Book: Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas 1) by Zoraida Cordova
Release Date: September 6th 2016
Rating: 3,5 out of 5 stars
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…
Labyrinth Lost is a book that has been making the rounds since its release. And with a cover and synopsis like that I couldn’t help but be drawn to it. Lets start with saying that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I tore through it in under 3 hours which I think says something about the writing. It is very approachable and fast to read. I got a good idea of the background it was being told to and I felt I knew what Los Lagos looked like through the description. I loved learning a bit of Latinx culture which I think added a great depth to the story.
The start to the story was very promising. Alex is a bruja, and the most powerful one of her generation at that. But she doesn’t want it. At her death day celebration her spell to rid herself of magic backfires though and the consequences take us to Los Lagos. That she doesn’t want her powers is something that quite appeals to me. It was clearly something that she didn’t choose and with some things that had happened she found it hard to come to terms with having them. That is something that I am often drawn to in stories. It can add another layer of depth.
The story is divided in three parts. The first part is very strong. I loved the interactions Alex has with her family and I thought they were such a great add in this story. The second half started off promising but started to drag a bit in places which carried over into the third part unfortunately. I was a bit underwhelmed by the ending. It wasn’t quite as explosive as I had expected and there certainly were a few clichés in it like a betrayal. I did however like the ending to the prologue and it made me curious about the next book.
I liked reading about Alex and her struggles, but I have to say that her family and the interactions in the first part really is what I loved about this book and what I missed throughout the rest of the book. Still, Alex is likeable and I understand why she felt the way that she did. She is also bisexual. Unfortunately the love interest consisted of an arrogant male asshole who she seemed to have the best chemistry with on the page and an underdeveloped female best friend. Love was also thrown around a bit too quickly for my taste. I wanted to be all on board for Alex and Rissi but I didn’t quite feel it coming of the page with Alex and that was a shame.
Though you might not guess from what I said above I quite enjoyed Nova, the arrogant asshole. He just isn’t necessarily the best for Alex. I hope to see him back in the next book and see him grow past from what happened to him to come into himself more. I have a soft spot for characters like him.