July 16, 2021

#BookReview: Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera






Synopsis: Living in the remote town of Tierra del Sol is dangerous, especially in the criatura months, when powerful spirits roam the desert and threaten humankind. But Cecelia Rios has always believed there was more to the criaturas, much to her family’s disapproval. After all, only brujas—humans who capture and control criaturas—consort with the spirits, and brujeria is a terrible crime.

When her older sister, Juana, is kidnapped by El Sombrerón, a powerful dark criatura, Cece is determined to bring Juana back. To get into Devil’s Alley, though, she’ll have to become a bruja herself—while hiding her quest from her parents, her town, and the other brujas. Thankfully, the legendary criatura Coyote has a soft spot for humans and agrees to help her on her journey.

With him at her side, Cece sets out to reunite her family—and maybe even change what it means to be a bruja along the way.



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Rating: 2 Stars
My Review: I wanted to like this one because I got it in my Owlcrate Jr. box.  But I felt that it was so confusing.  I wish the author would have explained more during the start of the book.  Because I don't know anything about the culture that the story is set in. So the mention of these deities/gods was very confusing to me.  I also felt that the story was very hard to follow.  







From School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Cecelia Rios does the unthinkable by freeing a dark criatura from the grips of her village. Criaturas have long plagued the residents of the Tierra del Sol desert. Forewarned by her Mama, Cece knows that criaturas were creatures born from the dust and the words of the Great Namer, which aim to harm humans. Shadowed by betrayal and shame, Cece deems herself weak, believing the town whispers that water smothered her inner fire. But when her sister Juana is kidnapped by the criatura, El Sombreron, Cece grapples with a decision that rivals her Mama's beliefs. Her powerful choice unearths secrets of her family's past and leads Cece down a forbidden path. Confronted with her fears, Cece forms unexpected alliances while battling a foe unlike any criatura: herself. Set against the Tierra del Sol backdrop, intertwined with rich Mexican folklore and culturally infused language, this is a brilliantly unveiled coming-of-age story not for the faint of heart. Rivera cultivates a valiant heroine unafraid to follow her heart and stand against the norm. With a captivating story line and adversaries lurking between the pages, readers will remain engrossed as fantasy mingles with the real world. The engaging plot unravels with twists and turns, keeping readers on edge even after Cece's revelation. VERDICT Courage, determination, and unwavering love are the foundation of this debut; a much-needed addition to public and school libraries.-Suraya Jairam, Queens P.L., Hollis, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"Rivera’s spellbinding debut feels incredibly fresh. Enchanted readers will hope for more from Cece and her extraordinary, magical world." -- Booklist (starred review)

"Mesmerizing... With excellent pacing and rich world-building, debut author Rivera flawlessly immerses readers in the landscape of Tierra del Sol and Cece’s journey." -- Publishers Weekly(starred review)

"Intertwined with rich Mexican folklore and culturally infused language, this is a brilliantly unveiled coming-of-age story not for the faint of heart.... Courage, determination, and unwavering love are the foundation of this debut." -- School Library Journal

"...Packed with magic, adventure, friendship, and Latinx-inspired mythology... [Readers] will delight in exploring Cece’s world." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"An astonishing and moving tale infused with spirit and unforgettable magic." 
--   ­J.C. Cervantes, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Storm Runner series 

"Flush with incredible worldbuilding, mucho español throughout, and an unforgettable cast, this book reminds us that our greatest strengths can sometimes be found in the unlikeliest of places." -- Pablo Cartaya, award-winning author of The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora   

"Pokemon meets Coco in a spirited and moving adventure, at once familiar and tantalizingly strange, peopled by beautifully crafted and vivid characters." -- David Bowles, award-winning author of They Call Me Güero

“A new Narnia full of desert heat and danger, Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls mixes familiar myth, inventive magic, and vivid characters to capture readers.”  -- Anna Meriano, author of the Love Sugar Magic series

“A beautifully written fantasy story with tons of heart!” -- Ryan Calejo, author of the Charlie Hernández series









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