Book Review

Cazadora

Cazadora

  • Author: Romina Garber
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Publication Date: August 17, 2021
  • Publisher: Wednesday Books
  • Series: Wolves of No World #2

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am offering my honest opinion voluntarily.

CONTENT WARNING: violence, mention of torture, blood, death

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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?

I love a sequel that picks up right where the first left off. To prepare for this, I had listened to the audiobook of Lobizona, just to familiarize myself with the story, and I’m so glad I did. This was a great sequel, and I have to admit, I’m honestly thrilled that it looks like there is going to be a third book in this incredible world, because I’m not ready to say goodbye just yet. Also, the cover is absolutely GORGEOUS!

This story further built on the amazing world-building in the first book. We get to see more of the magical world of the Septimus, as well as the ugly side of things too. Garber has created a world that is so strongly divided into a male-dominated gender-binary system that it doesn’t allow for people to be themselves if they don’t quite fit into those roles—if they’re LGBTQ, don’t want to get married, or don’t want to have children. What was originally intended to help protect the species, ended up repressing those who were different and devaluing females. And this book was their story. The people who are illegal or not allowed to be themselves. The emphasis on working to break out of a restrictive binary society towards more personal freedom made the story seem so much bigger than just Manu’s story, but also reflected her story on a much grander scale. 

The characters are incredibly realistic, considering the fact that they’re brujas (witches) and lobizones (werewolves). They have such distinct personalities and characteristics that it was never difficult to differentiate between them, despite the fact that there are so many new characters introduced in this story. I loved so many of them, especially seeing Manu grow and change so much as she really settled into her journey of self-discovery. She’s such an easy character to love, and I was so impressed with the choices that she made throughout her story.

Garber stays true to her Argentine roots. There are elements of magical realism throughout the story, and the main characters draw inspiration from major Latin American authors as well. She highlights the influence that colonialism has had not just on Argentine society and architecture, but also on their folktales and indigenous history, while still honoring the indigenous roots. 

I loved the presence of such a wide array of representation. Although there is a LOT of Spanish used throughout the story, it never felt forced or unclear. While I do understand a lot of the Spanish, it’s also defined really clearly throughout the story for those who don’t understand it, making the story accessible to everyone. While this is a fantasy story, the characters are all Argentinean, but come in an array of skin tones, including a Black character who experiences racism. There are several lesbian and gay characters, and a trans character who I absolutely adored. 

The only thing I didn’t absolutely love about the entire book was the pacing. A big portion of the story was slower paced, and a chunk of it felt like it was dragging for a little bit. But the pace picked up and started moving really fast at the end. Overall, I really enjoyed the book, and wholeheartedly recommend this series. I am hoping that there will be an announcement for a third book soon, so fingers crossed!

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 12

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