{Review+Giveaway} Charlie Hernández Series by Ryan Calejo @thebookGLUTTON

May 20, 2020 Blog Tours, Giveaways, Reviews 5 ★★★★

{Review+Giveaway} Charlie Hernández Series by Ryan Calejo @thebookGLUTTONCharlie Hernández and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
Pages: 330
Published by Aladdin on October 23, 2018
Series: Charlie Hernández #1
Genres: Middle Grade, Action & Adventure, Folk Tales Legends & Mythology
Source: Finished Copy from Author

The Lightning Thief meets the Story Thieves series in this middle grade fantasy inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America.

Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage. He loves the culture, the art, and especially the myths. Thanks to his abuela’s stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last five hundred years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. And even though his grandmother sometimes hinted that the tales might be more than mere myth, Charlie’s always been a pragmatist. Even barely out of diapers, he knew the stories were just make-believe—nothing more than intricately woven fables meant to keep little kids from misbehaving.

But when Charlie begins to experience freaky bodily manifestations—ones all too similar to those described by his grandma in his favorite legend—he is suddenly swept up in a world where the mythical beings he’s spent his entire life hearing about seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Hispanic folklore and into his life. And even stranger, they seem to know more about him than he knows about himself.

Soon, Charlie finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle between La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Negra (a.k.a. the Black Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind. With only the help of his lifelong crush, Violet Rey, and his grandmother’s stories to guide him, Charlie must navigate a world where monsters and brujas rule and things he couldn’t possibly imagine go bump in the night. That is, if he has any hope of discovering what’s happening to him and saving his missing parents (oh, and maybe even the world).

No pressure, muchacho.

Also in this series: Charlie Hernández & the Golden Dooms
{Review+Giveaway} Charlie Hernández Series by Ryan Calejo @thebookGLUTTONCharlie Hernández the Castle of Bones by Ryan Calejo
Pages: 591
Published by Aladdin on November 12, 2019
Series: Charlie Hernández #2
Genres: Middle Grade, Action & Adventure, Folk Tales Legends & Mythology
Source: Finished Copy from Author

Inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America, this bold sequel to Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows, which Booklist called “a perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan” in a starred review, follows Charlie as he continues on his quest to embrace his morphling identity.

Charlie Hernandez still likes to think of himself as a normal kid. But what’s normal about being a demon-slaying preteen with an encyclopedic knowledge of Hispanic and Latino mythology who can partially manifest nearly any animal trait found in nature? Well, not much. But, Charlie believes he can get used to this new “normal,” because being able to sprout wings or morph fins is pretty cool.

But there is a downside: it means having to constantly watch his back for La Mano Peluda’s sinister schemes. And when the leader of La Liga, the Witch Queen Jo herself, is suddenly kidnapped, Charlie’s sure they’re at it again.

Determined to save the queen and keep La Liga’s alliances intact, Charlie and his good friend Violet Rey embark on a perilous journey to track down her captors. As Charlie and Violet are drawn deeper into a world of monstruos and magia they are soon left with more questions than answers—like, why do they keep hearing rumors of dead men walking, and why is Charlie suddenly having visions of an ancient evil: a necromancer priest who’s been dead for more than five centuries?

Charlie’s abuela once told him that when dead men walk, the living run in fear. And Charlie’s about to learn the truth of that—the hard way.

Also in this series: Charlie Hernández & the Golden Dooms
My Thoughts

The Charlie Hernández Series by Ryan Calejo is a middle grade adventure series Inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths. This is going to be a series review of the first two books in the series, Charlie Hernández and the League of Shadows and Charlie Hernández the Castle of Bones. I don’t do series reviews that often, but 2020 has been the year of binge reading for me. When I find a book that I love, I want to be able to grab the next installment and continue on my fun with this characters. That is exactly what I did with Charlie, and I completely loved it! As soon as I was done with the first book, I was completely hooked and I had to immediately dive into the second book. I think this series is perfect for middle grade readers and older readers because it is just pure fun. If you are as big of a fan of legends and mythology as I am, you need to read the Charlie Hernández Series. You will love it!

Book 1- Charlie Hernández and the League of Shadows

Our main character, Charlie Hernández, has been a fan of Latin American myths and legends. He gobbles up his abuela’s stories of monsters and creatures, but little did he know that soon these creatures from the legends were going to come to life right before his very eyes. In true adventure story form, Charlie is swept up in a whole new world of secret societies, evil villains and creatures and a quest to rescue his parents and save the world. Everything about this book was right up my alley. I loved the vivid imagery that Ryan Calejo conjured with his prose, and I really loved the characters. Charlie sets out to figure out what on earth is happening, alongside his friend Violet face their challenges (and some pretty creepy creatures) head on. I admired both of them so much! They are brave young adults for sure! Their courage was inspiring, and the scenery was so cool. It was a blast watching all these creatures pop up around Miami, which is a city I know well. The author does such a cool job of mixing in the ordinary with the extraordinary, and as a result the story he weaves is one that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Book 2- Charlie Hernández the Castle of Bones

Without being spoilery (though it is mentioned in the summary of book 2), there was a certain trait that Charlie learns about himself throughout the course of the first book, and I couldn’t wait to see more of that in this installment. View Spoiler »And I was really not let down. Charlie is one cool kid! The stakes are raised pretty dramatically in this novel, and he didn’t back down once! Not only is he fascinated by legends and myths, but he is also so courageous, and the mix of magic woven into the story adds a really awesome element that I was not expecting when I first started reading book 1. There is so much fun and adventure going on this book! When Charlie hears that the Witch Queen Joanna is kidnapped he sets to save her. Along the way they travel all over the place and they meet just as many mythical creatures and big bads as they did in book one. I think this was an excellent sequel and it left me hungry for the next installment in what I hope is a long series. Charlie as a character also had some impressive story growth in this novel, which I always appreciate. I also enjoyed the different settings Charlie and Violet found themselves in. There is quite a bit of traveling that takes place in Charlie Hernández the Castle of Bones.

The Charlie Hernández Series is a wonderful quest style adventure filled with great characters, oodles and oodles of myths filled with fierce creatures and monsters and lots of magic to keep readers of all ages entertained. I love these books! Throughout both books, I really enjoyed learning about the myths themselves. The books come with a handy glossary that I consulted more than a few times. I loved this addition because not only did I learn about many new to me legends, but it also helped add a richness to the plot of the story. These books are really fantastically crafted. I cannot wait for more from the Charlie Hernández Series. Please bring on book 3!  This series is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan’s series (any of them!), J.C. Cervantes’ Storm Runner Series, or Roshani Chokshi’s Pandava Quartet.


As I mentioned earlier, I have been reading more series back to back.

Let me know in the comments if you would like to see more series (or multiple book) reviews or if you prefer book reviews of just one novel.


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About Ryan Calejo

Ryan Calejo was born and raised in south Florida. He graduated from the University of Miami with a BA. He teaches swimming to elementary school students, chess to middle school students, and writing to high school students. Having been born into a family of immigrants and growing up in the so-called “Capital of Latin America,” Ryan knows the importance of diversity in our communities and is passionate about writing books that children of all ethnicities can relate to.

Michelle @ Book Briefs

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2020 Tackle My TBR Reading Challenge
  • Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2020

5 Responses to “{Review+Giveaway} Charlie Hernández Series by Ryan Calejo @thebookGLUTTON”

  1. Debra Branigan

    I hate to say it, but I have discovered video games since the lockdown commenced. Unfortunately, my reading has suffered. I need to balance the passions.

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