter of the law, they see you as going against it.”

“So what do I do?”

“You can’t break a law that doesn’t apply to you.”

“Meaning?”

“If you’re undocumented, you’re unwritten zeichentrickfilme kostenlos herunterladen. Embrace that.”

“You’re saying if no one’s told my story before … I get to tell it the way I want?”

“Exactly.”

“Sometimes reality strays so far from what’s rational that we can only explain it through fantasy.”

Sixteen-year-old Manuela “Manu” Azul lives on the fringes of society, in more ways than one; in more ways than even she knows.

For starters, she and her mother Soledad are undocumented immigrants, living in Miami illegally while Ma applies for visas through her employer, a wealthy Cuban immigrant named Doña Rosa. As the story goes, Soledad was forced to flee Argentina more than a dozen years ago after she had an affair with Manu’s father, the reluctant heir to a powerful criminal organization download old typo3 versions. When he tried to leave his family for his lover, they had him killed. Soledad’s only saving grace? She ran before her treacherous in-laws discovered she was pregnant with Manu.

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Manu’s precarious existence is upended when Perla is attacked in their apartment, and Soledad’s employer is raided by ICE – all in the same afternoon. Manu discovers that so much of her life has been a lie; while in other ways, the half-truths and creeping sense of isolation have only been harbingers of things to come. The magical place she dreams of during her period – when her “lunaritis” becomes so severe that Ma has to sedate Manu for her own good – really does exist, and it’s the key to finding her place in the world amazon film kaufen downloaden. Worlds, plural: her mother’s and her father’s. For her father’s people are Septis, powerful lobizonos and brujas who move back and forth between earth and Lunaris.

There’s one thing Soledad wasn’t lying about, though: if the Cazadores learn of Manu’s existence, she will be executed. Human-Septis hybrids are considered abominations, and Manu has yet another beautiful deviation up her sleeve: one that threatens to upend the entire patriarchal system on which Septis culture is based. She’s not a bruja, as gender essentialism would dictate, but rather a powerful lobizona. The first of her kind.

Lobizona is such a great story, and I’m worried that I’ve already dropped too many spoilers, so I’ll shut up about plot specifics how to. Let’s just say Manu’s quest involves surreptitious enrollment in a boarding school for young Septis; a search for her missing father, Fierro; a found family involving classmates Tiego, Cata, and Saysa (among others); smashing the patriarchy; and a trip to another world that’s both enchanting and lethal.

Garber’s world building here is simply spectacular: the twin locales of El Laberinto and Lunaris, anchored by a sentient, bigger-on-the-side, magic police box tree called Flora, are as beguiling as they are complex and detailed. There’s so much to love here, from Flora’s “living library” to Lunaris’s rainbow colored waterfalls and wolf-shaped shadows that seem to exist apart from their owners sketchup download mac kostenlos.

And the racial and gender politics! While I was fully expecting parallels between Manu’s dual “outlaw” status – as an undocumented immigrant in the United States, and as a hybrid in Lunaris – Garber’s decision to throw gender into the mix made things extra deliciously complicated. And I am so here for it! The scenes where Manu’s bruja sisters (and more than a few lobizono brothers – yay for allyship!) rooted for her gave me all kinds of feelings, and Diego’s coaching Manu to write her own story – to own her race and gender and species membership – is inspiring AF.

There’s a bit of a Handmaid’s Tale meets Harry Potter vibe here, but with a much more nuanced interrogation of race on both counts need for speed world. (Or interrogation of race, period.)

Like The Handmaid’s Tale, I feel as though I could write an entire thesis on the themes explored in Lobizona (that’s one way to pass the time until the sequel, am I right?); Garber’s attention to detail is impressive, and leads to some rather interesting and unexpected reveals. The bit about brujas being required by law to birth at least two children – nevermind that doing so saps them of their magic – is particularly chilling, and sadly as relevant as ever.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads firefox browser herunterladen. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

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Book Review: Some Kind of Animal by Maria Romasco Moore (2020)

July 28th, 2020 7:00 am by mad mags

A weird and creepy story, no less enjoyable for its eccentricities.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Content warning for child abuse, domestic violence, addiction, mental illness, and misogyny.)

I hide myself as much as I hide my sister herunterladen. I hide the person I am when I’m with her. When I was a kid it was easier. How I acted in the day wasn’t much different from how I acted at night. Outside of school at least, the kids of Lester roved about, playing in the woods behind someone’s house or alongside the train tracks, fighting with sticks, running races, trying to catch fish in Monday Creek, acting out plays with dead bugs as the actors. But as I got older, there were more and more things that weren’t acceptable or cool, especially for a girl.

I added them all to the secret half of me.

That’s the one thing we do all have in common. Pretty much every kid I know is looking forward to the day when they can escape this place aangifteprogramma 2012. Savannah dreams about moving to a city. She’s always going on about her second cousin in Cincinnati. Other kids talk about heading up to Columbus or down to Delphi.

Me, though, I already escape every single night.

We are lambs who refuse to learn, I think. We will wander until the end of our days, not afraid of wolves. But together. Always together.

Fifteen-year-old Jolene “Jo” Richards has a sister – an identical twin only she knows about ringtones herunterladen. Lee is a wild thing, a feral child, who lives in the national forest that surrounds their hometown of Lester, Ohio. At night, Jo sneaks out her bedroom window to run with Lee. By day, she pretends to be an ordinary, unexceptional girl.

Well, as “normal” as a kid like her can be; it’s hard to stay under the radar when your mom is missing and presumed dead, a likely teenage murder victim. Jolene, for whom Jo was named, had Jo at fifteen. When Jo’s grandmother Margaret found out about the pregnancy, she kicked her daughter out of the house powerpoint download free full version windows 8. For a while, Jolene lived in a double-wide trailer on the outskirts of town with “the Cantrell boys” (said in ominous tones, natch), Logan and Brandon. Logan, the older of the two, was widely considered bad news: he sold drugs, abused women, and is possibly Jo’s father. (It’s hard to know for sure; Jolene was “friendly,” as they like to say.)

The last time anyone saw Jolene alive, she was enormously pregnant and pounding onion rings at the bowling alley – in the company of none other than Logan and Brandon. A week later, Brandon showed up on Margaret’s doorstep and thrust a newborn baby into her arms. Now Jo lives with her Aunt Aggie … and haunts the night with a specter that only she can see vob b kostenlos.

When a teenage boy is attacked in the woods, Jo the only witness (it happened during her first kiss, the horror), the crime sets off a cataclysmic chain of events. For nearly a decade, Jo has tried to keep Lee hidden, a secret. Lee is wild and paranoid and free; discovery equals captivity, imprisonment, domestication. Maybe even scientific study. Certainly death – if not of Lee’s body, then her spirit.

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Some Kind of Animal is, well, kind of bonkers, and I mean that in the best way possible. I try not to shy away from 3-star books, because every once in awhile I’m delightfully surprised by a story that everyone else seems to hate – or hold ambivalent feelings for, at best lustige memes zum downloaden. (See, e.g., The Blondes by Emily Schultz.) Some Kind of Animal is 110% one of those books: it’s bizarre and meandering and the plot never seems to lead where you think it will.

It defies easy categorization. Is it a mystery? A supernatural thriller? A horror story? A psychological study? A cultural critique? All of the above?

Some Kind of Animal is its own beast, and it’s what I love most about it.

If I had to sum it up as a mashup, I’d pitch Some Kind of Animal as Thelma & Louise meets Our Endless Numbered Days (or insert your own YA survivalist story here), maybe with a touch of The Grace Year kostenlose spiele zum herunterladen. It’s so many things, but at its core beats a fierce feminist heart. This is a story about sisterhood, in both the literal and larger sense. About the way society judges women – and conditions women to judge one another.

Through Jolene and Jo and Lee and Savannah, Moore interrogates slut shaming and woman hating. Collectively, they are living, breathing illustrations of how society prefers its women dead and tragic – and maybe just a little bit sexy – rather than alive and wild and in control of their own sexuality. Each is a fascinating character in her own right, but it is their relationships with one another that truly sparkle and ignite.

Some Kind of Animal is also a compulsive thriller; more than a hundred pages go by before Moore lets use know whether Lee is simply a figment of Jo’s imagination (no spoilers here!) plantnet app kostenlosen. There’s a supernatural, otherwordly vibe to the story that I adore; these pages are populated by the night creatures, and I half expected a witch or vampire to emerge at some point. The pacing is pretty wild, too; it feels like you’re reaching the climax of the story about halfway through – but, alas, there are still 190 pages left! Where will Moore lead us next? (Astray, hopefully, because these liminal spaces are where the magic happens.)

Anyway, I’m glad I snagged an ARC before the reviews started rolling in; I might have passed on it otherwise herunterladen. It’s the kind of story you either love or hate, and I fall firmly into the former camp.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

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