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The Bruja

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Decades have passed since the Collapse. Our world has twisted and twined into something unrecognizable. The ruination of civilization was compounded by a return of impossible powers, ancient myths and forgotten tales. Legerdemain and conjuring exist side by side and a dangerous, lascivious, new reality is whispering its seductions to some. Rending apart others.

When the world collapsed in on itself, a young witch named Maggi Lopez fled east with her partner and child. The mistakes she made in youth now serve to damn her as she races against the clock of her own mortality to save her son’s future; crossing magic-laden, ghost-infested, post-apocalyptic America in a riveting journey of redemption, sacrifice, and ancient gods. At the end of her journey, the greatest horror she may need to face is herself.

266 pages, Paperback

Published January 1, 2018

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About the author

Michael Molisani

3 books11 followers
Michael Molisani has had a mind full of terrible horror and bewildering beauty his entire life. Unable to exorcise these visions of worlds beyond imagining, he set out to become a writer. Having no idea what a terrible decision this was, he soon went mad, burrowing into the unspoken mysteries of how to tell a story worth reading in a style both pleasing and entertaining. When he’s not hard at work writing, Michael Molisani can be found falling backward in time on the sidewalks of Virginia City, Nevada; or exploring the remote mysteries of The Great Basin. Michael and his wife, Kimberly, reside in Northern Nevada.

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Profile Image for R.C. Mulhare.
Author 63 books24 followers
February 13, 2018
Post-apocalyptic fiction is thick on the ground these days, but this one caught my eye from the sheer awesomeness of the cover art.

Thankfully, the story behind that cover lived up to the expectations that the art presented. The world-building is fascinating and well-thought-out. I'd like to have seen more of what lead to or caused the Collapse, the tearing open of the Veil between the world of humans and the world of strange preternatural beings, but perhaps future volumes will reveal these details (or perhaps, they're less than important than the drama playing out against this backdrop. Or, better still, the details might be better left to the reader's imagination). The setting has a Mad Max vibe, while the primordials, entities of immense power, remind me a bit of the Elder Gods of H.P. Lovecraft's writings, only a bit less aloof from humanity (perhaps this skews it closer to the writings of August Derleth, one of HPL's students).

What I really loved about this, are the witches at the center of this nightmarish drama. These are not the archetypal gentle, earth-loving modern witches, but intense, powerful, and dangerous magic users, fiercely protective of the non-magically gifted people under their protection. It's great to see some dark and dangerous ladies slinging spells and taking names, taking on even darker and more deadly forces beyond our reckoning.

And it's awesome to see a strong female lead who might be foul-mouthed and fierce, but nevertheless has a good heart, albeit one that she certainly doesn't wear on her sleeve, but which she keeps under her ribs where it belongs.

The action scenes are intense, even gruesomely violent at times, but there's a great balance of physical action and magic-slinging, the scenes well-mapped out without feeling over-written. As dark and gritty as this universe might be, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next in it!
Profile Image for Paula.
182 reviews33 followers
March 2, 2018
I'll keep an eye out for YOU!
If you're a fan of the horror fantasy genre, you may enjoy this book that I recently finished reading. The Bruja is written by Michael Molisani, a writer with tons of imaginative, deep thinking. This bizarre yet entertaining story that unfolds in a town named Crafton which was created after the collapse of modern society and which was formerly known as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With a significant military presence for defense, Crafton and its surrounding geography is prevalent for witches who can be friend or foe. These characters are equipped with special powers, unlike anything I have imagined or read previously. The author exhibits the innate ability to create characters that are scary and complex. This book contains a low level of harsh vulgarity throughout. Although, it is only used for dramatic description, which I feel enhances the character dialogue. After immersing myself in this book with its creepy cover and scary story, I hope that I don't have nightmares purged in graphic technicolor. If I do experience this side effect, it will only compound my belief in this storytellers gift of creeposity!
Profile Image for Anna Johnson.
2 reviews
January 30, 2018
Michael Molisani fully captures the wonder and horrific nature that is magic. I've read so many apocalyptic stories in my time and each has had their own special way of conveying the end, but The Bruja speaks to the very essence that is humanity. The raw truths that Maggi endures during her journey cut deep and make this world of rebirth come alive in a gritty and horrific way. Michael's use of words in this way is beautiful and brilliant and the emotions he draws upon are powerful. I absolutely recommend this story to anyone who doesn't fear the truth of human nature.
Profile Image for Ryne.
Author 4 books9 followers
August 27, 2018
Alive isn't necessarily the first word to describe the world of Maggi Lopez, but it's an apt one. From the vivid descriptions of the Bay Area that reminded me of my own time growing up in California, to the new communities and governments established in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, everything has the dirt and grime of life that continues on during the worst of times. Maggi "The Bruja' Lopez is a fascinatingly complex character haunted by metaphorical and literal demons. She's got flaws, tons of them, but she also has a heart. She feels guilt for her past, but doesn't wallow in it. This adventure is her shot at redemption for all the decisions she's made in the past. I loved the mixture of magic into the apocalypse. It felt so different than the other stories in the genre I'm surprised it hasn't been done more. I found it semi-similar to AR Wise's Among the Dead and Dying especially toward the end when things get a little more medieval, but there magic is rare and it's more of a medieval zombie infested world. In The Bruja, witches are known and valued members of their factions. Magical creatures pop up in the world, and no one bats an eye. This world is unique, yet familiar, as all good things are and I can't wait for the Mayhem that could ensue in the future.
Profile Image for Serra  Gats.
4 reviews4 followers
January 4, 2018
I am an avid reader of Neil Gaiman, Poppy Z. Brite, Anne Rice, and will at least scroll through a work if it has certain elements that get my attention. I tried to scroll through this and was utterly consumed. There is a naturalness written into this story, you are aware that ghosts walk the streets and gods might just decide you are worth there attention, and it does not feel false or unusual. I quickly fell into this world and admire Maggi as a witch, a mother, and a leader. Read this book!
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews

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