23 May, 2017


Title: Labyrinth Lost
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy, LGBT+
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release: September 6th, 2016
Source: Kindle Edition
Pages: 336

Goodreads // BookDepository // Amazon // 

BLURB: Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.
I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.

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 markings 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…

Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure.

"A seamless blend of fantasy and Latinx culture, Labyrinth Lost feels both strikingly authentic and badly needed: in the overwhelming white world of YA literature, a cast of characters comprised almost entirely of people of color—combined with a fantasy world both inspired by a non-white culture and written by a member of that culture—is sure to change the lives of many teens who rarely see themselves reflected in the books they read. But there is another layer of importance to the novel, and that is Alex’s bisexuality. Presented matter-of-factly, without any cheesy plot twist attached, her bisexuality becomes visible but not defining, and the mere fact of its healthy portrayal makes it essential to a group of queer people long erased in mainstream media." --Lambda Literary.

EXPECTATIONS: I heard about this book on twitter, actually on rant!twitter because they were complaining about lack of certain ethnicities and sexualities etc. So anyway I'm all for reading diverse books and it was on sale... couldn't resist to see what the fuss was about!

THE WORLD: Same human world but brujas (witches) are real. They can cast spells and they have their own traditions etc. It takes place in Brooklyn, NYC, USA.

Here is a map of Los Lagos:

CHARACTERS: The main character is Alejandra "Alex" Mortiz who comes from a family of brujas. She lives with her mom and two sisters, Lula (the beautiful older sister with healing powers and Rose (the younger sister with special communication powers).  Alex is the "powerless" bruja of the family but she knows she has powers, she just doesn't want them. Thus, when her Deathday comes she conjures a canto to make it all go away... and her family actually goes away. Puff! Gone to Los Lagos (bruja version of purgatory more or less). She must now rescue them with the help of a young and charming brujo called Nova and Alex's best friend, Rishi.
There are a thousand more characters, specially from Alex's family because we all know how close Latinx/Hispanic people are to their relatives. You invite one and one hundred show up.
Oh wait, special mention to Madra which is a winged creature from Los Lagos and it's super cool! and also to the villain known as The Devourer.

ROMANCE: It's a tad strange... at first you think it'll be X the love interest but it's actually Y but it's awkward because Y feels a bit underdeveloped romance compared to X... if the romance is elaborated on with Y in the 2nd book then it will all be fine. Although I think I like X character better ugh this is frustrating. I need Y to be better developed so that I can like them better!

GOOD: Okay, the plot is a basic "gotta save your family" plot but I love the legend and myth behind the world-building in this book! I think it's based in south american culture. Spain has a few of them too lol of course, we share many things apart from the language.

I'm also a fan of Spanglish. I've been using it so much in the past 5 years that it's become my go-to language. Talk in English? talk in Spanish? why not both? los dos definitivamente.

As characters... I like Nova the most. I tried to connect with Alex but it didn't exactly work... maybe up to 50% connection or so.

BAD: I didn't really like Rishi... she's so... superficial I don't know it's like she was written in one dimension. Maybe we'll see more development in the 2nd book, I hope so.

The plot also needs a bit more development but like I said it will probably happen in the next books because 1st books usually don't have huge world-building. Authors are just introducing everything to us readers.

Another minus I'm going to include is the romance part because of the reasons I explained above.

OVERALL: 4 stars. Minuses overall didn't bother me that much and I was able to enjoy the other things I liked. Now... where's the 2nd book? when is it coming out?

What do you think about LABYRINTH LOST?