Review of Maximilian & the Curse of the Fallen Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller

Maximilian & the Curse of the Fallen Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller [Max’s Lucha Libre Adventures]
by Xavier Garza; illus. by the author
Intermediate, Middle School    Cinco Puntos    213 pp.    g
1/20    978-1-947627-30-7    $19.95
Paper ed.  978-1-947627-31-4    $12.95
e-book ed.  978-1-947627-32-1    $12.95

This fourth series entry is another entertainingly pulpy, action-packed lucha libre–themed tale. Here, Max and his extended family are in Mexico City appearing as extras in Tio Rodolfo’s latest film. Rodolfo has led a long and illustrious career as the Guardian Angel, lucha libre’s beloved masked hero, but having found love (with a lucha libra champion, naturally), he’s ready to retire. Max sets his sights on taking over as the new Guardian Angel, but so do a host of others: friends, foes, and family. Juicy subplots worthy of the best telenovelas are related with Tex-Mex linguistic flare, keeping the pace fast and the twists fresh. Garza attends to quirky idiosyncrasies of Max’s family, affirming the lore, performance, and drama at the heart of lucha libre culture. Inky black-and-white images amusingly illustrate each chapter. Expert Spanish translation on facing pages lends symmetry and balance to the story for Spanish or dual-language readers.

From the March/April 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Lettycia Terrones

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