Making the Magical Feel Human: Lobizona by Romina Garber

Release Date: August 4, 2020
Series: Wolves of No World #1
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Description

“Some people ARE illegal.

Lobizonas do NOT exist.

Both of these statements are false.

Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.

Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.

Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal…it’s her entire existence.”

 

My Thoughts

Lobizona-coverWhat makes Lobizona work so well is how Garber systematically dismantles magic school tropes, particularly the ones associated with that author who shall not be named. For the Argentinian witches and werewolves, roles are prescribed by gender. Everyone has a place, a duty, a responsibility, whether it be to play sports or become the equivalent of a magic cop or bear more magical children to keep the population numbers up. Only girls become brujas and only boys become lobizones. Except that’s not exactly true. The gendered nature of the Spanish language informs the gendered roles for the people of Kerana. But as Manu makes clear, just because the language is gendered doesn’t mean magic is…

Read the rest of this review at Tor.com.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy.

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