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Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas Series #1)
     

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas Series #1)

3.9 19
by Zoraida Cordova
 

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An NPR Best Young Adult Book of 2016
One of Tor.com's Best YA SFF of 2016
A Bustle Best Book of 2016Selection
One of Paste Magazine's Best Books of 2016

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic. At her

Overview

An NPR Best Young Adult Book of 2016
One of Tor.com's Best YA SFF of 2016
A Bustle Best Book of 2016Selection
One of Paste Magazine's Best Books of 2016

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...

Praise for Labyrinth Lost:

"Enchanting and complex. Every page is filled with magic."—Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die

"Zoraida Córdova's prose enchants from start to finish. Labyrinth Lost is pure magic." Melissa Grey, author of The Girl at Midnight

"Magical and empowering, Labyrinth Lost is an incredible heroine's journey filled with mythos come to life; but at its heart, honors the importance of love and family." Cindy Pon, author of Serpentine and Silver Phoenix

"A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante's Inferno. Very creepy, very magical, very necessary."Daniel Jose Older, author of Shadowshaper

"Labyrinth Lost is a magical story of love, family, and finding yourself. Enchanting from start to finish." Amy Tintera, author of Ruined.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Jeff Giles
…a richly Latin American, giddily exciting novel about a Brooklyn girl navigating two terrifying dominions: a Dante-esque land of shape-shifters called Los Lagos, and adolescence…Córdova mixes nicely observed details…with action-movie choreography.
Publishers Weekly
07/11/2016
Seventeen-year-old Alejandra “Alex” Mortiz comes from a long line of brujas, and her family is eager to celebrate Alex’s Deathday, where she’ll summon her ancestors and receive their blessings. Alex’s sisters and mother believe that she hasn’t discovered her power yet, but she has actually been hiding it—and she’ll do anything to get rid of it. Alex is an encantrix, one of the most powerful brujas, and a brujo named Nova Santiago claims to know how she can banish her power for good. When the spell goes sideways and her family disappears, she must journey to the dangerous “in-between world” of Los Lagos, once a land of wonders, to get them back, enlisting Nova as her guide. First in the Brooklyn Brujas series, Córdova’s (the Vicious Deep series) magic-infused, delightfully dark story introduces readers to an engrossing, Latin American–inspired fantasy setting and an irresistible heroine who longs to be “normal” and pines for the father that left their family behind years ago. A final twist will leave readers eager to revisit Córdova’s immersive world. Ages 14–up. Agent: Adrienne Rosado, Leibo Literary. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"A richly Latin American, giddily exciting novel. " - The New York Times

"This work is a magical journey from start to finish... A compelling must-have for teens." - School Library Journal, starred review

"First in the Brooklyn Brujas series, Córdova's (the Vicious Deep series) magic-infused, delightfully dark story introduces readers to an engrossing, Latin American—inspired fantasy setting and an irresistible heroine who longs to be "normal" and pines for the father that left their family behind years ago. A final twist will leave readers eager to revisit Córdova's immersive world." - Publishers Weekly

"Labyrinth Lost is more like reading Paradise Found. Zoraida Córdova brings us a new generation of witches, enchanting and complex. And every page is filled with magic." - Danielle Paige, New York Times bestselling author of Dorothy Must Die

"A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante's Inferno. Very creepy, very magical, very necessary." - Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper

"Zoraida Córdova's prose enchants from start to finish. Labyrinth Lost is pure magic." - Melissa Grey, author of The Girl at Midnight

"Córdova's world will leave you breathless, and her magic will ignite an envy so green you'll wish you were born a bruja. Delightfully dark and enchanting. An un-putdownable book." - Dhonielle Clayton, author of The Belles and Shiny Broken Pieces

"Labyrinth Lost is a magical story of love, family, and finding yourself. Enchanting from start to finish" - Amy Tintera, author of Ruined.

"Magical and empowering, Labyrinth Lost is an incredible heroine's journey filled with mythos come to life; but at its heart, honors the importance of love and family." - Cindy Pon, author of Serpentine and Silver Phoenix

"Zoraida Córdova's stunning storytelling and wondrous world-building make this one to remember, and bonus: there's a multicultural, bisexual love triangle to give you the swoons." - Bustle.com

"This was a unique and interesting twist on magic from a cultural perspective that I am not very familiar with. It was fascinating, dark and compelling. I highly recommend it." - SLJ Teen Librarian Toolbox

"Dark enchantment in a witchy coming-of-age tale...Labyrinth Lost, brings a new perspective to the fantasy genre. Drawing on her Ecuadorian heritage, Córdova tells a story that is both culturally new yet hauntingly familiar." - BookPage

"Fans of darker YA filled with adventure will definitely enjoy this read." - BuzzFeed

"A terrific, galloping adventure through a vivid and wrenching underworld. " - Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

"Córdova weaves Latin American religions and cultures, spellbound creatures, and a bit of a love triangle into her unique world. This one is sure to intrigue lovers of fast-paced fantasy" - School Library Connection

"Zoraida Córdova's story is enchanting, like a modern day fairy tale and just utterly alive." - Bustle.com

School Library Journal
★ 07/01/2016
Gr 9 Up—Alejandra Mortiz comes from a long line of powerful brujas (witches), although she has unsuccessfully tried to hide her powers from her family. They dismiss her disinterest as typical teenage behavior and continue to have high expectations of her and her abilities. At her Deathday celebration, a special ceremony where she is expected to take her place as a bruja and embrace her abilities, Alex rebels. Seeing magic as a curse, Alex rejects her destiny by secretly casting a canto (spell) to strip herself of magic but instead banishes her entire family to Los Lagos, the underworld. Horrified by what she has done, Alex is determined to make things right and free them. She embarks on a dangerous quest into the deadly underworld with the aid of the untrustworthy and handsome Nova and her nonmagical BFF Rishi. What they find is certainly more than any of them bargained for. This work is a magical journey from start to finish. Córdova's realistic world-building is the backbone of this engaging read. She spins a fantasy tale based in Latin American culture, with original mythology that rings true. Her focus on family and relationships, along with themes of loyalty, friendship, love, revenge, and being true to oneself, comes across effortlessly. A complex cast of characters drives the plot while keeping readers captivated. VERDICT A compelling must-have for teens.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Kirkus Reviews
2016-07-20
A Brooklyn bruja who doesn't want her powers must journey to another dimension to save her family.Alejandra Mortiz wishes she were a typical Brooklyn high schooler, but the Ecuadorian–Puerto Rican teen comes from a long line of Latina brujas (witches). Her mother and older sister, Lola, are healers, while her younger sister, Rose, is a dream-walking psychic. Alex, meanwhile, is revealed to be an encantrix—the most powerful kind of bruja, with the potential to master all forms of magic. Believing her magic to be a dangerous burden, she dreads her upcoming Deathday ceremony (a bruja or brujo's coming-of-age rite) until Nova, a mysterious (and gorgeous) brujo, informs her she could probably find the right enchantment to block her ceremonial blessing or even spell away her powers. When an evil supernatural force kidnaps her entire family during her Deathday, Alex must summon her powers—and Nova's knowledge of Los Lagos (the magical underworld)—to find her family and defeat her enemies. The author's blending of Latin American traditions, matriarchy, and religions makes the premise interesting, but the story is ultimately a predictable chosen-one quest. Props to Córdova for Alex's diverse family heritage, but readers will likely spend more time trying to keep track of the Los Lagos geography, various supernatural rules, living (and dead) characters, and off-putting animal sacrifices to feel invested in the multicultural bisexual love triangle. Underwhelming bruja adventure is fine for fans of diverse or urban paranormal stories. (author's note, map) (Fantasy. 13-17)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781492620945
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
09/06/2016
Series:
Brooklyn Brujas Series , #1
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
25,298
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
HL630L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Zoraida Córdova was born in Ecuadorand raised in Queens, New York. She is the author ofthe Vicious Deeptrilogy, the On the Verge series, andLabyrinth Lost. She loves black coffee,snark, and still believes in magic. Send her a tweet @Zlikeinzorro or visit her at zoraidacordova.com.

Customer Reviews

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Labyrinth Lost 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I really enjoyed this book but it was a bit slower to start and rushed to end for my tastes.
blamethebooks 4 months ago
Alex is a bruja, and a very powerful one at that. The only problem is that she doesn't want anything to do with magic. She doesn't want to accept her fate as an encantrix, and is dreading her Deathday celebration, where she will celebrate and embrace her power with her family. Alex tries to perform a complex spell to rid herself of her magic, but it backfires horribly, sending her entire family to the mythical land of Los Lagos. Now Alex must put her trust in a mysterious boy named Nova, who claims that he can help her navigate through Los Lagos and save her family. I was so excited to read Labyrinth Lost. The world of Los Lagos sounded so interesting and I couldn't wait to go on an adventure with Alex and Nova. Unfortunately, though, it took me a really long time to get into this book. It took me over a month to finish it because it wasn't holding my attention. I did eventually get invested in the story, but it took much longer than I would have liked. Once I passed the halfway point, I finished it pretty quickly. But it took me about half of the book until I cared about the characters or was interested in their troubles. Ultimately, I think a large part of why I became more interested in Labyrinth Lost was the world. I didn't care as much about the characters when they were in our world. The story seemed to drag and not much was really going on. Alex was constantly complaining about not wanting her powers, and nothing was really happening. I honestly didn't feel very connected to the characters at all. Then, when we got to see Los Lagos, everything changed. Los Lagos is like nothing I have ever read before. I really love the religion and world that Zoraida Cordova created. It was so unique and I was so enthralled by the intricacies of it. You could almost feel how passionate she was about this world she created as you were reading it. For me, there was such a difference in the parts of the book that took place in the real world and those that took place in Los Lagos. I did end up enjoying Labyrinth Lost, but it didn't blow me away. There were definite aspects of the book that I really loved, and others that didn't really do much for me. I did predict some of the plot twists that occurred towards the end of the book, so the plot didn't really blow me away. But, there was still something magical and wonderful about this book. Even though it took me a while to become committed to it, I ended up enjoying the ride. I am definitely interested to see where this series will go. It is supposedly composed of companion novels with stories revolving around Alex's sisters. I have no idea where the story will go or what it will be like to have that change in point of view. After the way Labyrinth Lost ended, I really can't guess where the next two companion novel will take us. I guess I will have to wait until next year to find out.
KittyTheVicariousBookworm 6 months ago
The world building in this book is incredible! There's so much detail given of each location Alex finds herself in without interrupting the flow of the story at all. The characters are developed just enough that I felt like I had known Alex and her sisters all my life. I loved getting to know the characters through Alex's experiences with them. It was such an immersive read. This is definitely one of those books I finished and had trouble coming to the realization that I am, in fact, not Alex the bruja and I do not actually live anywhere near New York City. I loved this book from beginning to end (which explains why it only took me an afternoon to devour it). I can't wait to read more from Zoraida Córdova! For this review and more, please visit my blog at vicariousbookworm.wordpress.com
MorrisMorgan 8 months ago
“Labyrinth Lost” is a fun adventure revolving around a bruja and her friends. I loved the rich world that the author built-in the alternate dimension Alex and her friends found themselves in. It was imaginative and seemed to pop right off of the page. The plot moved quickly, making it a very quick read. My only problem is that there is one plot point well-developed throughout the book with a sudden twist that made zero sense thrown in at the end. I get wanting the element of surprise, but the author should have given at least a bit of development to the twist if that is where she wanted to go. As written, it seemed like an afterthought. I wish I could further explain but don’t want to give away any spoilers. “Labyrinth Lost” is a good start to a series about magic and adventure. I recommend it to anyone upper middle school and up looking for a fun, fast read. This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.
mdemanatee 10 months ago
Alex is the most powerful bruja in her family in generations. But that doesn't mean she likes it. In fact, she's been actively suppressing her power, and her family doesn't even know her power has been manifesting itself. So when her Deathday comes, Alex works a spell to wish her magic away. She just didn't expect said spell to transport her entire family to Los Lagos, a magical in-between land. Soon Alex is on a mission to save her family, and inadvertently come into her own. I am slightly conflicted over this one friends. I picked this up at BEA with no prior knowledge of the title and was instantly PUMPED for this premise. I was excited for this one for many reasons 1) Witches 2) Diverse witches, brujas. And I loved the idea of a Deathday. It makes me think of Dia de los Muertos, which has always seemed a little magical to me. 3) I got wind of LGBTQ representation on the internets. 4) I really like the author on social media, and she was also a delight in person. Plus she has awesome glasses. 5) Look at that cover. Basically, I love all the things in this recipe. What I had a harder time with was how the recipe came out. Everything felt so easy and surface level here. I adored the beginning with Alex and her family. The minute we transferred over to Los Lagos it just all felt convenient, and I didn't feel connected to Alex or the other characters. It became more tell than show, although there were the beginnings there, and so much promise. And while I was ALL FOR the lesbian romance hinted at, it never felt developed. I wasn't allowed to feel their chemistry. I was supposed to just assume it based on their shared history, a history I didn't get much of a glimpse at. It just felt rushed in many places. Based on the writing, I would probably recommend this for younger YA readers. I am a little bummed I did not absolutely love this as I was hoping to. Honestly, this would have been a 2, but I was really behind all Córdova was attempting to do here. And while it wasn't a complete home run for me, just having such positive representation be a matter of course will mean a lot to a lot of girls, and boys. This is an important story and I want to see more of stories like this. I want more multicultural magic. I also want more from this universe, because I am intrigued by Alex's sisters and did not get to spend enough time with them.
book_junkee 12 months ago
2.5 stars I was pretty excited about this because of the synopsis. I was sold with the promise of magic and Wonderland. I eventually liked Alex. She's a bit rough in the beginning and I struggled with trying to root for her. She comes across as a spoiled brat. Her family and sisters care so much about her and Alex seems to just throw it all in their faces. There are a lot of family members and secondary characters and magical characters that I sometimes felt lost. It was also hard for me to connect to anyone. The idea of the story is amazing. Sadly, I felt like the story was missing a spark I was expecting to find. For me, I needed a bit more clarity. From the reviews I'm seeing, I'm in the minority. Overall, there was something that compelled me to keep reading. I am intrigued at the ending and will probably read the next book of the series. **Huge thanks to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
A family that celebrates Deathdays instead of sixteenth birthdays, Bat Mitzvahs or Quinceaneras lives in Brooklyn, New York and everyone is excited to celebrate Alejandra's (Alex's) Deathday. Alejandra isn't happy about the magic in her family and she is definitely not looking forward to her Deathday celebration. She has been told that she is an enchantrix, which means she is powerful. Alex wants it all to go away and she eventually gets what she wishes for. A shadow demon attacks their home, so the family decides to have Alex's Deathday party the very next day. At the party, the ceremony backfires and a demon takes Alex's family and she has only Nova, a mysterious young man, to help get them back. To save her family, Alex has to conquer the mythology of Los Lagos, another realm ruled by The Devourer. I enjoy Nova's personality and the banter between him and Alex makes me laugh. This story is beautifully written and reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and Greek mythology. Inspired by Latin American religions and cultures all brought into the present time - 4 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No.
MissElizabethQ More than 1 year ago
What an incredible adventure! I feel as though I've been depraved of a really reeeally good book for a long time and didn't even realize it until now. I loved everything about this book. Being Mexican myself I of course grew up knowing all about Dia de los Muertos and I just LOVED that aspect of this book. The was Alex and her family paint their faces like the dead to welcome them to this world
Kspina More than 1 year ago
This book is magnificent. The world sucks you in from word one. Each new phrase that she weaves into the story is explained quickly and clearly. There's no guessing, and you're never pulled out of the story with exposition. I love that this story is at its heart about two things: the power of family and trying to understand your first love. Alex is struggling to accept who she is as a bruja. She doesn't want her magic. She's afraid of what she'll become. So, she tries to send it back to the Deos who gifted it to her. Her journey from there is fraught with peril both physical and emotional. It's a beautiful story, and I cannot recommend it enough.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Alex is the most powerful bruja her family has seen in generations. Her mother and sisters are thrilled when Alex's powers manifest so powerfully. But Alex knows that magic always has a cost and she's unwilling to risk her family after already losing her father to wayward magic years ago. Determined to rid herself of her magic before anyone else gets hurt, Alex turns to the family Book of Cantos for a spell to use on her Death Day--before she accepts the blessings of her family's dead spirits and truly comes into her powers. When Alex's spell to get rid of her magic backfires and her family disappears from their Brooklyn home, she'll have to travel to the world of Los Lagos to get them back with help from her best friend Rishi and a strange brujo boy with his own agenda in Labyrinth Lost (2016) by Zoraida Córdova. Labyrinth Lost is the start to Córdova new Brooklyn Brujas series. Córdova borrows from elements of santeria and latinx culture to create her own well-realized magic system in this highly enjoyable urban fantasy. Alex is a kickass heroine whose love for her family leads to near-catastrophe as her magic backfires and sends her relatives (living and dead) to Los Lagos. Alex remains proactive and wastes no time wallowing as she bargains with a more knowledgeable (though less powerful) brujo named Nova to bring her across to the magical world of Los Lagos where she has to navigate treacherous lands and travel to the Labyrinth to rescue her family from the Devourer. Rishi, Alex's best friend, comes along offering moral support, strength, and strategy even though she is uninitiated in bruja ways thanks to Alex's reluctance to talk about her family to outsiders. In a world where many things are uncertain, the love and support of Alex's friends and family remain unconditional and rock solid throughout this novel where family plays a huge role. Alex is a fantastic protagonist who is empowered both as a bruja and a girl as she learns to embrace all aspects of her identity. Córdova's evocative writing brings Los Lagos and its otherworldly inhabitants vividly to life. Moments or peril contrast well with Alex's witty first person narration and a sometimes tense romance as Alex tries to make sense of her growing feelings for Rishi while fighting for her life. Labyrinth Lost is a fast-paced and atmospheric story filled with action and adventure. A must-read for urban fantasy fans and readers looking for a new coven of witches to join. (Just be ready with your best Resting Witch Face.) Possible Pairings: Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst, Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older, Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter, The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff, Charmed (TV series)
ArleneArredondo More than 1 year ago
The life of a teenager is difficult enough (not being popular, difficult associating with groups), but what if you mixed it with being a bruja. Alejandra is coming of age, and that is the time to accept her powers and receive blessings from her ancestor, that in this tale is called Deathday. Alejandra has suffer some traumatic situations that have left her marked with a fear of her powers. In her Deathday, she is going to try something that will definitely end in disaster. A very intense narrative, full of suspense and magical beings that gives a sense of wonder and interest to the reader. Note: I received an ARC from Netgalley and the publisher for review and an honest and unbiased opinion.
onemused More than 1 year ago
"Labyrinth Lost" is an incredible fantasy adventure. Alejandra (Alex) is an encantrix, a bruja of all trades, but she insists on denying her magic, trying to suppress it. One day, it escapes from her anyway, and her family plan her deathday celebration- the coming of age for a bruja where they begin in their training. Just before the ceremony, she plans a spell to get rid of her powers for good- with the unwilling aid from a hot brujo boy named Nova. The spell backfires and her family is taken into Los Lagos. Alex immediately goes after them with the (paid) help from Nova. What follows is a Wizard of Oz type quest through Los Lagos and a number of obstacles which Alex must face to get to and free her family. A fascinating set of characters has been created, and I don't want to give it away, but it's an incredible world! It combines mythologies into an all new creation. It's fascinating and amazing. There are some scary parts- it's a riveting adventure! The book is fast paced. Alex learns about herself and comes into her own with each step along the journey. Her personal growth during the book is quite large. Overall, I really loved the unique story and cast of characters! Beautifully done. Please note that I received this book from the publisher through netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Erani_Kole More than 1 year ago
*received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* This is the first I've read of brujas/os and I am so glad I got the chance to. A lot of Latin American myths and supernatural beliefs set the foundation for this urban fantasy read, and it enriched the experience for me. Alex has a lot of growing up to do when she gives into a selfish wish and accidentally sends her family to Los Lagos (a sort of hell). Most kids learn their lesson with a stern hand. For Alex, she has to battle myth beings and cross over lands that could kill her, all to learn the lesson that family is everything... including the magic you're born with. I loved how complex the characters Alex and Nova were. Rishi was a funny, upbeat addition who added a lot of heart and admiration to the group. I actually didn't see that twist coming, but it was done so well. The journey through Los Lagos was unique and kept me intrigued the whole way. Overall, it was a great story about the importance of family with that extra spice of young love. Definite recommend for those who love urban fantasy or enjoy educating oneself the fun way.
LilyElementBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Labyrinth Lost is book one in the Brooklyn Brujas series. I immediately requested this book when I found out it has a diverse character as the leading lady. I'm a firm believer that we need more diverse books since there are readers in every race. This book revolves around a teenage girl coming into her powers as a bruja and her journey thereafter. Alejandra aka Alex is a bruja (witch) that is pretty much an everyday high school student but her family has magical powers. She's trying her hardest to ignore her magic but with her Deathday celebration coming closer, she's going to have to face the music soon. Deathday is when the family and friends come and celebrate the young bruja in their powers. Even though Alex doesn't want her magic, we find out that once she learns to wield it she'll be a super powerful bruja, they call her an Encantrix. Deciding to rely on a last ditch effort she casts a canto (spell) during her Deathday ceremony to strip her powers, but it goes horribly awry and her family is transported to Los Lagos, a place that is like limbo and Wonderland mixed together. Alex and a cute boy, Nova wind up going to Los Lagos to save her family but things aren't quite what they seem. Some evil and super powerful bruja has taken control of Los Lagos and is not willing to let Alex's family go without a fight. Alex and Nova have to make their way through the twisted environment without getting caught in a trap. With twists and turns, their journey will keep you on your toes and not sure what to expect next. Labyrinth Lost was an excellent read that transports you from an urban environment to a cross between Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. I enjoyed that though Alex didn't want her powers if she wants to save her family she has to use it to get them back safely. Her journey was interesting and she had a good support system along her adventure. If you enjoy diverse reads or YA paranormal books I strongly suggest you pick up this book.
BiblioStacks More than 1 year ago
I loved Labyrinth Lost! I received an advanced reader’s copy from NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review. This book just blew me away. With wonderful imagery and frightening creatures, I was hooked from the first page. I fell in love with the characters and the world and Zoraida’s compelling storytelling. Zoraida does a fantastic job of bringing the fantasy to life and entwining it with a fascinating culture. What I liked most about Labyrinth Lost was the world. It was absolutely breathtaking and beautifully crafted and magical. This world, although terrifyingly daunting, was exquisite and captivating. I loved the faun and the Devourer. The Devourer is definitely someone I do not want to find myself up against but she was interesting, nonetheless. I loved Los Lagos and everything the world had to offer, whether it was good or bad. Los Lagos was similar to the Underworld, but much more fascinating, and I truly enjoyed the time the characters spent in the dark and mysterious Los Lagos. The characters are well described and entirely different. Each character has their own personality and beliefs and those are clearly stated in the way each character talks and portrays themselves. Relationships are built and relationships are destroyed. The main character has such a tight relationship with her family that she wants out of it; she does not want the powers that come with being a witch. And she doesn’t realize she needs her family until her family disappears. Overall, I fell in love with this wonderful story and absolutely cannot wait for the next installment. This is definitely a novel I will be purchasing, and luckily for me, I found Labyrinth Lost three days early and I was so excited. I look forward to reading the next novel and picking up Zoraida Córdova’s other works. I highly recommend Labyrinth Lost for all fantasy readers who love world building mixed with wonderfully crafted characters!
Ambur More than 1 year ago
I immediately started fangirling over LABYRINTH LOST about a year ago! Magic, brujas, a journey to another world, & written by Zoraida Córdova⎯sign me up! I've been a fan of Zoraida's since THE VICIOUS DEEP, & I've eagerly devoured & loved everything she's written since ⎯LABYRINTH LOST was no exception! In fact, it's my fave out of everything she's written so far! Why did I love it so much? Well, there are plenty of reasons. The first is the characters. Zoraida always writes amazing characters! They're dynamic, & usually flawed in a way that makes them extremely easy to connect with. Her characters have so much depth & I always find myself loving each & every one of them⎯Alex was the same! She was vulnerable, & self-conscious, which I think anyone who's been (or currently is) a teenager can relate to. Even with her doubts, she’s so strong & determined, but what I loved most about her was her capacity to love & her willingness to grow & forgive. I really admired her, & think she's a wonderful character to see in a young adult novel because she's definitely worth admiring. Alex isn't the only amazing character though! Her family is also fantastic! From her sisters, Lula & Rose, to her mother & extended family, LABYRINTH LOST is packed full of wonderful family dynamics, & diversity! While Zoraida admits in her author's note at the end of the book that she's invented much of the belief system for the brujas & brujos in her story when it comes to the deos & their actual magic, the cultural elements surrounding them are definitely rooted in reality & inspired by research & her own background, which I really loved! It was fantastic to get to see a diverse cast of characters, & I loved seeing the importance that their ancestors & family histories played in their lives! The other two big characters in LABYRINTH LOST are Rishi & Nova, & I loved them both, too!!! I'm not going to go into too much detail about these two because I think you need to get to know them for yourself when you read the book & I don't want to spoil anything, but I really loved what they each added to the story. I loved their dynamics with Alex, & they were certainly never boring. Now that I've blabbered on about my love for Zoraida's fantastic characters, I've got to tell you about the story & the world-building! They were both absolutely superb!!! LABYRINTH LOST was the perfect coming-of-age story. It reminded me of epic journeys where the hero has to discover themselves in order to return home & become the hero that they're meant to be. The magical elements & intricate world of Los Lagos really added to whole journey element, & I LOVED getting to see the world that Zoraida created! It reminded me of her previous trilogy, The Vicious Deep, which I loved! The world was extremely well thought out⎯it was intense, magical, & completely enthralling! I was reading it far too quickly, so I actually forced myself to slow down, & that made me love it even more! Once you start, you definitely won't want to put it down! I loved LABYRINTH LOST, & am completely smitten with the world of the BROOKLYN BRUJAS! I can't wait for more of their world, & I was ecstatic when I heard that Zoraida would be writing more Bruja books! If you're a fan of magical stories & you love complex characters, intricate world-building & an abundance of diversity in your books, then you'll absolutely love the LABYRINTH LOST! I seriously can't recommend this book enough...read it, read it, read it!
Myndia More than 1 year ago
Alejandra comes from a long line of powerful brujas (and brujos). Her Deathday, the day that her ancestors bless her, bringing her into her full magic, is just around the corner. But she has seen some bad things growing up and she is afraid of owning her magic. This fear drives her to make a decision that (unwittingly) will endanger the life of her entire family, including the souls of those who have already passed, and takes her on the most dangerous adventure of her very young life. But this journey is about so much more than saving her family, it’s about finding herself, finding her truth, and owning it. What’s not to love about this book? It has so many of the elements I love: magic, the Fae, other realms, witches, mythology…a river of souls? Oh, yeah. And, I love that we’re getting some cultural diversity AND some exposure to bisexuality to boot. Chock full of good stuff, this one is. Ok, so in all fairness, the thing I struggled with upfront was the main character’s selfishness and recklessness. I mean, this is YA. I get it. She’s a kid. And she’s not me (or even the me I was at her age), so she isn’t necessarily going to make the same choices I would. But, for some reason, I had a hard time with her decision. Additionally, one of the characters was a bit predictable. I wasn’t at all surprised by who turned on her or by that person’s reasons for doing so. Those are the two reasons for the four-star rating instead of a five. What I think the author did beautifully was her handling of the main character’s sexuality. It’s interesting because I was so confused about her feelings for her two friends. Did she have feelings for X or for Y? For both? Wait, what kind of feelings? It wasn’t until the end that I realized she had feelings for both, and I was confused because she was confused. So, I very much felt like I was feeling what she was feeling, and that isn’t always an easy thing to accomplish. While I was reading, I kept thinking it felt familiar, like it had some elements from other books I’d read, and I’m trying to wrap my brain around the best possible comparison. A little bit of Alice in Wonderland, a tiny bit of Narnia, maybe a bit of an urban fantasy bent (I keep flashing to the early Anita Blake series, but I think that’s just because of the Santeria influence), I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but it’s all good. It’s a smattering of all these books I’ve loved, books with mythological and magical bents, but definitely with its own unique flavor. Definitely worth a read. P.S. This cover though. Amazing, right? I just love it! I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
This was a fantastic read and I enjoyed this novel for its cultural ties, its history and the relationships that were so important in this story. The cover reminded me of the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday which has its own customs and traditions celebrating those who have passed away and inside this novel we experience the Latin American celebration of Deathday. Deathday, it’s the day that Alex is dreading but it’s the day that her family is looking forward to. Alex just wants to be a typical 16-year old girl, she doesn’t want her magic and she has decided that she will give it back unbeknownst to her family. Nora told her not to do it but Alex is dead set on being normal. At her ceremony, which would normally be a joyous occasion, Alex performs her first canto. From within the family’s book she found the formula and tried it on her own and now, the aftermath is not what she expected. With her family now trapped in another dimension, Alex is their only hope. Oh, how I loved Los Lagos, for this region was adventurous and remarkable. You never know what you might run into or what you might discover while walking upon this region. The land is rugged and hard, its ruler is greedy and deadly and the Alex of the past will have to make some changes to survive in these harsh conditions. Alex is joined by Nora and Rishi as she tries to locate her family and save them. It’s an exciting and dynamic journey, one that I really enjoyed. There were great twists throughout the novel and again I loved the cultural and historical aspect of this story. The author tells us the story, she explains the reasoning behind the characters actions and I enjoyed reading it and understanding these ties. The family relationships with both the spiritual entities and with the living were excellent and took this story to another level. There is a LGBT relationship in this novel which I am not going to elaborate much on. I thought the relationship came on quite suddenly and seemed indirect. One minute, these individuals were making indirect comments to each other and not much time passes and then, these individuals became an item. This relationship seemed a bit off to me. You really should pick this novel up if you are into fantasy reads or like adventurous stories. I would love to listen to this novel on audio; I think it would be amazing with all the voices. This novel exceeded my expectations; the story was deeper, entertaining and hard to put down. 4.5 stars I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review.