Cover Image: Reclaim the Stars

Reclaim the Stars

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Member Reviews

I love scifi and speculative fiction. Reclaim the Stars is full of supernatural, fantasy, space, magical, queer, and/or romance stories all centering Latinx people. It opens with a tale of princesses who are destined to duel for the right to wield power. There is a moving and sweet parable about puberty. The revenge stories are delicious. Brujas! It hit me during a story about a mermaid how wonderful and powerful it is to read a story and know what the real world location looks like, especially if it is Puerto Rico. I am purchasing this book for myself and keeping it on my gift list.

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I loved this collection, and I especially love that there are stories to share with my students, stories that I think they will connect and relate to no matter where they are from. This group of stories includes work from some of my favorite authors, specifically Anna-Marie McLemore and Zoraida Cordova, These stories are lush, beautiful, and thoughtful; many of the stories go beyond the genre to help the reader think about things like climate change, or how we fit into our families, or what the consequences are for being ourselves. Like every collection, you're not going to love every story in the same way, but I think that people will enjoy most stories and find those ones that speak specifically to them. Wonderful writing, beautiful work!

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I am very excited to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this anth9logy. I loved the fresh perspectives in sci-fi and fantasy short stories. They’re all vibrant, richly detailed, and full of interesting characters. Many of them absolutely also directly reflect the heritage and culture of the contributors, and others feature latinx references and language. I loved the variety of writing styles, and I feel that this is a true gem of short story anthologies; not a single story in here was “a clunker” so to speak, and that isn’t the case foe other anthologies I’ve read over the years. Every story ranged from very good to outstanding!

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This collection of short stories was wonderful to read! I loved how Reclaim the Stars brought such different voices together and how each short story tackled various themes in ways that kept me continuously hooked in. Although I really did enjoy this collection, there were a few stories that did leave me wanting more or wishing that they were shorter. I also wanted to give a special mention to my favourite story in the book, “Eterno” by J.C. Cervantes; this story kept me completely mesmerized and I wish that I could read a full-sized book based off of this story alone! Thank you so much to NetGalley and Zoraida Córdova for the eArc copy of this book!

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This is such a brilliant and fantastical collection of short stories to share latinx folklore. I loved that this collection featured so many authors I haven't heard of before, as it introduced me to new content and writing styles; this combined with the length 0f the stories made it a quick fun read!

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I didn't finish this book, I did read about 40% of it. I felt a lot, if not most, of the stories really struggled with the small amount of space they had, and considering the size of the book, it may have been better to have less authors to give their stories more room to breathe.

I have to review every NetGalley book I get or my ratio won't hit 100%, the "I will not be giving feedback" button doesn't count, thanks for understanding!

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I have to admit that short stories clearly aren’t my cup of tea but the ones that I did read were wonderful.

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Reclaim the Stars was a remarkably strong anthology, I was impressed by how many high quality stories there were in this collection. It was refreshing to see retellings of new, diverse stories (and made me want to read the originals!)

It’s always difficult to review anthologies because there’s so many stories, so I’ll just call out my favorites:

Reign of Diamonds - Absolutely loved this one. I mean, its about two space princesses with magic who are in a fight to the death. How could you not want to read that?
Eterno - I would like a full book or series set in this world please. I loved how dark this one was.
Tame the Wicked - Gender swapped beauty and the beast, always a yes for me

It’s always a treat to find a new anthology that I love, and I can’t wait to add a physical copy of this one to my shelves. I hope that we’ll get more anthology from Latinx authors as well (or even a part two of this one!).

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Reclaim the stars is a collection of science fiction and fantasy stories with excellent Latinx representation. There is a whimsical, fairy-tale aura within the stories that blends them all that I enjoyed. I liked the similarities of some of the stories to real-life struggles and the LGBTQ representation was appreciated. I would say some of the stories may not have spoken to me on a deeper level but it is a pretty decent collection overall.

Thank you to the author and publishers for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.

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Short story collections can be difficult to rate, because nearly every collection will have its weaker elements—it simply comes with the territory—which will drive down a mean score. And of course, I don’t want to wade through a sea of dreck to find the standouts, so I do care about the quality of the average story in an anthology, but I care as much or more about the highs. A good collection has a strong majority of enjoyable stories but has a few standouts that are alone worth the price of admission. 

It’s also difficult to review, because there’s no overarching story I can describe, no strengths of plotting or character work that may fit a particular reader’s tastes. I could give micro-reviews of each individual piece, but I suspect that may be overwhelming than helpful. And so I will simply do my best to explain what to expect. Reclaim the Stars contains 17 stories—mostly leaning toward a young adult audience—from 17 different Latin American authors. It’s divided into three categories of 5-6 pieces each, roughly split into science fiction, fantasy in contemporary settings, and other fantasy. I’ll address each section in turn.

To the Stars

The first section, To the Stars, contains the following five stories: 

Reign of Diamonds by Anna-Marie McLemore

FLECHA by Daniel José Older

The First Day of Us by David Bowles

The Tin Man by Lilliam Rivera

This Is Our Manifesto by Mark Oshiro

I found this notably weaker than the other sections, and it honestly had me questioning whether I wanted to continue with the book. Not all the pieces are bad—perhaps not even the majority were bad—but I didn’t find a lot to really remember here. The cream of the crop is “FLECHA,” a story that delivers quite a bit of fun and catharsis without feeling especially substantial. On the other side of the coin, “The First Day of Us” is a polyamorous action/romance in second person that tries to do way too much in a limited space and doesn’t really land any of it. And “This is Our Manifesto” is just a vaguely story-shaped manifesto—the writing is good, but there’s just not much narrative to latch onto. 

The Magical Now

The second section, The Magical Now, contains the following six stories:

Creatures of Kings by Circe Moskowitz

Eterno by J.C. Cervantes

White Water, Blue Ocean by Linda Raquel Nieves Pérez

Leyenda by Romina Garber

Color-Coded by Maya Montayne

Magical Offerings by Nina Moreno

The Magical Now doesn’t have a weak story, but neither does it have one that I’ll look back on at the end of the year and truly remember. Every one is a worthwhile read, but there’s not one whose strength is enough that I’d recommend buying a whole collection just to read it. If there were any that stuck out to me, they’d have been “Eterno”—which reminded me in some ways of Alix Harrow’s “Mr. Death” and may appeal to fans of that story—and Romina Garber’s short story in the Wolves of No World universe, which provides backstory for a side character that appears in her novel Cazadora. The story stands on its own, but it will have plenty of added richness for fans of the series. 

Other Times, Other Realms

The final section, Other Times, Other Realms, contains the following six stories:

Rogue Enchantments by Isabel Ibañez

Sumaika Y La Sirena by Vita Ayala

River People by Yamile Saied Méndez

Moonglow by Sara Faring

Killing El Chivo by Claribel A. Ortega

Tame the Wicked Night by Zoraida Córdova

Despite “Killing El Chivo” not really hitting for me, I thought Other Times, Other Realms was the strongest section of the anthology, tipping my overall assessment toward the positive. In what I would’ve anticipated being an unusual opinion--at least before I saw several other reviews saying much the same thing--I found Isabel Ibañez’s “Rogue Enchantments” to be the standout story of the entire collection. It didn’t really break new ground in form or content, but the storytelling was so immersive, and the tale of a young woman facing down hostility from other vendors in order to fulfill her dream of opening a market stall selling magical paints was gripping from start to finish. Will I nominate it for an award at the end of the year? Probably not. Will it be in my recommended reading longlist? Probably so. There’s no substitute for good storytelling. 

The majority of the stories in this section were enjoyable, but the other one that particularly stuck out was the editor’s own “Tame the Wicked Night,” which subverted fairy tale tropes while maintaining the same mythopoetic voice. And I was also struck by the magic in the mundane of Sara Faring’s “Moonglow.” 

Overall, I can’t say that Reclaim the Stars has a lot in the way of must-read tales, but I also don’t think a reader would be disappointed by many of the 17 shorts. When analyzing my short fiction reading from last year, I found that about a quarter of the short stories I pick up struck me as standouts, and Reclaim the Stars didn’t come especially close to that mark. But it was well in keeping with my usual standard of enjoying about 85% of the shorts I read. Someone who focuses more on young adult fiction will no doubt find an even better hit rate than the dabbler than I am, and, of course, it is of especial interest to someone hunting Latin American sci-fi or fantasy. 

Recommended if you like: Young adult short fiction, Latin American storytelling. 

Overall rating: 14 of Tar Vol’s 20. Four stars on Goodreads.

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Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this ARC. This honest review was based off my experience reading an ARC, which in no way biased me.

I am loving all the representation these stories are giving. I believe my only complaint is that there isn’t enough of the story to dig in and enjoy its more of like a teaser. If it could have been less stories overall the length of each story could have been longer. It almost feels as if you are thrown in the climax in a story and you know very brief details as to what is happening and why.

The beginning of each story felt difficult to get into and by the time you got into it, it was over and the cycle repeated.

Overall 3 stars.

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I adored many of the stories in this anthology! I found it hard to move onto another because I found myself wanting more. Each author had their own unique way of bringing Latin America culture into their settings and stories which I found fascinating. I have some new to me authors to look up and check out. This anthology has something for every reader: space, magic, folktales, and end of the world.

Thank you NetGalley and Wednesday Books for an advanced copy! All thoughts and opinions are my own!

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What a great compilation of Latinx authors!!

I loved reading through their stories, and they are a great addition to diverse collections of literature!

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This is an anthology that I have been craving for a while! I loved these stories and how different they all are yet flow into one another. I went through a roller coaster of emotions and loved every moment of it. Zoraida did an amazing job choosing the contributors and how she arranged the stories. I felt like I went on a journey with these authors into their minds! I really loved this book and I hope for more anthologies like this one!

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I just loved everything about this or should I say these individual stories!!

The scifi originality, the representation that I am so excited to see. All the beautiful Latinx stories and lgbtq+ rep!

The only thing I could say is that I want more! I would read a book written about each story since I want to know what happens after each story.

I would gladly read all 17 of these books! Please!! Is there a list I can add my name to? Is that how this works?

The dystopian space, the poly rep, the trans rep, the sapphic princesses, the huntsmen, the brujas, that manifesto (chills I need to know what happens), Death as a love interest and all Latinx... I'm going to run out of space but I respectfully would love to read more 😍😍😍
Thank you wednesdaybooks for the gifted arc and this beautiful coloring page that I enjoyed coloring! My girls helped with input on color choices.

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Short story collections are usually hit or miss for me depending on how well I mesh with the themes, but overall I enjoyed Reclaimed the Stars. Every story isn't perfect, but they were fun and likeable enough. One thing I do love about this collection is that it splits all the stories into three different sections to help split the stories into areas that best fit them.

To the stars section:
-Reign of Diamonds -a cute enough romantic story. 3/5
-flecha - entertaining, but felt like I was missing something 3/5
-first day of us - 3.75/5 a super cute story that teaches you about love and friendship
-the tin man 4.5/5 this was such a heartbreaking yet wonderful story!
-this is our manifesto - 4.5/5 eye opening and a story of what's going on around us in a future setting.

The Magical now section:
-creatures of kings: 5/5 stunning story!
-Eterno 2.5/5 this story never came together fully and felt like something was missing
-White Water, Blue Ocean - 2.5/5 again, something was missing in this story
- Leyenda - 3.5/5 this one was a lot of fun! featured an interesting character and good life lessons
- Color-coded - 4/5 this one for some reason made me feel uneasy, not sure why, but I'm sure it speaks to the wonderful storytelling
-Magical Offerings - 3.5/5 starred this one down because it felt like this shouldn't have been a short story

other times, other realms
-Rogue Enchantments: 4/5 loved the magic featured in this story
- Sumaiko Y La Sirena - 4/5 mermaids. enough said.
- River People - 3/5 while the river was cool, it felt like I was missing something from this story
-Moonglow - 4/5 creepy, relatable, I adored it.
-Killing El Chivo - 5/5 Monsters and witches? what else could you want
-Tame the Wicked Night - 4/5 the goat was the real star.

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A wonderful collection of tales combining mystery, magic, science, and fiction.

From outer space to urban jungle, these 17 stories give us love, loss, learning and all with a refreshing non-US-centric tilt. The voices are marvelous, often young adults or teens struggling to balance life and love in worlds both familiar and unfamiliar, apparently serene or openly dystopian.

I can rarely think of an anthology I've enjoyed more.

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This is a pretty solid anthology. As with all anthologies, there were some stories that I enjoyed more than others. Some of the standouts for me were: Reign of Diamonds, This is Our Manifesto, and Leyenda!

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Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of Reclaim the Stars!

Reclaim the Stars is such a fun read!! It's an incredible anthology of 17 YA sci-fi/fantasy stories by Latin American authors, and I found every story in the collection to be very enjoyable. I loved the connections to various aspects of Latin American culture, and I also loved the central themes of family and community that were present in all of the stories. Many of the stories feel like modern takes on old folktales or legends, which I absolutely love, and I also love the inclusion of so many LGBTQ+ characters throughout the stories. I've read many of the authors' other works, but some of these authors were new to me, so I'll definitely checking out their other work as well.

If you enjoy SFF short stories that are deeply rooted in ancient cultures, this anthology is definitely for you!

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This was such an amazing collection of stories!! I really loved each of the scifi stories and really enjoyed most of the fantasy stories as well! It is always hard to pick favorites, but I definitely want to say that, of the scifi stories (or the 'To the Stars' portion of the anthology), I absolutely adored 'Flecha' by David José Older, "The Tin Man' by Lilliam Rivera and 'This is Our Manifesto' by Mark Oshiro. They were all such speactualr stories, and I'm still thinking about them even though they started off the book. The fantasy portion is separated into two parts, 'The Magical Now' and 'Other Times, Other Realms,' both sections having some brilliant stories! In 'The Magical Now' portion, I truly enjoyed 'Eterno' by J.C. Cervantes, 'Leyenda' by Romina Garber and 'Color-Coded' by Maya Motayne. They were all so different and unique and are also stories I still randomly think about throughout my day, which, to me, is a sign of some amazing storytelling! The 'Other Times, Other Realms' portion of this anthology was my favorite as a whole and also contained my favorite story! I really enjoyed 'Sumaiko y La Sirena' by Vita Ayala and 'Killing El Chivo' by Claribel A. Ortega. My favorite story of the whole collection was written by Zoraida Córdova, 'Tame the Wicked Night' is such a wonderful story and I really loved the characters and the romance, I want a whole book on these two!! All in all, a fantastic collection of stories from amazing authors!

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