Title: Labyrinth Lost
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Series: Brooklyn Brujas
Recommended for: Grade 7th and up
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Cordova, Z.
Synopsis: 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…
Review: I love, love, love this book. First of all, this Latinx world is so rich and full of depth. From the underworld that mimic Dante’s Infernal to her family (including her ancestors) to the magic, it’s all done so well. For most of the book, Alex’s family isn’t even present, but they were well rounded and you felt like you really knew then even though the focus wasn’t really on there. Even her grandma, who really is only present for one scene–you just get a deep understanding of how important family really is. I also loved that they were latinx for all over the world and not just one spot–because most family ancestries are nice and messy like that.
Alex is a great heroine. However, she’s deeply flawed, which I actually loved. She doesn’t have it all figured out. She struggles almost every step of the way. Yes, she never wanted magic, but she never meant to banish her family as a way to do it! The journey is about righting that mistake and coming to terms with her magic/things about herself along the way. I also really loved that Alex was bisexual and it was no big deal. Not to her family, her friends, or anyone else. She struggled if she really felt about Rishi that way, but it was more of “do I really have a crush on a friend” than “do I really have a crush on a girl.” It was simply no big deal and it was portrayed in a healthy way as well. All around, I give this book two thumbs up.