|Book Review: Labyrinth Lost|
|Book title||Labyrinth Lost|
|Series/standalone||Brooklyn Brujas #1|
|Category | Genre||Young Adult | Fantasy|
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…
In A Nutshell
Magical coming-of-age fantasy influenced by Latin American culture.
- Everyone has their own motives. I really liked this about Labyrinth Lost. Having read books where many characters, friends and comrades alike, throwing their life for the main character without any clear reason, it’s refreshing to see that everyone in Labyrinth Lost has something to gain, a secret or in some case not-so- secret motive, from helping the MC. Of course, at the end of the day, it was all for the greater good, but it’s always nice to get something extra.
- The romance. It’s slow-burning and progressing very well. I adored the love interest and I hope you will too.
- Family first! This book captured sibling relationship perfectly. That catfight, the envious feeling on your more beautiful and capable sister, the annoyance when they’re taking too long to do anything. Her family is not perfect, but the MC loves them anyway. Sure, she did some selfish things, but that made her more relatable.
- The diverse cast and the Latin American culture and influence. So, by now, you might have heard that this book is an ownvoices and as such it did not disappoint. The heavy influence of Latin American culture was on display throughout the book and I truly enjoyed learning about brujas and brujos. It was probably the first fantasy book I ever read based on Latin American culture and it made me want to learn more. The magical world, Los Lagos, was not less captivating compared to the ‘real world’ as it’s filled with interesting characters and formidable villain.
In term of representations, Labyrinth Lost has bisexual and lesbian reps and most of the characters are Latinx, except Rishi who is (I think – can anyone confirm this?) Indian.
- Character growth. Alex was a flawed character who secretly didn’t want to be a bruja (a witch). Her character arc was quite a strong one and we definitely watched her growing up throughout the story.
Things I Wish Were Different
- This book needs more layer on the secondary characters. I just didn’t feel too much character depth especially in the secondary characters. I still root for them, but I want to know more about them. It seems that what given to us is just the topmost layer of these characters. Rishi was portrayed as a bad-ass bestfriend that always stood up for Alex. Nova was a cynical that kept reminding Alex that he’s doing this for his own benefit. But what’s hidden beneath this layer? I want to know more about Nova’s background, Rishi’s family, and others!
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Labyrinth Lost is a great blend of urban fantasy and high fantasy. Siblings and friends relationships, an adorable romance, and great character arc were the highlights for me. A lush world-building in form of Los Lagos with its magical creatures made the book even more enjoyable. Meanwhile, it also offers us a glimpse of the life of Brooklyn brujas and brujos that left me wanting to learn more of the Latin American culture.
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2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Labyrinth Lost”
You make a good point about there not being very many fantasy novels with Latin American influence. The only reason I’ve read fantasy short stories with Latin American influence because I took a short story class and was assigned to critique classmates who wrote fantasy short stories inspired by their heritage.
There really is a lot of potential for great fantasy stories inspired by Latin American cultures.
Maybe I need to read a full length fantasy novel inspired by Latin American culture sometime soon. 🙂
Family relationships are also underrepresented in fiction. Glad to hear this book represents family well!
I’m relieved to know that someone else feels the same about not enough Latin American fantasy novels. Let me know if you ever find a fantasy book, YA or adult or MG – I’m not picky, based on Latin American cultural influence.
Soo true, why are so many parents missing from YA novels?! And why do the so many protagonists have to leave their life, their friends, and their siblings behinds when it could contribute to some interesting plots and character arc.