September 29, 2022

BLOG TOUR Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza by Laekan Zea Kemp

Hi friends! I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the blog tour for Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza by Laekan Zea Kemp, organized by TBR and Beyond Tours. Check out the post, and makes sure to show the other tour hosts some love as well! The link to the schedule is below. 

About the Book

Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Release Date: September 27, 2022
Representation: Chicane, Mexican, Latinx

Fans of The Girl Who Drank the MoonPaola 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.

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REVIEW of Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza
Rating: 4 Stars
Format: ARC (Finished Copy Courtesy of Publisher and TBR and Beyond Tours)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for young Readers

Laekan Zea Kemp’s middle grade debut novel Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza is the perfect book for fans of Tehlor Kay Mejia’s Paola Santiago and the River of Tears and Kaela Rivera’s Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls. Filled with magic, adventure, figures out of folklore and legend, and a very lovable trio at the heart of the story, readers of all ages will connect with this book. 

On first look, Omega Morales seems like your average middle school girl. But the citizens of Noche Buena know that her family is different; specifically, that all of them have psychic talents to some degree. Things are rough for Omega though, because she’s still an anomaly in her family. She’s the only half-human, and as such her powers are weak (and unstable at best). When strange things start happening in town, she and her friends Clau and Carlitos must work together to unravel the mystery and save everyone. 

One of my favorite parts of reading books based on folklore and legend is the opportunity to learn more about different cultures and their history. La Lechuza was a relatively unknown figure to me, especially when compared to La Llorona and El Cucuy. It was fun to learn more about them, their background, and their shapeshifting powers (they are well known for appearing as an owl). Other figures like alebrijes and ghosts make an appearance in the book, and on a mundane level Omega’s family plays heavily into the story.  

The characters are the heart of the story. Omega’s always felt like the odd one out, and that plays heavily into the story. Clau’s ‘ghostliness’ also plays a role in the book, and Carlitos was a great addition to round out the trio. La Lechuza is, at first glance, the villain of the book and a ‘monster’ but she’s actually a very misunderstood figure. The same applies to Abby, Omega’s former friend who has turned to tormenting her in the wake of her grief (following the death of her mother a couple of months ago). 

Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza is an amazing debut, and I’m so excited to read more in this series. I loved the artwork interspersed throughout the book (courtesy of Vanessa Morales) that helped add depth to the story. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy fantasy tales inspired by myth and folklore, complete with ghostly sidekicks, magic, and a bit of adventure. 

Thank you to the author, the publisher Little Brown Books for Young Readers, the team at TBR and Beyond Tours, and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary review copy of the book as part of my participation in the tour. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza immensely. Please note - I voluntarily read and reviewed the book. All opinions expressed in the review are my own and not influenced in any way. 

CW: Bullying, Grief

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 | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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