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…
This book has been sitting on my shelves for MONTHS. I can’t even remember when I actually bought it, that’s how long it’s been. But I do remember that I bought it because so many people said it was great and all the authors I follow on Twitter were praising it so I figured I’d give it a shot. Overall, I thought it was a really interesting story! I was definitely invested and engrossed and honestly it’s been a while since I’ve truly felt that way about a YA fantasy book. While I did enjoy the book overall, there were some things I didn’t really understand and some small things I didn’t like but it still deserves a respectable 3 and a half stars from me. I really wanted to give this 4 stars but in the end I just couldn’t. Let’s get down to the specifics, shall we?
- The mythology. God, the mythology. I love any kind of mythology and I think it’s great when I see in incorporated into books. While I am quite partial to Greek mythology, since I’ve studied it so much, I loved learning about the gods that Alex and her family believe in. When I started this book, I didn’t know that the author had created all of the Deos until I read her author’s notes but now a lot of it makes sense. I could tell that there were a lot of Greek influences in her Deos and again, that was something I loved. I know that the gods were very important to the Ancient Greeks and I could definitely feel the importance of the Deos to the brujos and brujas and I loved how this importance was emphasized.
- The representation in this book was not only beautiful but it was refreshing. So much of YA is focused on the white saviour and there’s always the token person of colour so I loved that in this book there wasn’t a single white person. And not only that but the main character, Alex, is bisexual so that’s even more representation! I feel like her sexuality was really well done because it wasn’t the main point of the story; it was just an underlying thing like “yeah, she has feelings for both Rishi and Nova and that’s cool.” I’ve seen a lot of people on social media saying they want to see books that have something like this, where the character’s sexuality isn’t a main focal point, and I think that this book does it perfectly. Everyone deserves to been represented and while we still have a ways to go, this is a step in the right direction.
- I loved that there was so much focus on family and the journey of self discovery. For Alex, she couldn’t stand the idea of having magic and even went as far as trying to get rid of it and for her family, in their eyes that was like getting rid of them. So for Alex to get them back, she had to understand and accept her magic which ultimately meant she had to accept herself. It’s so hard to not only find yourself but to accept yourself as well and I think that this being a central theme to the book was great.
- I think my favourite thing about this book was the witty dialogue and banter. There was also like this reluctant friendship between Alex, Rishi, and Nova and those are my favourites. It kind of reminded me of my favourite OT3, Audrey, Nathan, and Duke, from the show Haven. And the mutual dislike that Nova and Rishi had for each other, but at the same time they both loved Alex, was hilarious and it’s like the OT3 of my dreams. Alex’s journey was meant to have both of them on her side and it was fantastic.
- This book had a bad boy character and fairies, two of my favourite things. That alone already makes the book good enough for me.
- I didn’t love the world building, but I also didn’t hate it. I feel like I’ve encountered much better world building than that of Los Lagos and it was hard for me to really see some of the world in my mind. The mythology world building and the brujos/brujas world building was well done but Los Lagos kind of got lost, in my opinion.
- I’m a little iffy about the ending. I was under the impression that this would be the typical kind of YA trilogy where the story would leave off on a huge cliffhanger but in the end it felt like a standalone. Not that there’s anything really wrong with that, but it definitely lessened my feelings of the book near the end, like my enjoyment was taken down a notch. It just felt a little too perfectly wrapped up and fixed and there wasn’t much climax near the end.
- Sometimes the writing lost me a little bit. There were a lot of times where thoughts and sentences felt rather abrupt and other times where things weren’t overly clear. Like, for example, Alex would be looking at some kind of scenery and then a quote would just appear with “(s)he said” and I’d be like “wait, what? Who is talking?” And it seemed like Alex recognized the person immediately but it still felt…..odd.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- Bad boys and fairies aside, the representation and central theme of self discovery and acceptance take this book pretty far. While things might’ve gotten lost in the end, it still ends up being an enjoyable read.
BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1)
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Pages: 324 (Hardcover)
Until next time,
What did you think of the book? Leave a comment below!