My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Publication Date: September 6th 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Witches, Magic, LGBT, Culture, Family
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 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.
Labyrinth Lost has one of the most intriguing premises I’ve seen this year.
Brujas and brujos. A hidden world of darkness and despair. A powerful witch who denies her powers. And a dangerous adventure to rescue an entire family.
While it started on the paranormal side with spirits and incantations, Labyrinth Lost quickly fell into the fantasy genre when the characters went down the rabbit hole (pun intended) and faced multiple creatures of all sorts with pure magic in a setting as strange as it is treacherous.
No doubt that the most memorable thing about this ‘‘first-in-a-new-series’’ book is the world-building, aka Los Lagos, itself. Reminiscent of Wonderland, it makes the reader question every element that is part of it and surprises the crap out of them with twists and turns they will not see coming.
On the negative side of things, while Los Lagos is very creative and brings to life an adventure as memorable as possible, I kept thinking as I was reading that this would make a fantastic cartoon series. Why this is a negative thing is because I never felt the urgency of the situation: Alex needing to save her parents by facing countless obstacles.
It was like watching a beautiful cartoon show. Whenever the characters are in danger, you feel for them but you don’t actually panic because you know nothing bad is really going to happen since it’s an animated story for young viewers, and so, you think everyone is bound to find their happily ever after in the end.
Which is not the end of the world necessarily, just something I had to mention. After all, it was a very entertaining read for me. I also admired the diversity in it as well as the culture we are introduced to. There are even, at the beginning of each chapter, little quotes meant to plunge us deeper into the world. The main character herself is bisexual and, although the romance remains, throughout the story, in an idle state, it is kindled towards the end.
In short, Labyrinth Lost is a gripping adventure you’ll wish you were part of.
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