A perfect option for your middle grade October reads!
Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Laekan Zea Kemp for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with complimentary ARC and media kit!
Fans of The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Paola Santiago and the River of Tears, and Disney’s Encanto will be captivated by this fantastical novel about a girl who must learn to trust her ancestral powers when she comes face-to-face with the Mexican legend La Lechuza.
Omega Morales’s family has been practicing magic for centuries in Noche Buena. But over the years, the town’s reputation for the supernatural is no longer one the people carry with pride. So Omega’s family keeps to themselves, and in private, they’re Empaths—diviners who can read and manipulate the emotions of people and objects around them. But Omega’s powers don’t quite work, and it leaves her feeling like an outsider in her own family.
When a witch with the power to transform herself into an owl—known in Mexican folklore as La Lechuza—shows up unannounced, Omega, her best friend Clau (who happens to be a ghost), and her cousin Carlitos must conduct a séance under a full moon in order to unravel the mystery of the legend.
Suddenly Omega’s magic begins to change, and the key to understanding her powers is more complicated than she thought. Omega will have to decide what’s more important—trusting the instincts of others or learning to trust in herself.
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60021190-omega-morales-and-the-legend-of-la-lechuza
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316304166/
- Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/omega-morales-and-the-legend-of-la-lechuza-laekan-zea-kemp/1140835397
- Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Omega-Morales-Legend-La-Lechuza-Laekan-Z-Kemp/9780316304160
- Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/omega-morales-and-the-legend/9780316304160-item.html
- IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780316304160
Content and Trigger Warnings
For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for these book, check out BookTriggerWarnings.com.
About the Author
Laekan Zea Kemp is a writer living in Austin, Texas. Her debut novel, Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet was a 2021 Pura Belpré Honor Recipient. In addition to writing she’s also the creator and host of the Author Pep Talks podcast, as well as a contributor to the Las Musas podcast. She has three objectives when it comes to storytelling: to make people laugh, cry, and crave Mexican food. Her work celebrates Chicane grit, resilience, creativity, and joy while exploring themes of identity and mental health.
- Website: http://www.laekanzeakemp.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaekanZeaKemp
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laekanzeakemp/
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6577467.Laekan_Zea_Kemp
Review (no spoilers)
If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.
Hello again everyone! I have another review for you today.
Omega Moralez and the Legend of La Lechuza is a middle grade fantasy novel based on the Mexican legend of a shape-shifting witch named La Lechuza. Our main character, Omega Morales, comes from a family of magic practitioners, but her world is turned upside down when La Lechuza, someone she wasn’t even sure was real, shows up and begins calling out to her. In a town where cats and children are in danger of going missing, Omega and her friends band together to get to the bottom of who La Lechuza actually is.
Before I get to my review, I want to preface this by saying that Scribd had the audiobook available, so I decided to listen to that instead of reading my physical copy. Now that I’ve completed it, I know for certain that I should have read this book instead. I didn’t like the audiobook narrator, and it took away from my enjoyment of the novel. Okay, let’s get into the review!
My exposure to Latinx folklore is pretty restricted in that I learned most of what I currently know from reading books like this one. That being said, I loved the legend of La Lechuza and am interested in doing some searching to learn more about it. A mysterious morally-grey type of villain is right up my alley, so La Lechuza’s characterization really appealed to me.
I also thoroughly enjoyed many of the characters in this book, Omega being my favorite. She was so believable as a tween character while also being reasonable and relatable. I thought she, her brother, and her best friend Clau were incredibly written. Throughout the story, there is also a strong family dynamic of Omega and her relatives being protective while also giving the kids space to learn for themselves, something that I thought was well done.
Since the book is a middle grade, there are several lessons/morals that are being taught through the plot. The themes that stood out to me in particular were those of forgiveness and empathy. Though I disagreed with the message of forgiving your bullies because they’re helping you grow as a person, I can understand where the author was coming from. I just think it leaned a bit too far at justifying a bullies actions.
Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza came out last week and is the first installment in a middle grade fantasy series that is sure to be a blast. I’ll likely be continuing the series when the next book comes out as the ending left me with a lot of curiosities. Laekan Zea Kemp also mentioned via Twitter that her book launch event went terribly wrong with the bookstore not having any copies available for those who showed up. Please give her and her book the love it deserves! You can pick up a copy at any of the links above.