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Reviewed by JC Minnaar for Readers' Favorite
The Illegal by Steven Cortinas sees our titular Mexican anti-hero, The Illegal, fighting a war against a powerful conglomerate known as Safire. Ruthlessly efficient and unmerciful in action and approach, we follow The Illegal as he takes down drug groups, local gangs, and powerful boss figures within Legacy City. We also meet Devon Davis, a youth of Legacy City and resident of Henley Heights – a 'hood area suffering heavily from gangster control, drug abuse, corruption, and violence. Devon is a smart sixteen-year-old whose main goal is to survive all the chaos around him. He does a pretty good job of it until he meets Anna, the beautiful new Latina student in his school, who becomes the catalyst of a life of danger, discovery, and meeting The Illegal.
Steven Cortinas’ The Illegal is amazing. The first book of The Legacy Universe kept me entertained from start to finish. I loved The Illegal, Davis, and Anna as each character is marvelously written. Devon and The Illegal regularly quip pop culture references, Devon never loses his roots, and Anna is a strong female lead among many others. While race is a big focus in The Illegal, Steven Cortinas brings attention to the real-life struggles of people of color in a way that is authentic and not forced. I praise Steven Cortinas for this balance and accomplishment as even Hollywood struggles with this concept. When not knee-deep in bloody action, the story and lore of The Legacy Universe expands at a thrilling speed. The Illegal is the start of an astronomical story that fans of Deadpool, Wolverine, and comics, in general, should pay attention to.