Published: September 6th, 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire | Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1 | Length: 336 pages | Genre: YA, paranormal, fantasy | Source: Borrowed from library
Summary from Goodreads:
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…
Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure.
In my effort to at least somewhat diversify my reading, I knew I had to pick up this book. I’ve seen a few other bloggers who read it and most loved it. The final push to get me to read this was seeing Zoraida at the Boston Teen Author Festival back in September – she was hilarious and I knew I had to pick up one of her books. I finally was able to grab it from my library and I’m really glad that I got the chance to read this because it’s a great book!
Probably the strongest thing about Labyrinth Lost is the world building. There are so many great descriptions of Los Lagos and the people and creatures who live there. It creates such a vivid picture in your head that you really feel as if you’re there. I admit I know very little about Latin American culture so I’m not sure how much of it is based on their culture and how much is made up by the author, but either way, I absolutely loved getting to see Los Lagos.
I know some people had some problems with feeling like the characters weren’t fleshed out enough and I can kind of see it, but I didn’t have that problem, thankfully. I think the characters are great on their own and really interesting to get to know. I did, however, have a bit of a hard time getting invested in the characters’ relationships with each other. It was a bit frustrating because I felt like there was so much potential, but it wasn’t really until the last half of the book or so that I felt as though the relationships between people actually mattered or were interesting to see reflected on the page. This is a bit of a problem for me when the book is based around a girl trying to save her family.
The only other complaint I have is that there was one aspect of the story that really didn’t make sense to me and might be a plot hole. This paragraph might be a bit spoilery, so read at your own risk. Alex goes to Los Lagos to help save her family and finds out that this evil being, the Devourer, is holding them captive and has basically taken over Los Lagos. Now, the Devourer is currently trying to get as much power as she can so that she can leave Los Lagos – she’s been banished there. However, we find out that she’s been recruiting people from our world to help her, but it’s never explained how she’s able to communicate with people from our world while she’s banished to Los Lagos. It just didn’t make sense to me and I would have liked it to be explained, because otherwise it just seems like a giant plot hole. End of spoilers!
Finally, another very strong part of this book is how diverse it is. We know that the overall setting as well as Alex and her family are Latin American, but it goes beyond this as well. Alex’s best friend, Rishi, is Guyanese and Hindu. Alex is bisexual. So we really get to see great, diverse representation which is always something I love.
Although Labyrinth Lost isn’t perfect, it’s still a great read that I highly recommend, especially if you’re looking to diversify your reading habits. It’s a great story about learning to believe in and accept yourself and it brings such an incredible world to life. If you like fantasy, you should definitely give this book a try.