Bindle Punk Bruja

HarperAudio. Sept. 2022. 14:10 hrs. ISBN 9780063056107. $31.99. FANTASY
Rose Lane, a part-time newspaper writer and underground nightclub owner in 1920s Kansas City, is really Luna Alvarado, raised in a boxcar by her family to pass as white. She’s also a bruja, or earth witch, although her powers don’t do much other than make men fall in love with her. She’s determined to make it on her own in a man’s world, but her naïveté and independence work against her—gangsters don’t keep promises, and plants with magical powers won’t keep her family safe. Mesa’s debut fully immerses readers into the Jazz Age world of flappers and corruption—slang, snappy comebacks, and smirks inundate the novel—and even Al Capone and the Ku Klux Klan play important roles in the plot. Modern readers will appreciate the varied employees who find safety at Luna’s speakeasy, but the plethora of characters and the number of major social issues tackled within the novel may frustrate others. Pleasant-voiced Frankie Corzo expertly portrays Luna, who intermittently speaks Spanish, and voices the occasional spell or curse with ease. The 14-hour audio seems overly long, but that is no fault of the narrator.
VERDICT Recommend to Jazz Age aficionados, as well as readers of historical fantasy.
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