cover image A Tall Dark Trouble

A Tall Dark Trouble

Vanessa Montalban. Zando, $19.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-63893-012-9

Cuban American twins Delfi and Ofelia “Lela” Sánchez, 18-year-old brujas, must unravel their family’s history to break a generations-old curse in Montalban’s captivating debut. Each sister has their own special skill set; Delfi can taste emotions in the air via her emotional perception, and Lela catches glimpses of the past, present, and future through objects’ memories. Both also carry the Sánchez curse, which causes all of their romantic endeavors to fail. When they inexplicably begin having the same dream of a woman in danger, the siblings resolve to save her, only for her body to wash ashore in their Miami hometown. Recruiting close friends and romantic interests Ethan and Andres, the twins uncover the circumstances behind her death, and realize that their family history is somehow tied up in the situation. This dual-POV narrative, set in 2016, features additional historical interludes depicting a young woman in 1980s Cuba attempting to escape the clutches of a magical cult that is dedicated to upholding Fidel Castro’s regime. Montalban respectfully weaves religion and Latinx culture into a mystical tale that highlights the importance of family and freedom, and incorporates the harsh realities of Cuba’s history and the determination of its people. Ages 14–up. Agent: Danielle Burby, Mad Woman Literary. (Aug.)