Monday, September 5, 2016

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida C贸rdova

Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1
336 p.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: Sept. 6, 2016
Source: From publisher and NetGalley for review
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...
My thoughts:

This story is a reminder of the hero stories of old. Ones where the hero finds strength within and learns who they are and will become. This follows that classic formula but has some important differences. First, it is a mixture of cultures. Not only the Latin culture of the Brujas but also a smidgen of the Santeria culture add depth to the journey of old. This otherworldly adventure is compelling even if the dance steps all have been seen before. Although this sounds predictable (and it is to a degree), there are aspects to the story that twist and surprise. Trust, betrayal, love and disappointment are all a important part of her journey and help Alex decide what kind of person she wants to be and how she wants to treat others. Like Alex, you may not be completely certain who will help or hinder your journey but all aspects you find are important and would not have brought the same results without it. To me, this is a good coming of age story.

My only real niggle with the story has to do with the romance. While some of it seemed predictable, we find that it isn't what we thought. There was one big twist which I enjoyed but at the same time just didn't quite feel. While this aspect of the story fails a bit for me here, it has potential in the stories to come. Alex's story isn't done yet so I may come around to loving the romance in her journey.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. I really loved the cultural take on this story. This is a familiar story with a few surprises you didn't quite see. I highly recommend the book to those that enjoy a hero (heroine in this case) story as well as those that enjoy YA fantasy.

28 comments:

  1. The romance isn't the most important aspect of a story for me so I think I'd enjoy this a lot! Great review, Melissa and thanks for putting this on my radar.

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    1. It isn't and I do think you'd like the twist as well. The twist just needed some developing and I can see that coming with more books.

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  2. Romance is not that important as long as the rest is great. Loving the cover.

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  3. I think this odd mix of culture plus a successful romance would work well for me. Thank you for the review!

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    1. I think you'd really love the twist. The romance isn't successful for me here, but I do think it will come in future books. :)

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  4. I'm always curious about culture in books, so romance notwithstanding, I think this book offers so much more.

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  5. Well now my friend, despite that niggle you have me adding this to my list!

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  6. I think I would miss the romance :)

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  7. Loving the cover.

    Whilst romance isn't one of the things top on my list, if it has to be there it has to be at least done well and this doesn't sound as if if it is. Still, otherwise a book i'd enjoy. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. It didn't bother me too much since the romance was not the focus. :) I also love the cover.

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  8. This sounds really interesting. I'm not familiar with the cultures you mentioned, which makes me want to try it even more. I'll have to keep my out for it when I'm in the mood for YA (I'm really finicky about YA and have to be in the mood for it). Great review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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    1. Oh I think you'll like this one then. This one really reads like the hero's journey.

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  9. I've seen this one a few times and everyone so far is really enjoying it. Hopefully the romance aspect will straighten out in the ones to come.

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    1. I have a feeling it may get muddied then clear. Doesn't bother me since it isn't the focus of the story. :)

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  10. I've seen this one around and with its weird cover, I had no idea what it's about. I figured it had some fantasy elements but that was it. I'm really digging the weird mix of things and I'm all for reading about new to me cultures. I'll be sure to put this on my tbr. Glad this one doesn't end in a cliffie.

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    1. I think you'll enjoy this one! I personally love the cover. :D

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  11. Hmmm...this sounds promising. I think I'd love seeing the cultural aspects and I love twists!

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    1. I'd love to know what you think if you read it! :)

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  12. I'm totally ready to read this, so I skimmed your review. Good to know that you love it!

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  13. Good to know that although it's predictable you enjoyed the twists!

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    1. It is predictable in a good way though. I like the hero journey. :)

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