Review of ‘Bindle Punk Bruja’

Bindle Punk Bruja takes readers into the prohibition era with a little magic and Latinx flair.

While Bindle Punk Bruja could hold my attention, it did so with struggle, despite Luna’s charm, taking too much time to develop the storytelling.

Expected More

When the story talks about Bruja’s and Luna’s family being immigrants during the prohibition era, I expected more magic in the storytelling. Instead, magic is separated into branches, into what people can specialize in. Her grandmother can heal and bless the earth; she’s incredibly powerful. Luna specializes in charm. She can use her allure magic to, in a way, hypnotize people by tapping into their desire.

And as a woman who is half white, she can blend into society, going by the name of Rose. Newspaper writer by day, speakeasy owner by night.

There is a lot of storytelling, but there is little magic until the end.

Good Character Growth

Bindle Punk Bruja mainly focuses on Luna as she struggles to escape gangsters to be her own boss and get her family out of the slums. In addition, she has to deal with racism, bigotry, the KKK clan, and sexism and contend with her light-skinned privilege that sometimes divides her and her brother.

There is the relationship she has with her brother and her own fiancé, who struggles with his sexuality. As a gay man, he struggles to find acceptance like Luna does. But together, they build a family, their speakeasy, and find love where they least expect it. How his relationship grows with Luna’s brother is heartwarming and sometimes a little heartbreaking.

And as for Luna, she has to learn to be at peace with her magic and her biracial status before she can let others in. For her, there is no point in being in a relationship if she can’t be who she really is. And her magic also makes her question if the feelings any man feels for her are real or just her magic taking effect.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot of character development and story development. But, unfortunately, Bindle Punk Bruja left me wanting more. The pacing drags, and there is very little magic for a story about a bruja until the book’s last quarter. It felt like the story was mostly filler, leaving me waiting for something to happen.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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