Title: Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1)
Author: Zoraida Cordova
Genre: Young Adult | Paranormal | Witches
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
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...(goodreads)
Labyrinth Lost was a refreshing read with a world you want to know more about and characters that can't help but be endearing.
Plot: The book opens with Alex witnessing a ritual that reanimates her aunt's dead corpse - that's when I was pulled in. From there, we get a look at how Alex views her magical lineage and her reluctance to join the rankings of the other brujas in Brooklyn. Although Labyrinth Lost has a bit of a Chosen One feel, I thought that Cordova did a great job because Alex was so reluctant to admit to anyone that she was different/special. She downplayed her gift and rejected all notion of her "specialness" which made her intriguing.
Labyrinth Lost is broken up into 3 parts with the second part having the most action. Alex and her friends end up in a magical realm that is home a variety of creatures that go bump in the night.
Characters: There isn't a character I didn't love in this book, even the characters that Cordova wanted us to hate! I mentioned earlier that Alex refuses to accept her Chosen One status and her fear of her powers makes it easy for the reader to emphasize for her. She feels like a normal teenage girl who does know where she belongs in her a family and is very unsure as to what she wants in life.
I also want to applaud the author for the romance in Labyrinth Lost. It didn't overshadow the main plot and was sweet and subtle. I was very happy with how it was handled and I can't wait to see what developments come about in the second installment.
Worldbuilding: Second to its characters, the world is extremely engaging. This, I think, is because Cordova does not overwhelm us with the dreaded info dump. Alex and her family talk about mystical things as if we are supposed to know what they are, but through hints and clues, the author manages to invite the reader into this world. I especially loved Los Lagos - the magical realm which is being compared to Wonderland. While I didn't get a Wonderland feel, I did love how it incorporated a number of magical creatures.
Short N Sweet: Labyrinth Lost will take you by surprise in the best possible way! I can't wait to own a copy this September.