Book: Labyrinth Lost
Series: Brooklyn Brujas, #1
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Genre: YA Fantasy, Paranormal
My rating: ★★★★
I was chosen by the Deos. Even gods make mistakes.
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 she can’t trust, but who may be Alex’s only chance at saving her family.
This book is the epitome of “be careful what you wish for”. Alex doesn’t want to be a powerful bruja (witch), so she casts a spell that goes horribly wrong. Her entire family disappears. With the help of a brujo named Nova, they enter a magical realm called Los Lagos to search for Alex’s family.
Despite some pacing issues, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I don’t have any prior experience reading about brujas and brujos, nor do I have any prior knowledge about Latino myths and legends. I loved reading about the culture and getting such strong imagery during the ritual scenes. Also the fact that this book has all POC characters and is very feminist makes me like it even more.
So let’s talk about the good and the bad!
- The rep. As mentioned briefly, there is a full cast of POC characters! Also there’s bi-rep between two teens that’s portrayed in a positive way.
- The culture/legends. I haven’t read any Latino-influenced literature before. I feel like this book needs a lot more hype especially since it’s so diverse! We get to read about so many different types of rituals, spells, and mythical legends.
- Los Logos, the magical realm. I was getting some major Alice in Wonderland vibes. Some of the “creatures” Alex and Nova encounter are strange, but I especially loved the avianas and the faeries. My heart melted every time Rishi and Madra spoke to each other.
- The characters. Alex can be bratty at times, but she is a self-aware teen who acknowledges her mistakes. Also I adored Alex’s relatives.
- Faeries! I had no idea faeries would be in this book so that was an awesome surprise. The way that scene is written was so on-point. I cannot praise it enough.
- A mild love triangle. This is VERY MINOR but it’s there. I’m wondering if it will be explored more in the sequel.
- A lot of “journeying”. I definitely had some pacing issues since this book has a lot of journeying. However things really started to pick up once they meet the faeries.
I highly recommend this book if you’re a fan of magic, cultural diversity, and journeys. There’s a bit of a surprise/cliffhanger at the end, which sets us up for the sequel due to come out in June 2018.
I wanted to also mention a trigger warning for harm to animals.