Cazadora by Romina Garber
Werewolves. Witches. Romance. Resistance.
Enter a world straight out of Argentine folklore…
Following the events of Lobizona, Manu and her friends cross the mystical border into Kerana–a cursed realm in Argentina–searching for allies and a hiding place. As they chase down leads about the Coven–a mythical resistance manada that might not even exist–the Cazadores chase down leads about Manu, setting up traps to capture and arrest her.
Just as it seems the Cazadores have Manu and her friends cornered, the Coven answers their call for help. As Manu catches her breath among these non-conforming Septimus, she discovers they need a revolution as much as she does.
But is she the right one to lead them? After all, hybrids aren’t just outlawed. They’re feared and reviled. What happens when the Coven learns of Manu’s dual heritage? Will they still protect her? Or will they betray her?
And after running this far, for this long–how much farther can Manu go before her feet get tired, and she stops to take a stand?
DISCLAIMER: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
If Lobizona was about Manu’s journey as a werewolf, Cazadora is about her journey as a revolutionary.
On the run after the events in Lunaris, Manu and her friends are desperate to find shelter from the Cazadores. They can’t very well begin to change their world when they can’t find shelter from their enemies, and more than that, they need allies. Four teens alone aren’t enough to overturn a system with roots that might be deeper than memory.
But there are still secrets to address. The Septimus world may know that Manu is a werewolf, but they don’t yet know she is a hybrid. Her dual heritage as both human and Septimus threatens to undo all the hard work she and her allies have accomplished in rallying against Septimus tradition, and keeping it a secret weighs heavy on her. It’s just another thing she has to hide, another lie she has to live.
And maybe she’s tired of being anyone but herself.
“I want both a family and a revolution.”
One of the very best things about Cazadora is how it’s not only about Manu, but about anyone like her, anyone existing outside of the rigid Septimus binaries. She is the centerpiece of a revolution, and if she succeeds, it will change the lives of so many Septimus. Breaking from the binary that women are always brujas and men always werewolves will open the doors for a wider conception of gender and magic, and begin to pave the way for other change.
And at the same time, grand as this mission is, important as the goals of this revolution are, it’s still about Manu. She is a teenager held up as the face of change, change that scares the people and systems already in power. There is a target on her back everywhere she goes, for everything she does, and there is no hope of peace until change is achieved. As much as she values what she and her friends are fighting for, she’s also tired, and it lends her character incredible impact. I adore how much she wants this better future for herself, for anyone like her, for generations to come, and at the same time, I love that she’s sick of it, in some ways. Staring down the barrel of a life on the run, or life half in shadow just to keep the peace is exhausting, and she knows it. She’s living it every single day.
Of course, being on the run means things can move a little quick.
Unlike Lobizona, which was more of a personal exploration, Cazadora explores the new world and traditions Manu has found herself wound up in. Fleeing around the realm of Kerana brings an amazing amount of color and history to the world. There are mushrooms that function as the Septimus version of the internet, islands that exist as a conjunction of the four elements, and a resistance located in a sea somewhere between here and nowhere at all. The way magic winds through every inch of the realm is truly enchanting.
However, we sometimes only see it in glimpses. Manu and friends don’t have the luxury of playing tourists, after all. And while this works to emphasis their status as fugitive revolutionaries, it sometimes comes off as rushed. While I love the way Manu and Tiago interact, their tentative tenderness and solid dedication, all this rushing sometimes strains their interactions.
Mostly, I struggle with the scenes where Manu and Tiago squeeze in some intense making out right before or right after high tension moments. I mean, I get they’re teenagers and they’re making the best of what they do have. I can’t really begrudge them that. And at the same time, it sometimes has a bit of…let’s call it tonal whiplash, for lack of a better term.
Of course, maybe this is just me generally disliking it when scenes get heavy on the romance, especially physical romance. I suspect this is a pretty subjective point in the long run.
The Wolves of No World series has shown its promise again and again, and it’s time it gets the recognition it deserves.
Cazadora is anything but the end of this series. Ending on a note that had me in disbelief (but the good kind, the punch in the heart kind!), it’s setting up for a third book that will no doubt tear my heart out. Manu’s journey is only spiraling deeper into the Septimus systems, and the change she aims to bring about is only beginning to see the surface.
Ever since Lobizona debuted the same day as Twilight‘s latest book, I worried that it would be overshadowed. Please, don’t let that be the case. Give this series your attention, your love. It’s werewolves and witches like you’ve never seen before. More than that, it’s both magical and timely in so many ways. I can’t recommend it enough, and if you haven’t already started the series, let this be a sign.
The wolves are waiting for you, but not for much longer. There’s a revolution to start. 🐺
CW: deportation mention, ICE raid mention, violence, body horror, teen pregnancy, loss of a loved one, child death