Monday, February 27, 2017

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova | Review

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Córdova
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: September 6, 2016
Pages: 336
Received: publisher via NetGalley for review
Find Online: Goodreads | Sourcebooks

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…

 
So many people comparing this to Alice in Wonderland and I can see why. You've got the girl falling into a magic hole/portal to another land that's filled with crazy creatures and fantasy galore and she's on a mission to her family and home. That is the only similarity though - the rest is completely new and refreshing.

A story about brujas (witches) in Brooklyn - it's filled with Latin flair and all things magic. I loved the idea of having a Deathday, but Alex is not ready for hers and because of that she gets herself and her family into a world of trouble. She's stuggling with who she is and is not ready to accept her magic (little does her family know she's already come into her magic well before her Deathday and that is what scares her - she's afraid of it). 

Alex causes her family to be taken to Los Lagos, an underworld eerily similar in idea to Wonderland, but much more terrifying and creepy. She needs to rescue them to show how sorry she was for running away from her magic. She gets help from Nova, "a boy made of light" and Rishi, her best friend. This trio has quite an adventure in Los Lagos and they each learn something along the way - Alex finds out she is an Encantrix and she can handle more then she imagined, Nova sees the world in a new light (see what I did there?) and starts to allow people into his life and Rishi teaches us that nothing is worth hiding from.

I loved reading about the Deos (the Gods) that the brujas pray to and honour. They are a big part of the culture and religion. They are also a big help to Alex during her journey to save her family. She doesn't realize how much family means to her until they are taken - her sisters Lula and Rose, her mother and her extended family. 

I also really enjoyed that it had characters of different cultures, sexuality and it mashed it all up with magic! It's written in a way that makes the culture and sexuality topics non-issues - as in, it just was there, easy to accept and move on, like the "no big deal" it should be. Love is love is love, right?! The parts in the book about acceptance come from the magic and not gender, sex, culture and I adored that about this book.

I'm truly looking forward to more of the Brooklyn Brujas series and seeing just what happens to this trio after their adventure in the deepest, darkest magical place in Latin magical lore. 

The author included a section at the end of this book that explains how she came up with the magical aspects of the book and she explains that she inspired by a lot of elements from different Latin lore to create this book - a mixture of old world and new from Latin America. She writes about Deathday, Death Masks and the Deos. It was great to read these author notes after finishing the book - I think it added more to the experience.

"I would follow you into the darkest dark."

Anyone know that show You Gotta Eat Here? Well, inspired by John - You Gotta Read This!




BONUS: Labyrinth Lost Colouring Page

About the Author:
Zoraida Córdova was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York. She is the author of the Vicious Deep trilogy, the On the Verge series, and the Brooklyn Brujas series. She loves black coffee, snark, and still believes in magic. 

4 comments:

  1. Eeep, I'm so excited to read this!! I actually bought it a while back but haven't had a chance to devour it yet. I NEED TO GET ONTO THAT ASAP. I love creepy books and I adore Alice in Wonderland, and I'm loving the sound of all the mythology and diversity.😍

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    1. I think you'd enjoy it a lot. I think you'd also come up with some beautiful bookstagram photos to go with it. Hope you get to read it soon!

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  2. Now I think I will pick it up. I am not an Alice in Wonderland fan so I stayed clear but this sounds like other than a fall through a portal the rest is totally unrelated.

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    1. Ya it only has the fall in common really. Another world, but completely it's own story. I'm looking forward to book two!

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