After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, Designed to be the playthings of royals, took over the estates of their owners and bent the human race to their will. Now, Ayla, a human servant rising the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier. Crier, who was Made to be beautiful, to be flawless. And to take over the work of her father. Crier had been preparing to do just that—to inherit her father’s rule over the land. But that was before she was betrothed to Scyre Kinok, who seems to have a thousand secrets. That was before she discovered her father isn’t as benevolent as she thought. That was before she met Ayla. Set in a richly-imagined fantasy world, Nina Varela’s debut novel is a sweepingly romantic tale of love, loss and revenge, that challenges what it really means to be human.
In a very me way, it was the second I found out this book was queer was the second I knew I wanted to read it. (Yes, it might have taken me a little bit to get to it, but I wanted to read it the whole time.) This was a queer fantasy book. A queer fantasy with the enemies-to-lovers trope and a very intriguing world, a world with Automae ruling over humans. It sounded amazing.
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him. When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free. However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
I’ve been looking forward to this book for a pretty long time. So much so, that after I had surgery (I’m fine!) I went on Twitter to freak out about it being on Edelweiss. My mom was trying to get me into the car, after a long day of being stressed about me, and all I wanted to talk about was how I’m super excited for this book and how its up on the e-ARC site haha. Ah, I crack myself up sometimes. Anyway, the point is, I was very much looking forward to this book. A book with a trans main character, by a trans author, and its super gay with ghosts. Yeah, I definitely, definitely wanted to read this one. Trigger warnings: misgendering, family not being accepting of gender