Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
Review by Lauren
source: copy from BEA '16; all opinions are my own
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...
|I loved Labyrinth Lost, which is a bit surprising as I don't normally seek out fantasy novels. Regardless, this one was fantastic and I highly recommend it. I'm actually glad this one is a sequel because I need more. However, I will say now that Labyrinth Lost is a full novel, so despite a few questions at the end that make you want to read the next book, this is a satisfying read all on its own.|
Now, as for the actual story, I liked the world that Cordova created called Los Lagos, where the main character, Alex has to travel to save her family. She is a bruja, which is a witch of sorts, except the power is something that travels through her family. Everyone in her family loves their magic, but Alex has always tried to run away from hers, hiding something awful about it. Her trip to Los Lagos is actually because she tries to banish her power and something backfires, putting her whole family in danger. Los Lagos is a full imagined world, and I loved the various locations and details that Cordova used to help readers visualize.
One of the things that I really loved about the series are the varying characters. Everyone is so interesting and diverse. I LOVED the diversity, whether it was age, ethnicity/race, sexuality. It was all there and done so well! Alex is the main character and she is definitely a layered character that one can easily relate too. She fears and hates her power, but she fiercely loves her family and would do anything for them. Then there is Nova, who Alex doesn't know that well, but he agrees to help her through Los Lagos. Finally, we have Alex's best and only friend, Rishi, who has a much larger part in the book than I first realized. It's easy to see that Alex has a crush on Rishi, though it's not named right away. I loved that it just was though. Nobody, not even Alex, made it into a big deal.
Again, this was great and I eagerly wait for the sequel!