Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Published: September 6th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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.
Add on Goodreads
“You wanted us all to have our powers. Now look. We do. Maybe you want to spend the rest of your life hiding from the monsters and watching the people you love die, but I don’t.”
Oh, my this book. I just finished it and I knew I had to write this review right away because I have so many thoughts. I WANTED to love it I swear I did. It had Latinx representation and even more so I think the MC was Puerto Rican so that especially resonated with me. Then it had magic and a dark fantasy world and that hooked me even more. After that, it sounded as if I was being promised this alluring and dangerous romance. And of course, that cover just grabbed my heart and my wallet so I had to have it. So what is the issue Kathryn, you ask? Well, I didn’t get what I was promised, at least not all of it. Let me break it down for you I will start with what worked then I will discuss what didn’t in the plot/pace, writing/world-building/setting, characters, and romance.
What worked with the plot was the idea the author set up. We have Alejandra a.k.a Alex who is a Bruja. Unlike the rest of her Bruja and Brujo family, she hates magic and what it can do. She wants to be rid of it and so she tries to rid it of her being but of course, things don’t go as planned. She winds up banishing her family to another realm and has to travel to Los Lagos to save them. With no one left, she turns to a Brujo names Nova to help her before her family is lost forever. Sounds promising right? Well, it didn’t work out that way for me. For one thing, the story takes almost a hundred pages for the plot to kick in. It is a slow beginning but at least wasn’t boring but it wasn’t exciting either. When it did kick in it was adventurous but it was very predictable. It went like this get to the realm (which is supposed to be super hard but they got there super easily) then the formula for the rest was battle something Alex magically harnesses her powers (that she doesn’t know how to use) defeat them move on and repeat. The plot twists were let downs and predictable. It was the “chosen one” trope but done do blah that I could care less if she saved her family or not.
Now, this is what kept me reading. The mythology and culture were multi-layered and magical. I loved the visions I could see in my head of Los Lagos and the different lush and gritty areas. The Sleva of Ashes that lights itself on the fire. The River Luxaria filled with souls that can’t let go of their loved one and the air is stained with tears. The Caves of Night filled with gold crystals and the creatures who protect the treasure. The Meadow del Sol that starts out ethereal but as you look deeper and closer you see the evilness lurking there. The world was vivid and mystical. The downside for me was the dialogue between the characters. I loved the family dynamics but I couldn’t connect with them and the author didn’t make me care for their world. The evil lady could’ve won and I wouldn’t have cared. And honestly, if I took a shot for every time the author described Nova’s “bipolar eyes” or had Rishi say something super intense to Alex like “I will follow you into the darkest dark”, I would have alcohol poisoning.
This was my biggest issue. I really did not care for not one person. They were so flat and there was zero growth in anyone besides saying omg I like my powers now. Alex was selfish and boring but I did love that she was Latinx and seeing myself in a fantasy was something dear to me. Nova was, of course, mysterious and the bad boy but I didn’t care for his backstory or anything. Rishi was the human best friend that somehow magically was able to follow Alex into this world that is difficult to get to and navigate. Also, I hated how when Alex explained everything to Rishi she just accepted it no questions asked…that was so unrealistic I had major eye roll. And don’t even get me started on the so-called evil ” Devourer.” She was like a bunny I didn’t understand how everyone was so scared of her when she did NOTHING! What did she do that was so harmful and scary? She was one of the flattest villains I laughed whenever she was in a scene.
Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. What was good about this? We finally have a love triangle that isn’t like everything else because the MC was bisexual (didn’t even realize till I was almost done) so her love interests were a boy and girl. What was bad? Everything else. First of all, I didn’t even know she was bisexual. I don’t need an author to make their sexuality a big deal and have a whole coming out because I want them to just live in the story as is. BUT, I need some indicator omg. All we got was awkward conversations, the girl saying intense stuff when feelings were never discussed, and a million descriptions of the boy’s eyes. Secondly, I just hate love triangles and this was one of the worst because I didn’t get any connection from either love interest with Alex and in the last five chapters we get all this declaration of love lol like what? It was extremely underdeveloped and honestly could’ve done without it all together. It would’ve been better as a trio of friends and this solely be a book about her powers and family because the romance was just bad.