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Reclaim the Stars: 17 Tales Across Realms & Space - Review

*I received this e-ARC from Wednesday Books via Net Galley. All reviews are my own.*

Anthologies have never been a top priority read for me because I like my stories to have a beginning, middle, and end, and cropped stories take away from my wanting. So I never really touch the books. But after reading Bolu Babalola's Love in Colour last year, I have hopes for my Latinx folks and their query. Author, Zoraida Cordova, gathered some of the most popular and prolific writers to create this Sci-Fi/Fantasy compilation, Reclaim the Stars: 17 Tales Across Realms & Space.

"Reclaim the Stars is a collection of bestselling and acclaimed YA authors that take the Latin American diaspora to places fantastical and out of this world. From princesses warring in space, to the all too-near devastation of climate change, to haunting ghost stories in Argentina, and mermaids off the coast of the Caribbean. This is science fiction and fantasy that breaks borders and realms, and proves that stories are truly universal."

Before getting into the book, Cordova writes a Dear Jose letter explaining how special it is to find herself, her people, and her heritage at the forefront of books. The Latin American diaspora community grew up with fantastical tales of warning and folly. Why not bring these stories to life and spread more magic into the world? Though it's just the beginning, Cordova hoped to start a tiny avalanche of inspiration that will snowball into a more extensive means for the future generation of the Latinx community.

Though I loved Cordova's presentation, I wasn't in love with the book, and I'm actually a bit bummed out that this was all that was offered. Reclaim the Stars is broken up into three sections between 17 stories (Space, Fantasy, and Magical Realism), and I can count on one hand which minis were the best:

  1. Leyenda – Romina Garber (Her duology Lobizona/Cazadora was the big ticket that brought me here in the first place. Rominaaaaa! Girrrrrl!)

  2. Color-Coded – Maya Motayne (I was utterly shocked at how mesmerized I was with this story. I went and looked up Motayne's backlist, and now my TBR is further ruined for the year)

  3. Rogue Enchantments – Isabel Ibañez (Say what you want about Ibañez, but her story was a good one! I can't deny it)

  4. Sumaiko Y La Sirena – Vita Ayala (FINALLY! A mermaid story that wasn't crap!)

  5. Tame the Wicked Night – Zoraida Cordova (This story was made from the blueprints off Walt Disney's desk. Gotta be.)

*And a shout out to Reign of Diamonds by Anna-Marie McClemore. This story got the pinky nail.

Other stories sparked a little something, but these were the ones that kept me going. I just wish they weren't so far in the book; I almost gave up on it.

Overall I rated this book 3-stars. This wasn't for me, and I don't mean that because of the cultural difference. It wasn't giving what I thought it would give. I found some of the stories too short or confusing (yes, I know that's what an anthology is – short stories) to get deeper into it. But I commend what Cordova attempted to do. Continue to be loud and proud, and shine a light on your culture to the masses!

Reclaim the Stars is available now.

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