I love discovering new graphic novels and there is a variety of books for all types of readers. When seeking out new stories to read I decided to check out Volume 1 of Season of the Bruja written by Aaron Durán and illustrated by Sara Soler. Here are my thoughts on this fantasy graphic novel from Oni Press!
Synopsis: From a young age, Althalia knew she would someday be the last of her kind—a bruja, tasked with keeping the power and stories of the ancient ways from fading fully into history. Never alone, Althalia works in a paranormal museum with her friends, a real-life Chupacabra, and a were-coyote, while living with and caring for her beloved Abuela. Through these powerful connections, her skills and knowledge grow.
But the prejudice her people have always faced continues, and after a seemingly random encounter with a priest, Althalia feels the weight of hundreds of years of religious oppression coming down upon her and her Abuela. She must realize her destiny and grow into it quickly if she is to prevent the church from achieving its ultimate goal—destroying the last bruja.
Review: Season of the Bruja follows a young woman, Althalia, who spends her days working in a paranormal museum as she comes into her magical abilities and faces threats from the past. With the help of her friends and Abuela for guidance she tries to navigate her powers and prevent evil from harming those who she loves.
I love fantasy stories filled with magic and that’s what drew me to this graphic novel. It’s adventure-filled and whimsical. To be honest, Volume One was a bit of a jarring read as it launches the reader headfirst into the action and characters without really giving any context or background. It wasn’t until a quarter into the graphic novel that I actually understood what was happening into the story. It reads more than the second volume of a series than the first and the plot slows down in the latter half. It felt kind of jumbled and hard to read at times which impacted my reading experience.
The artwork is colorful, and all of the illustrations are absolutely stunning! I was taken aback at how vibrant every panel was and the attention to detail. Soler does a great job of bringing this story to life on the pages to make it an immersive story for the reader. Though action-packed with battles and fight scenes, I enjoyed the quieter moments of the story where Althalia interacts with her Abuela, and watching her come into her powers over the course of the story. I think this graphic novel really stands out with how it deals with the topic of family (blood-related and found family) and representation that feels authentic.
This graphic novel is full of laughs, heartwarming moments, fun magical creatures, and rich Latinx culture that makes it an enjoyable read.
An entertaining fantasy graphic novel for readers who enjoy magic-filled stories. It was difficult to read at times so I hope that the plot smooths out for future volumes of the series. Season of the Bruja gets a 3 out of 5 stars rating from me!
*I received this manga from Oni Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.