An enchanting vast world – 3.8 stars
This book is all about a wonderful vast world!
About the Book
[Public Library Audio Book]
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.
“A seamless blend of fantasy and Latinx culture, Labyrinth Lost feels both strikingly authentic and badly needed: in the overwhelming white world of YA literature, a cast of characters comprised almost entirely of people of color—combined with a fantasy world both inspired by a non-white culture and written by a member of that culture—is sure to change the lives of many teens who rarely see themselves reflected in the books they read. But there is another layer of importance to the novel, and that is Alex’s bisexuality. Presented matter-of-factly, without any cheesy plot twist attached, her bisexuality becomes visible but not defining, and the mere fact of its healthy portrayal makes it essential to a group of queer people long erased in mainstream media.” —Lambda Literary
I have to say I LOVE the cover of this book! I had a blast bookstagraming with this book! [I’ll confess all about this new obsession soon].
I requested this ARC back before I was self-diagnosed with my reading condition and it was a DNF at 50%. But we all know by now that doesn’t mean anything right? This book IS GOOD. So as soon as Seven by Dannika Dark got me reading again, I decided to finish as many Netgalley ARCs as I could.
So, from the bottomless pile of pending Netgalley ARCs… Why did I picked Labyrinth Lost?
Well, because I really, really, really liked this book. It was well written, the world was absolutely enchanting and THE PREMISE… oh yeah.. the premise..
Latin American witchcraft (brujeria/santeria) and BRUJAS [witches]!!!
Oh yeah, bring it on, all my girls the BRUJAS!
I love brujas. Maybe because I’m a bruja [ask the kids in the two soccer teams I coached last year, they’ll tell you]
A Warning here: there is ONE brief scene of animal abuse, which is, unfortunately, common in brujería. I didn’t enjoy it, but it didn’t stop me from reading the book. I would be like not reading a WWII book because the is genocide. It’s like a paragraph anyway. So as soon as you see the book mentioning a cockatoo just flip the page and keep enjoying the book!
Even though the writing is not quite yet that of Daughter of Smoke and Bone it’s REALLY good. Naïve, poetic, and imaginative. Perfect for YA books. The imagery and the descriptions were indeed superb, and as good as DoSaB!
A map of Los Lagos would have been awesome, pleeeeeese Zoraida add it to next editions! 🙂
Alejandra, the main character, is thrown waaaaaay down the rabbit hole into this other dimension called Los Lagos ! The world is so vast that most of the story goes into building the world and then the plot and the characters are just secondary. The story and character arcs are driven by the world. Everything becomes about their journey through this world, much like Alice in wonderland. That’s probably why it was a DNF the first time. I’ve never been a fan of wonderlands or neverlands.
I’m not a big fan of books where everything is subordinate to the world-building. If the world is going to drive the characters and story then there better extraordinary story and characters arcs to make up for it, like The Lunar Chronicles’ [Don’t miss the review of Cinder is coming up next week!].
Also, Los Lagos got a little crazy at times, like my bookstagram account: a bunch of creative images that didn’t seem to fit a consistent theme.
So, though the book was very well written and the I found the premise fascinating, I had a hard time fully relating to the characters and the story!!!
Here is my GR summary
All the fascinating Latin American folklore of this book made me crave “Churros con chocolate”! My grand-grandma, who was from Spain, used to make them. Madrid is famous for its churros with hot chocolate and one my favorite place is Chocolatería San Ginés, which I hope to visit it again soon.
Sooooo…. I tried to make the churros. A lot to tell you about that experience! But that for another post. 🙂
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