Cover Image: Reclaim the Stars

Reclaim the Stars

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Member Reviews

I feel like we’ve been seeing more and more YA anthologies over the years, especially ones focused on uplifting the voices of one specific community or another. This may be my 5th or 6th anthology at this point, and there are still plenty more out there on my radar! There’s just something about these collections of stories that draw me in every time, even if I end up rating them 3 or 4 stars every time. I think it’s just generally tough for a reader to love every story in an anthology (especially when there are 17 of them!). This anthology ended up being the same in that regard as the others I’ve read: there were plenty of stories I loved and really enjoyed, but also plenty that I know I’ll forget a few weeks from now.

However, I do think that this style of anthology is still possibly my favorite, due to the connections it clearly draws across various genres. This anthology is specifically written by authors in the Latin American diaspora, and even though some stories take place on planets a thousand years in the future, and some take place in an urban fantasy setting, you can feel this common thread throughout all of them. There’s just this clear bond of shared culture and history, even though it’s far from homogeneous. If anything, I feel like getting to see the same concepts through all these varied lenses only added even more to this anthology. It made it clear how vast and varied Latin American culture, mythology, and history is, even if some stories revolve around the same core idea. 

Of course, I did have my favorite stories that ended up really standing out to me. I loved Rogue Enchantments by Isabel Ibañez, there was just something so enchanting about the magical market, and I was invested in the MC’s journey so quickly, which is integral to short stories like this! I also loved Sumaiko y La Sirena, a queer romance that also focuses on some heavy topics, like slavery and power dynamics, but at its core is still about the joy these women find in each other. I think my absolute favorite had to be Tame the Wicked Night, though, the final story in the anthology. It hit such strong fairy-tale notes, which I always love, while still feeling so wholly unique. Overall, I think I enjoyed the fantasy section of stories the most, even though I had favorites from all three sections. I also just loved how queer this anthology was!

I’ll definitely be planning in another anthology soon, hopefully, it’ll be just as fantastic as this one was!

Review will go live on my blog on March 6.
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I love the theme of this collection and many of the stories are well-written (though these tend to be from the authors you'd expect). However, this was not quite a standout collection for me and the quality of the stories felt a little uneven. I haven't read too many YA short story anthologies before, so this may have been a factor in my reading experience. I do really admire Córdova, though, and I will continue to seek out her work in the future.
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This was a strong anthology although I found a few of the stories brought down my overall rating. I have definitely picked up books by a few of the authors in here since reading!
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I really have been so into anthologies in 2022. Reclaim The Stars by Zoraida Cordova was the final anthology I read in 2022. While I had hoped to love this one more, I am glad I read it and got to try out all the different authors within. I thought the themes were interesting as well. There were a few standout stories.

The opening short story in Reclaim The Stars is Reign Of Diamonds by Anna-Marie McLemore. This story is about two princesses from different planets who have to fight each other to determine which royal family gets the waystation. One is fire and one is ice. Only, one of the princesses refuses to fight. This was not a bad start to the anthology I thought.

Flecha by Daniel Jose Older is about climate change and grief. Essentially, the main character of the story is sent away from Earth by her mother when she is young. It turns out all the progress made toward getting the climate back on track gets all ruined. And so, the main character is charting a course for Earth with her alien copilot, when she learns that everyone she ever knew may have passed away. This was an interesting story — one I would have enjoyed an expansion of.

David Bowles’ The First Day Of Us is a story about how a polyamorous triad ends up in a relationship. This story was interesting. I liked that there was a lot of action toward the end of the story and that each of the three members had a sort of talent/specialty that came into play.

Lilliam Rivera’s The Tin Man was sad to read. This story is about a girl who survives a pandemic and all she has left of her family is a recording of their voices inside a teddy bear. The life she knows is about to come to an end. This one was riveting though.

I thought that This Is Our Manifesto by Mark Oshiro was unique. This is about teenagers who are incarcerated on a different planet. They end up doing some hacking and putting out a manifesto about what happened to them. I liked that this was a different style from the other stories in Reclaim The Stars.

Honestly, I wish I liked Creatures Of Kings by Crice Moskowitz more. However, this story took me AGES to read. Prior to this I was going through this book at a clip of one story per day. This story though totally stopped that pace. I was so bored. But, I am not in the majority of this opinion, so you may like this short story better.

JC Cervantes has writing that I just really enjoy — and especially solidly romantic writing. Eterno is about a character who takes a memory as someone is dying. He can only be seen when he wants to. One day he meets a girl and overtime, falls in love with her. However, he believes she has died, but everything changes when it turns out she’s alive. This story was short and beautiful and I would have loved more.

This story — White Water, Blue Ocean by Linda Raquel Nieves Perez is about a family curse affecting the genders differently and a non binary character. There’s a goddess too. I liked the flow of this story and the layers and the mythology.

Romina Garber’s Leyenda is about a school for brujas and werewolves and taking on the patriarchy. The main character is about to become leyenda because it is her family’s legacy. However, she wants more. She wants to take on the patriarchy and burn it down to the ground. I liked this one and just the general revolutionary spirit.

Color-Coded by Maya Motayne follows a girl who goes through what is called The Change. Her hair completely changes color overnight and she’s the first girl in her class to go through it. She’s afraid because her mom could float to the sky and well, her mom ended up leaving the family to go to the sky. She’s scared her power will do something similar to her. This story was well paced, interesting, and I could see the parallel of going through puberty to this story in Reclaim The Stars.

Nina Moreno’s Magical Offerings is about a girl who is exiled to live with her grandpa in a swampy part of Florida after her magic goes a little wild. She has a talent with welding and so her grandpa wants her to help out with getting an engine running again so he can clear this former golf course he bought and turn it into a tourist trap. She begins working and cuts herself, when this happens this like tree/thing with roots comes to life and the story gets a little deeper. This didn’t read quite as fast as the other books I’ve read by Moreno, but it was interesting to see a different side. 

Rogue Enchantments by Isabel Ibanez follows a main character who sets up shop in the market stall that was once her abuelitas. She has made an enemy though as it seems someone is trying to sabotage her. Oh, and her stall sells these magic paintbrushes. To get to the bottom of what happened, she will need to talk to these children ghosts. This story was actually well paced and really drew me in.

Sumaiko y La Sirena by Vita Ayala is a story about colonization, sirens, and love. Set on an island plantation, Suma appears from the ocean one day and is raised by her father. She is beautiful and has a wonderful singing voice. Her father passes. She catches the attention of one of the two brothers who owns the plantation, but she wants nothing to do with him. She then meets a siren and falls in love. This story was interesting and I felt for the main character. I also loved that it was sapphic too. It also had some insight about colonization as well.

Yamile Saied Mendez’s River People is about what happens when your brother makes a deal with the devil. Malena has a skill with making mate and she has an affinity with the river. Her family came to where they live from Ireland. Anyways, one day her older brother Miguel is offered a LOT of money for getting some cattle across the river. Only, they are stolen cattle and the person offering him the money is the devil and he stands to lose his honor, soul, and life. So, Malena has to figure out how to save him. This story was riveting. I liked all aspects of it.

Well, Moonglow by Sara Faring probably was not the short story for me and that’s fine. I feel like the structure of the story was cool – it was told in diary format. It’s about a girl who has to keep her diary in her head and she ends up pregnant and her family is exiled to the city while her father and mistress live on their ranch. But then she comes back and buys a spell. It was kind of confusing and I am still struggling to understand what happened. I think someone smarter than me would like this short story though.

One of the standout stories in Reclaim The Stars is Killing El Chivo by Claribel A. Ortego. This story is about three sisters who are brujas who live on an island ruled by a despot named El Chivo. El Chivo has magic and so, only someone with magic could kill him. The three sisters plot and practice as they will only have five minutes to carry out the assassination. This was well written, well pace and had some interesting twists.

I am glad this anthology saved one of the best stories for last. Zoraida Cordova’s Tame The Wicked Stars is one of the few stories in this anthology where I would happily read a full book version. This story follows Aurelio who has a gift for growing things and an affinity for plants. His mother asks him to marry a noble’s daughter, but Aurelio turns the daughter down because he does not love her. So, to save his honor, he is asked to kill the monster of the mountain. It turns out, the Wicked Night, is a woman who captivates Aurelio. And the story just gets better from there. This was beautifully written with fantastic imagery and pacing. By far, my favorite of Reclaim The Stars.
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Highly recommend as vour next read! If fantasy/sci-fi isn't your top fave genre, that's okay because each story is about a chapter BUT each one brings you into their world and the emotions…whew.
will be adding this to future book club reads and recommendations especiallv if vou need mentor texts for reading/writing at the middle school secondary level).
What I absolutely LOVE about this anthology:
1) the authors! Latinx representation of writers and their styles of writing comes through in every short story
2) the representation of Latinx characters and cultures
3) the genre (dystopias, intergalatic tales, etc.). Dystopias are my personal fave but the others were very intriguing and at times realistic for years to come!
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This book was received as an ARC from St. Martin's Press - Wednesday Books through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

All of the stories in this book flowed really nice with the theme, easy to read and understand, and displayed many cultural references which highlighted the significance of this book. i always get nervous with compilations or collections of stories because I always find at least one that is unrelated to the theme, and/or irrelevant to its target audience. There were at least five stories in this book that really caught my attention, and i know a few people that will be in extreme interest. in reading Reclaim the Stars. For the number of stories presented in the book, this book was exceptionally well-edited, and there were no major errors that deterred me from reading and finishing this book. 

A compilation of fantasy, adventure, and various cultural highlights that will leave readers breathless. This book deserves 4 stars.
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Most of these stories were so incredibly bad that they overshadowed the very very few that were good. Rouge enchantments was delightful and pretty much every other story was absolutely lacking in any redeemable quality.
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A great collection of sci-fi and fantasy short stories! As it always happens with collections, I enjoyed some more than others so sometimes it was hard to return back to the book.
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I remembered this anthology to be intriguing and fun to read. I enjoyed many of the short stories. I recommend for a fun read!
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Pub date: 2/15/22
Genre: fantasy, young adult, own voices

RECLAIM THE STARS includes 17 stories that take place in fantastical realms, keeping Latin American voices and traditions at the forefront. As with any short story collection, some stories impacted me more than others, but overall, I was impressed by their quality. I loved the themes of magic, feminism, coming of age, and family, and it was cool to see how different writers created such different worlds - but the stories still fit together in a collection.

My favorite section of the book was Other Times, Other Realms (the last section of the book) - it contained a number of stories relating to the sea, one of my favorite settings.

If you enjoy magical realism and need a "witchy" read for spooky season, this is a fun pick!

Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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RECLAIM THE STARS had an excellent selection of stories, with equally excellent writing. I adored how each writer infused their story with their cultural backgrounds; it made reading each of these stories feel like reading a warm hug (even the truly terrifying ones). I will gladly recommend this anthology to my students!

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Unfortunately after reading 30% of this collection I have realized that I don't think short stories geared toward a young adult audience work well for me and have decided to stop reading this work. Nothing was bad but I could tell that a lot of these stories were going to be just shorter forms of long work, which is not what I love for my short story reading.
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This anthology is the most perfect addition to your inclusive, diverse classroom library! I loved this collection and will use them in my classes all year long! 

Follow princesses warring in space, haunting ghost stories in Argentina, mermaids off the coast of the Caribbean, swamps that whisper secrets, and many more realms explored and unexplored; this stunning collection of seventeen short stories breaks borders and realms to prove that stories are truly universal.
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Please note that I skipped the stories included by the anti-Indigenous authors.

There were only one or two of these stories that I actively enjoyed listening to or wanted to be longer. The rest of these were not that great, mostly because of the way the anthology was divided. I was constantly comparing the stories within their section rather than just reading them as standalones. I also noted in my update that by having only one audiobook narrator, I found it difficult to separate the stories even with the announcement of which story we were listening to.

I wanted to love this a lot more than I did, but it just wasn't what I wanted from this type of anthology. As with many anthologies, there were some star stories and complete duds. It felt like there were more stories somewhere in the middle of this one.

I would probably just recommend picking up novels by the individual authors instead! Much more satisfying.
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A wonderful collection of stories. I loved the variety, yet how they call kind of seemed to go together. This collection will have me seeking out more from many of these authors.
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Im not usually a fan of short stories but I really loved this collection. I enjoyed all 17 stories from each author and while I love some more than others, every story is unique and beautiful in its own way. I loved the diverse representation and loved how they all centered around a particular theme or idea. We need more representation in literature and I think this was a great step in the right direction, I will definitely be checking out the authors in this collection to read more of their works.
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I’ve taken my time on this book, there has been several stories I’ve liked and some that haven’t kept  my interest hence why it’s taken me so long to finish this. Two stars.
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Reclaim the Stars was out of this world! I love short story collections and this one was fantastic! I love how inclusive the stories were and reflected a diverse group of contributing authors!
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Like most anthologies, this book had some stories I feel head over heels for, and some that were just okayish. The breadth of these stories is amazing - princesses in space, speculative fic, sirens and ghosts, I am not Latina so I can't speak to the representation, but there were some very interesting perspectives here for me to read about. There is some talk about some of the authors of this anthology being problematic? I do wish there had been more sci-fi in this sci-fi & fantasy anthology, which leans really heavily towards fantasy.
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What a great collection of short stories. I rated each one in my head 3-5 stars and ultimately decided that overall it was well worth 4 stars. I had some favorites for sure as well as a couple I could've honestly skipped but I found something in each one that I liked. I liked the Spanish in it but I didn't know the meaning of some of it so I do think that Spanish-speaking youth (the audience intended) would probably appreciate the stories just that much more. But there was not so much that any of my understanding was stumped.

My favorites were probably "This Is Our Manifesto," "Color-Coded," and "Magical Offerings." I gave a short review of each short story here as I did a buddy read for it:

I'd like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an e-ARC of the anthology in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.
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