I received an e-ARC courtesy of Netgalley, the author and the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, in exchange for an honest review of the book. I was also chosen as part of the #rwfsquad (standing for Resting Witch Face!) by the author, so maybe I’ll help the circle get some free stuff out of this.
Bruja magic runs in her blood, but a curse meant to banish it may cost Alex more than her power…
Alex is a bruja and the most powerful witch in her family. But she’s hated magic ever since it made her father disappear into thin air. So while most girls celebrate their Quinceañera, Alex prepares for Death Day—the most important day in a bruja’s life, and her only opportunity to rid herself of magic.
But the curse she performs during the ceremony backfires and her family vanishes, forcing Alex to absorb all of the magic from her family line. Left alone, Alex seeks help from Nova, a brujo with ambitions of his own. To get her family back they must travel to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…
Labyrinth Lost was nothing short of awesome from start to finish. It has a great relationship between family members, magic, love, betrayal, and a bruja pretending to be a god. This was my first book by Zoraida Córdova, but I will definitely be looking into more of them.
One of the great things about Alejandra, who goes by Alex when magic isn’t involved, is that she loves her sisters, and they love her, despite (and perhaps because of) her prickly nature. All three sisters are very different people. Alex is very hard on people, but very dedicated to those she decides she cares about. She also has a pretty big case of middle-child syndrome, feeling like she doesn’t belong anywhere. Rose is immensely powerful already, and yet she is still such a little girl. Lula is so responsible with her sisters and her cantos, and yet she’s still very clearly a teenager trying to be more adult. They all act so much like my sister and I do with each other that it almost made me homesick.
I start to head back up the stairs when I hear Lula shout, “Rose! That’s an offering!”
Rose is licking the excess ambrosia from the whisk, a guilty smile spreading to her round cheeks. “What? The ambrosia’s a metaphor for our divine offering. It’s not like the Deos are going to eat all of it.”
Lula looks up at the ceiling and asks, “What did I do in my last life to deserve you two?”
“You were a pirate queen who stole a treasure from Cortes and then ended up deserting your crew to man-hungry sharks,” Rose tells her. “We’re your punishment for every lifetime to come.”
Lula rolls her eyes. “Seems excessive”
The relationship between Alex and Rishi did feel a little rushed, but they’re teenagers, so a rushed relationship really isn’t the weirdest thing to have happened, and I wish them all the best. I hope we’ll see more of Nova on his own at some point in the rest of the series.
I won’t tell you about the mystery in this novel, because you’ll want to read it yourself, but if you like magic, mysteries, and great characters, you’ll love Labyrinth Lost. The world-building that went into building their bruja community in Brooklyn, as well as the strange beauty of Los Lagos, makes this book truly special. It felt almost like a more intentional Alice in Wonderland story, which I wouldn’t have thought I would like, but I really did.
Zoraida’s website says “Zoraida Córdova is the author of The Vicious Deep trilogy, the On the Verge series, and Labyrinth Lost. She loves black coffee, snark, and still believes in magic. She is a New Yorker at heart and is currently working on her next novel.”
Córdova said on Goodreads that this series will be a series of standalone novels, and the next book will feature one of the other sisters. I can’t wait for more of you to read this so I can talk to you more about it!
Labyrinth Lost is one of the best books I’ve read this year and will be released on September 6, 2016. You can find it at your local B&N, Amazon or indie bookstore. I cannot recommend this enough. This is a definite five star book for me!