Title: The 52nd
Author : Dela
Publisher :Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Release date : October 27th, 2014
Rating : 3/5
Synopsis (from Goodreads) :
Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.
The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…
Everything about my first impression of this novel attracted me: the synopsis (magic and a strange land? Yes!), the author’s name (a foreign name attached to a foreign culture? YES!) and the cover (the design and the costume? YASSS!!).
But then,… what happened?
It was just, so okay…
I can’t even pinpoint exactly what dropped the book at 3/5. But I could try, though.
I didn’t particularly care for Alex. She started off as a spoiled brat, ignoring her family’s love for her and just acting selfishly, but she got decent by the end of the book. Definitely not love-worthy, but she was okay.
The romance was also completely MEH. There was a love triangle, and Alex was indecisive about who she loved most, and though her bisexuality came as a great surprise, it just felt forced. I couldn’t find chemistry anywhere, nor with Nova, whom she had a lot of banters with, nor with Rishi, who was useless and irrelevant to the plot.
However, I liked the diversity and the culture we encountered. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter were of great interest to me also. I loved how Cordova attempted to bring us to another mythical world. Los Lagos is understandably compared to Wonderland; twists and turns will surprise readers, everything is up for questioning. Unfortunately, I never quite felt the sense of danger and urgency that I was supposed to feel. Alex literally has to save her parents in this strange and hostile world, but… I almost forgot it sometimes, maybe because of the pace the book took, or Nova’s and Alex’s behavior.
The whole concept of the novel was amazing, but it lacked a big something, a Wow Factor, a spark. It wasn’t exotic enough, otherworldly enough, intense enough. It lacked charm and wonder. It’s like wanting to dye your hair a bold red, but it turns out a faded dark pink.
Don’t get me wrong; I read it till the end, I was entertained, but always as a second entertainment, you know? If I had nothing else to do, I’d read it. Sorry for the unpopular opinion.
Thank you to NetGalley!