Thursday, January 12, 2017

Review: Labyrinth Lost - Zoraida Cordova

Labyrinth Lost
Zoraida Cordova
Series: Brooklyn Brujas, #1
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenges: #MontlyMotifs, #DiverseReads2017, #PopSugarReadingChallenge2017

As you may or may not know, I am participating in the Monthly Motif Reading Challenge. January's task was to read a book with a character (or written by an author) of a race, religion, or sexual orientation other than your own. I selected Labyrinth Lost, because it is written by Zoraida Cordova, an Ecuadorian author, and the main character, Alex, is a bisexual Latina witch. This book ticked all the boxes for this challenge, and was the perfect choice.

A photo posted by Sam Kozbial (@kozbisa) on

Alex comes from a long line of powerful witches, or brujas. Her younger sister has the sight; her older sister can heal people, however, it appears as though Alex has not yet come into her powers. Yes, it appears that her powers have not manifested, but in reality, she is very powerful, and blames magic for all her problems. Alex longs to rid herself of her magic, and her attempt at the canto results in her family being sent to another realm from which Alex must rescue them. 

This book was such an adventure. There are so many things Cordova does right in this novel.

The characters are very well developed. I felt like I was well acquainted with Nova and Alex. Cordova gave so much backstory on the two, I was totally able to understand their motives for their actions and decisions. She also crafted wonderful secondary characters: Lady, Lula, Rose, Alex's mom, and Aunt Ro were well drawn, and enriched the story. 

The cultural and magical aspects were so interesting. I am NOT well versed in brujas, therefore, I ate up everything Cordova had to offer regarding this subject. From the descriptions of the clothing and hair, to the food and dance, she really painted a vivid picture of Alex's world for me. And the magic! The magic was pretty fantastic! I felt that the author integrated a through knowledge base of bruja magic so seamlessly into the story. I never felt like I was in the middle of an info dump, rather,  I felt well prepared to understand and enjoy what was going on in the story. 

The relationships in this book were so special. I loved the family bond between the sisters, and the way each generation contributed to the shaping of the next. That was just such a beautiful thing. I also really liked the bruja community aspect. I felt the warmth and the love. 

A lot of reviewers are taking about the romantic aspect. There is a love triangle, where Alex is attracted to both a boy and a girl. It's there. It's a minor part of the story (in my opinion), but I think it's great that it's there, in addition to the entire cast appearing to be people of color. (#ownvoices)

To me, this was a coming of age story for a bruja. She had to confront her past in order to embrace her purpose. It was also a story of family, and how she loved without boundaries. 

Overall: A thrilling adventure with a rich cultural and magical side.  

Have you read this book or 
any other books about witches?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. I was hesitant about this one because I'd read mixed reviews. Love triangles are hit or miss with me---it doesn't bother me that she can't decide between the boy or the girl, though I will say that in a book like this you'd almost feel like she HAS to choose the girl otherwise there will be backlash (sadly). I don't know that that's the case here, but that might color my expectations when I read it.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. The romance was so minor, in my opinion. Honestly, the triangle was only on my radar because of other reviews I had read, and most of the reviewers were disappointed that it played such a small role in the story. I really loved the sense of family and I am really looking forward to getting the other sisters' stories.

  2. I saw your link on Lindsi's latest post, and here I am. I have a trusted friend who liked this book (with a few minor reservations), but I've been hesitant to get on board because of some things - the love triangle being one of them (though I understand it probably helps in establishing the main characters as bi right away, and besides, from what you say, it seems like the triangle is barely there). The premise sounds interesting though...
    Very good review as always!

    1. I meant "the main CHARACTER" of course...

    2. The triangle is sort of shredding by something that is later revealed, so it didn't bother me. I think some people hate love triangles so much, that they seem more prominent to them than to me. In terms of on page, the MC spends more time with one character than the other due to the whole journey, but the attraction to both was pretty clear.

  3. I'm not a huge fan of love triangles, but it really depends on how they're written and how they progress the story. It sounds like this one had a purpose, and I don't think I've read a love triangle that included boy genders. Is the main character trying to sort out her feelings, or determine her identity?

    This does sound like a book I would enjoy, and I love stories that include a lot of family and their relationships to one another.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

    1. The main character seems to be questioning in the book, but since it's not the main focus of the story, the triangle didn't really make a big impact on me.