Labyrinth Lost was an unexpected gem of a read – centered around Alex “Alejandra” and her family of brujas and brujos (in essence, witches), this story will take you on an unforgettable journey through a land that is a) actually diverse for once and b) so intriguing you aren’t going to want to leave.
I haven’t been a big paranormal fantasy reader since I was in high school, so when I saw that Zoraida Córdova’s Labyrinth Lost featured witches, I wasn’t sure it was going to be for me. Still, I was so intrigued by all of the awesome Latin imagery (and that gorgeous Day of the Dead esque cover) that I decided to pick it up anyway. I am so so soooooo glad that I did.
GUYS. Have you ever read a book that reminds you so strongly of something else you love that you can’t help but run around your house giddy with glee over it? This is basically the Grim-Fandango-meets-Book-of-Life of books (if you know either of those references, kudos to you). It’s freaking FANTASTIC.
- Awesome family relationships. I really enjoyed Alex’s family dynamic, especially her relationship with her sisters, her dead Aunt Rosaria, and her grandmother (who was possibly my actual favorite minor character). They have complex bonds formed from shared blood, trials, and power. Her family is always there for her – and I love when YA gets what family should be about and portrays it well. It’s a major pet peeve when a book portrays parents as airheaded bimbos or perfect – all families have problems, but a good family is one who comes together during hard times.
- A magical in-between world/afterlife. Los Lagos is such a vibrant and awesome place to explore. Seriously, I need more books about it. I was enthralled by the strange creatures Alex encountered on her journey, and could have read a book about each race – the avianas and the Fae (Agosto would make a great protagonist, in my opinion). Oh, and did I mention there is a Hades-underworld-esque river of freaking souls in this world?!?! Yeah. It’s awesome.
- An LGBT Love Triangle that is done RIGHT. I won’t give any spoilers away here, but dang. This is really really well played. I was kind of rooting for both of the love interests and then the end… well, you’ll see. Prepare to be shocked.
- DIVERSITY GALORE. Can I get an Amen?!? This book is chalk-full of diversity, and I was eating it up. All the Latin American touches were amazing, and I seriously think we need more of this in our fantasy. I mean, Latin American culture is brimming with magical and mystical goodness to explore. Why aren’t more authors mining all that gold?!?!
- I was actually scared more than once. This book knocked all the breath from my body more than once. I was so worried at times, and the details and descriptions of Alex’s journey were so vivid that sometimes I was overwhelmed by the horrors she faced.
- THAT ENDING. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh. My. Gosh. WHAT?!?!? [That’s all I’m going to say right now… just know the last few chapters are simply incredible.]
- It’s over. I neeeeeeeed book two like right friggin’ now. Zoraida said it’s probably going to feature Lula, Alex’s older sister, and I CANNOT WAIT. WHY IS THIS BOOK NOT ALREADY IN MY HANDS?!?!
Labyrinth Lost is a fantastic whirlwind of an adventure, with a relatable protagonist and magnificent host of supporting characters, and a huge dose of romance, betrayal, heroism, and magic. It’s everything you could hope for in a good fantasy novel. I can already promise that this is going to be one of 2016’s shining stars.
Rating: 5/5 stars
TALK TO ME: What’s your favorite multicultural read?! Share in the comments!
Synopsis: 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…