Most people believe that the barbaric rituals of human sacrifice died with the fall of the Aztec empire. They didn't. They continue today. The 52nd is a paranormal story about Underworld gods, an immortal family, and a human girl who is chosen to be the 52nd sacrifice. Not one of the sacrifices chosen over the long history had survived--until now.
While driving home from work, 18-year-old college freshman Zara Moss crashes her car trying to avoid a skeletonlike creature. She is rescued by Lucas Castillo, a new transfer student, who is actually an immortal “Watcher.” He informs Zara that every 52 years, 52 female virgins are sacrificed to the Aztec and Mayan underworld as part of a deal to keep its gods in check; Lucas and his family have the job of making sure the abductions go as planned. However, Zara has been prophesied as the sacrifice who can close the portal to the underworld and stop this ritual forever. This series opener offers an intriguing premise born from the bloody mythology of Central America. First-time author Dela’s inclusion of cultural details like Lucas’s family’s tattoos and Cortez’s conquest enriches the novel, while leaving room for quiet moments between Zara and Lucas. While Lucas can be domineering where Zara is concerned (“My muscles flexed as he casually talked about what I felt was my property. The girl belonged to me”), fans of mythology-driven stories will appreciate Dela’s integration of Mayan/Aztec legends into an otherwise typical supernatural romance. Ages 14–up. (BookLife)