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Brooklyn Brujas #1

Labyrinth Lost

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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...

324 pages, Hardcover

First published September 6, 2016

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About the author

Zoraida Córdova

35 books4,007 followers
Zoraida Córdova is the author of many fantasy novels for kids and teens, including the award-winning Brooklyn Brujas series, Incendiary, and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: A Crash of Fate. Her short fiction has appeared in the New York Times bestselling anthology Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, Star Wars The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark, Come on In: 15 Stories About Immigration and Finding Home, and Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft. She is the co-editor of the bestselling anthology Vampires Never Get Old. Her debut middle grade novel is The Way to Rio Luna. She is the co-host of the podcast Deadline City with Dhonielle Clayton. Zoraida was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York. When she isn’t working on her next novel, she’s planning a new adventure.

NOTE: Direct messages on this account may not be seen. Send her an email at zoraidabooks@gmail.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,722 reviews
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
317 reviews116k followers
July 30, 2018
3.5 Stars! This was an enjoyable, magical read! I put it off my TBR for so many years for no reason, and I’m satisfied having finally read it.

Labyrinth Lost is a colorful paranormal story brimming with diversity! We follow an all POC-main cast, specifically a bisexual latinx main character (and it features a relationship between two girls!). I very much enjoyed the latin mythology, family dynamics, and mystery of the world. It felt very “Alice in Wonderland meets Percy Jackson” and had a lot of potential.

On the other hand, I didn’t truly “fall” for any of the characters. I don’t feel they will stick with me for a very long time. I felt the love triangle was tired and unnecessary. Overall, I just wasn’t fully engaged in the story, which is a shame because the world felt so immersive at the story. I thoroughly enjoy the story, but I feel I COULD have enjoyed it more. will definitely plan on reading the sequel (though it may take me another few years for it to take priority) and I would recommend to those looking for more diverse fantasy tales.
Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,280 followers
April 14, 2017

Find me on Instagram & Twitter!
❝We all get scared and want to turn away, but it isn’t always strength that makes you stay. Strength is also making the decision to change your destiny.❞

Thank you to Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC to review!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Labyrinth Lost reminded me so much of a mashup between Pan's Labyrinth and Alice in Wonderland. And since I loved both of those movies and stories, I just had a feeling right from the very first page that I would instantly fall in love with this book as well. Although I did enjoy Labyrinth Lost overall, I did feel as if it was missing something that would give it that WOW factor. It was good but it didn't have that quality to it that made me want to keep turning the page and not put the book down. The story kept me fairly entertained but it just didn't really stand out to me.

Labyrinth Lost was definitely not a bad book. I was actually completely invested in the story right from the very beginning. I was absolutely swept away by the creatures, the magic, and the world itself. The characters weren't necessarily great or anything special. They were simply just okay. I think the supporting characters were more likable than the main character herself. Alex wasn't really distinguishable from all the other heroines I've read about. She can easily get lost in the long list of YA heroines that we've all come across.

As for the villain in the story, also known as The Devourer, she could probably win an award for worst villain ever. The development in her character was just very lacking. She wasn't close to intimidating or scary. We got a glimpse at her background story but it didn't really do much to develop her character, or maybe at that point I really just wasn't invested in the story. We barely get see much of her so to be brutally honest, I simply just did not care for her. There were even some times where I forgot that she was even a part of the story.

The story started off fairly strong but that momentum started to die off gradually when we got to the middle. It was easy for me to read and keep going in the beginning but once we got through half of the book, the pacing began to feel a little slow and I started to lose my interest. In addition to that, the ending felt rushed and anticlimactic.

Going into Labyrinth Lost, I was aware that there would be a female/female pairing, which sort of surprised me because I expected Nova to be Alejandra's love interest based on the synopsis on the back of the book. But I was all for it because we do need more F/F representation in young adult books. In fact, it's sad to say that I probably only know a handful of books that have F/F pairings in them. So when I heard that Labyrinth Lost would feature a F/F relationship, I knew I just had to get my hands on a copy of this book.

After reading the book however, I'm not going to lie, I was not a fan of Rishi and Alex as a couple. I greatly appreciate Zoraida's attempt at a F/F pairing but it just did not work for me. Rishi and Alejandra were just plain AWKWARD. Their "sweet", little moments felt terribly forced and cringey, and they had little to zero chemistry. I just couldn't buy into their relationship no matter how much I wanted to especially since I thought the couple was very dull and underdeveloped. For a couple that's supposed to be the one that actually happens, we don't really get much development between the two so it came off as a little insta-lovey. It also didn't help that I did not love Rishi's character at all. I felt that her character had no real purpose besides providing our heroine with a female love interest because she added nothing whatsoever to the storyline. I think I would've enjoyed her better as a best friend rather than a love interest. Whenever I think of Rishi all I can think of in my head is, "Why are you even here?" As much as I was hoping to root for a F/F couple, I think Nova would've been a more suitable partner for Alex because we actually grew accustomed to them as a pair from the very beginning. We get to see them develop and work together even more than Rishi and Alex. His feelings were more believable and understandable. On top of that, Nova was just all around a better character compared to Rishi. His character actually had depth and was likable. In fact, he was my favorite character in this whole book. Rishi was simply just there for the purpose of a romantic storyline.

While Labyrinth Lost does have it's high points, it does have its share of low points as well. Although the characters weren't the driving force of this book, I was able to find joy in the magic and the world building. In terms of romance, personally, the female/female pairing didn't quite work for me but the effort and the thought that Zoraida has put into the couple does not go unnoticed. I applaud Zoraida's attempts at incorporating diversity in regards to relationships and the Latin culture. Labyrinth Lost ultimately felt like a Latin version of Alice in Wonderland and it will definitely leave you feeling as if you were falling into the black hole and into the magical world of Los Lagos.
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
611 reviews87.5k followers
February 10, 2017
Probably closer to a 2.5*
I wanted so badly to love this but I just couldn't. The comparisons to Alice in Wonderland are rife with this one so my expectations were admittedly high. The world had the potential to be so rich and colourful, but I just felt like the whole thing dragged. I had a really hard time wanting to pick up this book. It just wasn't for me. That being said, I loved the diversity! I particularly loved that it wasn't a huge focus of the storyline, it just was an element of the characters. Diversity was definitely done right in this one.
Profile Image for Rose.
417 reviews589 followers
September 7, 2016

“She is the light in the hopeless places.
She is the sky when the night blazes."

I feel like I've been waiting for a book like this forever.


One obvious issue in the YA genre is the lack of representation of racial and ethnic minorities. Thankfully more authors are coming forward with stories including all types of minorities, and publishing companies are actually publishing them. We have a long way to go, but Zoraida Córdova has created something so ahead of what I’ve read in YA, so far.

Yes, this is a story about witches.
No, you haven’t read anything like it.

It has all the dark magic and trickery, you’d expect from witches, but also so much more. In between this journey that Alex must take; there is self-acceptance, the strength of love from family, and unfaltering loyalty in friendships. This book has the perfect balance between ‘good’, ‘evil’, and everything in between.


In the beginning, we’re introduced to the three sisters, and witches: Alex (no powers ‘yet’), Rose (psychic), and Lada(healer). All of them has distinct qualities to them, which are mimicked by their powers, but their shared bond is what I loved reading about the most. They have the complex sister-relationship that only sisters can really get.

Fast forward a bit, and it’s Alex’s ‘death day,’ a ritual marking the day she fully comes into her powers, which have finally shown themselves. But.. she’s decided to change the rules. And she wishes all the magic in her to disappear, not realizing her family’s power is a part of her too.

And so.. they disappear.


This leads to her journey to through Los Lagos, a land overcome with darkness, with a boy she knows nothing about. Nova, the brujo (boy witch), was my absolute favorite character, sorry Alex. He is such an interesting, complex character and there is still so much of his story we still don’t know. SO excited to see more of him.

He holds her.
She saves him.
He saves her.
He wants her.
He loves her.

It’s all an addictive, perfectly-paced (is that a thing?) ride. The perfect mix of darkness, humor, friendship, betrayals, and family.

No spoilers here, but some important details I left out:
- there are bi and lesbian main characters
- majority, if not all, of the characters are POC

The ending is satisfying
, but also leaves you wanting more (thank god this is a series). Not 100% sure that I’ll be able to handle waiting until the next one, which will be published god knows when.. but I’m excited to where Alex’s story is headed. Oh, and prepare for all the craziness at the end (pretty sure I died).

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for the ARC!
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,167 reviews98.2k followers
December 17, 2016
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Did I just read a unique story about witches, with a full POC cast, that also had a healthy portrayal of bisexuality? At this point, I don't think this book is being marketed correctly, because who in the hell wouldn't want to read this book after knowing those somewhat hidden three points? Then, midway through the book, I realized this book also has faeries, so I was as good as done for by that point and completely ready to sing this books praises. I really believe this is a hidden gem, and I'm so thankful I put in a request for an ARC of this when I just thought it was about witches.

“Spells are for witches. Brujas do cantos.
All brujas are witches but not all witches are brujas.”

Alex isn't just a bruja, but she is an Encantrix - the most powerful bruja to be in her family for generations. Unfortunately, Alex doesn't want the power or the pain she think follows this power. She even goes to an extreme length to first hide then get rid of her powers, but Alex forgets that everything comes with a price.

Her older sister, Lula, is the gorgeous one with the bruja power of healing. Her younger sister, Rose, is a child genius with a special communicative bruja gift. Everyone thinks that Alex's power just isn't showing up, no one expects her to just be hiding it because of a traumatic event from her past.

Obviously she couldn't hide it forever, hence the book, and when her family realizes that her power has not only came, but is the most powerful gift able to be given, they start planning her deathday. Deathdays in the bruja community are very special and very grand, sort of like a quinceañera, but with ghosts from your family blessing your journey, too.

“That’s the thing, my love. Even if you don’t think of the dead, the dead are thinking of you.”

After a couple bad decisions, Alex accidentally casts her entire family away at her deathday celebration, while trying to perform a cantos to get rid of her powers instead of embracing them. This embarks the journey of her and a boy who claims he knows the way to Los Lagos to rescue her family.

This story is told in three parts. The first part is in Brooklyn, NY. The second part is Alex and Nova entering Los Lagos, which was really reminiscent to me of Narnia, even though I think it's supposed to be a purgatory, and I loved every second of it. I especially loved Agosto and the rest of his fae. Then, lastly, the third part is their confrontation at the Tree of Souls, where her family is being held against their will.

This story was a good surprise; I loved the Latin-American perspective, and was so happy with the acceptance of Alex's bisexuality. Her whole family didn't make a big deal about it, because it's really not a big deal, but that's hard for a lot of authors to realize. There was no drama leading up to it, there was no unnecessary angst because of it, it was just natural, accepted, and beautifully done. I really appreciated it.

This all being said, I still have to warn you that there is a love triangle. Well, there will probably be a love triangle later down the line of this series. Alex, in my eyes, always makes her choice clear, but I can still see the triangle developing with its sharp angles ready to pierce my heart.

“Not all loves are meant to last forever. Some burn like fire until there is nothing left but ash and black ink on skin.”

This was a pleasant read that I thoroughly enjoyed being surprised over. Los Lagos was my favorite part, and I think I will read book two just in hopes of seeing more of those magical side characters. There is also a decent sized surprise at the end, which for sure left me wanting some questions answered.

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Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
301 reviews40.3k followers
March 4, 2017
I really like the concept, the world and the familial relationships, but I wanted a little more. There was so much potential and room for epic and vivid worldbuilding, tense action scenes and wonderfully developed relationships, but ultimately I found it fell a little short. I just wanted to see more of what was shown to me.
I'm very much looking forward to seeing what the sequel holds, though!
Profile Image for Zoraida.
Author 35 books4,007 followers
January 25, 2018
This book has been in my mind and heart for a long time. I've grown up surrounded by rich cultures and have always wanted to create my own worlds. I hunger for magic and myth and fantasy.

If you'd like to read the first 100 pages, you can do it by clicking this link! -->http://books.sourcebooks.com/labyrint...

Feel free to ask me questions here.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,461 reviews9,615 followers
September 5, 2016
I wonder what it's like in other households during breakfast. Do their condiment shelves share space with jars of consecrated cemetery dirt and blue chicken feet? Do their mothers pray to ancient gods before they leave for work every morning? Do they keep the index finger bones of their ancestors in red velvet pouches to ward off thieves?
I already know the answer is no. This is my world.
Sometimes I wish it weren't.

This book is about Alex, she is a bruja (a witch) but when they find out her powers, shes actually an encantrix and they are apparently very powerful. But Alex doesn't want anything to do with magic. She feels like that is what made her father leave when she was a child.

Alex talks to a boy named Nova when her and her mom were in a shop getting some things for her DeadDay celebration. She gets some kind of idea from him about getting rid of her powers. I think I missed that whole conversation but they talked about it later and that's the only time she talked to him before so I don't know.

So on the night of the celebration relatives come by to perform the ritual with Alex, her sisters and mom. They also invite Nova. Well, Alex does some weird thing and ends up sending her whole family to Los Lagos. It's a different place full of all kinds of creatures and the evil Devourer who makes the place a not very nice place to live for said creatures.

Alex and Nova journey through the jungles and sea and what not to try to find Alex's family. They run into different fairy creatures, saberskins, sea monsters, etc and so on. I actually liked the saberskins, they were a type of people black bird person type thing. At least that's the way I pictured them. Their leader was Madra and I really liked her. I also liked Agosto, not at first because he wasn't nice, but after when he helped out. lol

Alex's best friend Rishi shows up at one point and tells Alex she was coming to her house and jumped into the portal with them. It turns out they are love interests so I guess if you love someone or think you do then you jump into some portal after them.

I liked the book okay. The setting was pretty cool but I didn't get too invested in the characters. I did like them but I didn't love them to death. Accept for Madra, but I digress.

I think a lot of people will love this book because it is filled with magic and creatures.

*I would like to thank Netgalley and Sourcebooks for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd).
332 reviews7,309 followers
September 4, 2016
Maybe more of a 2.5/5

Oh, how I wanted to adore this book. It has so many things going for it. The whole mythology of brujas, a matriarchy of intelligent women within a fiercely loving family, bisexual Latina protagonist... But unfortunately, this just didn't do it for me.

This book is about Alejandra, a girl raised by a long line of brujas. Unlike her family, she doesn't embrace her power, she wants it gone. So at her Deathday party, when she should be accepting her place as the most powerful bruja in a generation, she tries to eradicate her power. But everything (of course) goes terribly wrong and she winds up banishing her entire family to another realm instead. Which is a pretty big oops. So she has to travel to Los Lagos, a limbo dimension, with a brujo named Nova to try to save her family before it is too late.

This all sounds wonderful to me, in theory. And so much of the mythology and culture that was packed into this book was incredibly layered and well-done. Each chapter began with a quote from a book of cantos, or a line from a famous bruja myth, and the actual cantos (not spells, spells are for witches) that were performed in this story were really magical and wonderful. Unfortunately, it just felt like all of the stories beyond the setting had been done before.

If you like paranormal fantasy, if you like the tropes and the stereotypes of the genre, then maybe you would enjoy this book. But I couldn't get past the ways that the story felt so unbearably repetitive. There were multiple moments when I wanted to scream just because I felt like I was very nearly reading lines pulled from other paranormal fantasy books. Nova, the boy with a troubled past. Alex, the girl who has so much power but doesn't want it. A mystery world where things are *gasp* more than they appear.

Even the bisexual elements of this story, which was one of the main reasons I was interested, I felt could have been done better. The relationship between Alex and the female love interest was very underdeveloped. Even as someone actively on the lookout for it, I didn't feel like enough had been established about the characters before they were declaring their love for one another. And this applies to both love interests, not just the female one.

I appreciate, however, that this book did the thing that a lot of people have been asking for: a bisexual love triangle in which the MC is caught between a male and a female love interest.

The writing as far as setting was really nice, very immersive and lyrical. But Alex was not someone I cared about as I read this book. She just wasn't layered as a character. She lacked so much depth, and I couldn't bring myself to want to care about her or her story.

I wanted to love this book, I really did. But if you are looking for anything original from a paranormal fantasy standpoint, I wouldn't recommend this one.

**eARC provided by NetGalley**
Profile Image for WhatIReallyRead.
685 reviews495 followers
April 18, 2020

This book was an extreme case of cover love for me. To be honest, I didn't even read the summary before ordering it. Didn't want to know anything about it at all, partly because I feared getting disappointed.

The world-building is only vaguely outlined. Okay, so "bruja" actually just means "witch" in Spanish. The author uses ordinary Spanish words throughout the book as if they are some sort of specific terminology, but they aren't. Instead of creating a magic-y atmosphere, it was just weird to see random Spanish words thrown in here and there for no apparent reason. So we end up with stuff like this:

In the woods, I found the love de mis amores
He was there at the end de mis dolores

I don't know, to me it sounds pretty dumb. Maybe I'd feel differently if I didn't know Spanish? Also, sometimes characters insert Spanish words while talking to each other. Is this supposed to signify they are actually communicating in Spanish and the author is "translating" for us?

I loved what this book could have been more than what it actually was. I loved the cover, the title, the aesthetics of the world it depicts.

I also liked:
- the fact that it was light on the romance. It was barely there, really.
- no obsessive/annoying inner monologues, even though it's a first-person story
- it's a quick, light read

The characters. Let's start with Nova, the male "lead". He is, of course, tall, beautiful, muscular, has pierced ears and tattoos all over his arms, and perfect skin. Jeez, give the guy a break, he's only seventeen! A few pimples wouldn't kill him! I know people with acne don't exist in the YA world, but seriously... Enough of this shit.

Of course, we need about 50 updates throughout the book on whether his eyes currently look more blue or more green. Of course, he has awful scars on his back, terrible childhood, fucked-up family. Also, apparently, he thinks it's okay to throw not-so-subtle hints at his scary past to complete strangers:

"I think I've lived long enough for about two lifetimes"
"If you knew what I've been through, you'd never sleep again"

Then Alejandra, the main character. She, of course, has a rare power. Also, she's egocentric. This girl banishes her entire family to a demon realm by accident. A person is standing next to her in the aftermath, one she's just met. She just tells him "You have to help me". Ahem. Girl, I hate to break it to you... No, he doesn't. When he tells her as much, she's so offended! This coming from a girl who bitched about her sister borrowing her sweater. She doesn't ask for help, she demands it, assuming that any bypasser owes it to her to risk his life and go to a demon realm with her just because. Her reasoning is "I have no one left". So? Is anyone supposed to give a fuck? She manages to bribe him into going, and then continues to be surprised he didn't go "for her", but for the incentive she provided. Ugh!

The plot. Right at the beginning of the book, there's a map of Los Lagos. You can see right there the places like "Caves of Night" etc. You can tell that we're going to have a glimpse of all of them, meet and fight creatures there, and that's exactly what happens. Chapter - creature - fight - move on.

Alejandra's sister tells her:

"You can channel all the gifts from the Deos. You have to stop being afraid of yourself. You don't know how strong you are".

And that's essentially, all the conflict in the book. Alejandra just needs to accept how amazingly gifted she is. Because that's sssooooo difficult. Yeah, a real problem right here, conflict, character growth!

Am I too old for this stuff? Probably. Or maybe the book just isn't that good. It seemed pretty naive and straightforward, the "twist" didn't do anything for me, it just made sense (though I didn't guess it in advance).

I wasn't very invested in the story. And still, I ended up caring for the characters and wanting to find out more. This happens to me a lot, I can't drop a series even if I don't particularly like it.

While impatiently waiting for the book to arrive, I bought something... So now I have this charismatic character living on my kitchen windowsill:
Profile Image for emma.
152 reviews569 followers
January 18, 2018
“Death is the most sure but unexpected part about life. It’s almost up there with love. It’s bound to happen, but how and when—now that’s the tricky part.”

4.25 stars.

Labyrinth Lost is a fun, adventurous, and powerful (no pun intended) story about family, magic, and monsters.


Alex is a teenage bruja—a Latina witch from a powerful bloodline of magicians. She’s grown up in Brooklyn with her mother and sisters, and everyone around her is eagerly anticipating the arrival of her powers. Alex has a secret, though—she wants nothing to do with her family’s world of magic or the future they’ve laid out for her. When she tries to take her destiny into her own hands, though, her actions have disastrous consequences.

Alex has a voice that's easy to get into, and she’s a likable main character. She has a fierce love for her sisters, mother, and best friend that drives her and humanizes her, in a way that’s actually quite rare for a YA fantasy heroine.

aaaaaand her traveling companions were just as fun and compelling:

Nova is a mysterious brujo who claims to be able to help Alex with her problems. He’s basically that ridiculously charming fuckboy who you KNOW you shouldn’t fall for, but against your better judgement you go and do it anyway. Essentially, he's the stereotypical Mysterious Bad Boy with a Good Heart™, and I was prepared to hate him for it but apparently my cynical heart is weaker than I thought bc she fell fucking hard.

Rishi is a Hindu and Guyanese girl, and Alex’s nonmagical best friend. She’s so sweet and quirky and full to the brim of love and I really hope she’s having a Nice Day because she fucking deserves it, what an honest to god queen. There is a slight love triangle dynamic here, but the main focus of the story is on their adventure and Alex’s struggle to accept and control her powers.

“But the labyrinth has a way of taking you in and never letting go. It is a dark place, a damned place.”

This book opens in Brooklyn, and I absolutely adored the urban fantasy/paranormal environment in which Alex’s story was set. It had the perfect mixture of strange and familiar, with a sort of Percy Jackson/TMI vibe but centered on witchcraft and Latinx culture. The fantasy realm that Alex and her friends journey into is equally fascinating. Los Lagos is a beautiful and deadly landscape—there’s a river that swirls with desperate souls, demonic creatures made of shadows, and beautiful food that crumbles to dirt in your mouth.


Love is Lula. Love is my mom. Love is Rose. Love is in this power that I never asked for but courses through my veins like the blood of my ancestors.

I love the importance of family and culture in this book. Alex’s mother and sisters are a tightly-knit group who share a fierce love for one another, and the value of heritage and familial relationships is reflected in their magic. Their knowledge and spells are guided by their family's Book of Cantos: the collected knowledge of generations of brujxs. This is a story of more than blood family, though—there’s an emphasis on found family as well. Nova grew up without parents or siblings, with nobody really looking out for him or on his side. He's spent his life without the support system Alex has, but through his friendship with her he finds that for the first time.

Diverse rep:

The author also included a short note about how she drew on Latin American culture and Santeria as inspirations for the beliefs and practices of Alex’s family and community. I can’t comment on the Latinx rep myself, so if you’re an ownvoices reviewer I’d be happy to link to your review here!

Alex is queer (unlabeled, but the author has referred to her as bisexual), and I loved the way her subtle attractions to both of her traveling companions were explored as she slowly came to realize her feelings. I appreciated that there was casual queer rep in the background, too: one of Alex's aunts is married to the bruja who runs the local magical supply shop!

All in all, this is a lovely book about a sapphic bruja, her struggles with her heritage, and her journey through a strange and magical world.

I’m not the encantrix everyone thought I would be. Right now, I’m just a girl, and there is also magic in that.

tw: animal death

This review was also posted on my blog.
Profile Image for Joelle (Throne of books) .
193 reviews64 followers
September 6, 2016
☆☆☆ Thank you sourcebooks for providing me with this ARC! ☆☆☆

  Labyrinth Lost is the story of 16 year old Alex. Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch of her generation. And of course, she hates her magic. At her deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. In a twisted turn of events, the spell backfires and leaves Alex alone with Nova, a strange boy she can't trust.
   To get back her family, Alex and nova travel to Los Lagos, a land in the in between, as dark as limbo and as strange as wonderland ...

  Well, they got the dark strange as wonderland part down. In my honest opinion, labyrinth lost was disappointing. It started off great, I was losing myself in the story relatively well, I liked the main character and the writing. Unfortunately, halfway into the story things started going downhill.
    I personally believe the aspect of where the autoher was trying to go with the story was great. But it didn't meet its potential. It could be haven been SO mind blowing but for lack of a better word, it failed. One of the many things I was most excited about was the Latin tradition that was heavily shown throughout the book. I loved that. I think it was very well done. The second thing I was excited about was the bi sexuality of the character. Now, THAT was my biggest let down. I am ALL for bigger representation of the LGBT+ community in YA books but I was so let down by this attempt. The love interests didn't work out. Rishi was one of those characters that  you see in a TV show like Pretty little Liars for example. A new love interest that is introduced but within a few episodes is killed off. Only Rishi didn't die. She continued on being the love interest and that didn't work at all. There was no chemistry between the MC and Rishi. None. The attempt at it was cringe worthy.
  The love interest that DID work out and the one you'll be rooting for is Nova. Nova is a strange, mysterious boy with lots of secrets and hidden history. That side of the love triangle had chemistry. Nova was an intriguing character that made this story better than it would have been otherwise.

 Plot-wise, the story is unique in its own little way. It definitely felt like it was more of a Latin Alice in Wonderland but it was working. For a while. Once I reached the last half of the book things slowed down, I started getting bored, and when things picked up at the end, it was rushed. Anticlimactic and RUSHED. it felt like your typical YA ending.
   Above all, the characters were a selling point for the story. They were all interesting characters (*cough cough* except Rishi) what would be considered our 'villain' of the story was... underdeveloped. She's interesting but there are too many questions about her that we don't get answered. I REALLY wanted to love this, I really did. And I enjoyed it, but It disappointed me in a way that I can only think was because of how high my expectations were due to the POTENTIAL the book had. In no way do I think the book was bad. Not at all, but it wasn't the BEST thing EVER.
Profile Image for TJ.
978 reviews119 followers
June 26, 2016
Received from: Sourcebooks Fire
Received Via: NetGalley.com


Why this book?

Seemed really interesting

What I thought

Alex is an Encantrix the most powerful bruja to be in her family for generations. When trying to get rid of her powers she sends her family away to Los Lagos. Where her, Nova and Rishi start on there journey to save them. One thing I liked most about this book was the diversity it was based strongly on the Latin American culture . This book also had a bisexual love triangle which is unique. The characters were also extremely well fleshed out. Speaking of the characters I really liked Alex and Nova, Rishi on the other hand bugged me for some reason. As for the world building it was amazing I could picture everything in my head perfectly. I'm not too familiar of the the Latin American culture so it took me some time to get into the book, but it wasn't long that I was engrossed in it. With that being said this is a must read!
Profile Image for Melissa.
560 reviews802 followers
June 4, 2018
Your book can’t be boring when witches enter a magical world full of magical creatures (evil or not). If you love magic and adventures in a foreign land, this book is for you.
Profile Image for sreeja.
64 reviews307 followers
November 25, 2016
what a magical and inclusive book
 photo tumblr_inline_mqiawdoDP71qz4rgp_zpstcdewenh.gif

I'm so so glad that this book tries to be more inclusive of society and the family aspect is seriously the sweetest!

Profile Image for E.K. Johnston.
Author 27 books2,348 followers
September 13, 2016
Labyrinth Lost is straight up one of the best books about witches/magic/family/identity I have ever read. Córdova wanted "Charmed, with Latinx brujas", and, man, did she nail it. The characters were awesome, the sister-ing was awesome, the family-ing was awesome, and the magic knocked my socks off, before we got to the portal fantasy part.

Basically it was just really excellent.

And also: girls kissing. So really.
Profile Image for Book Riot Community.
953 reviews125k followers
July 26, 2016
Brujas! Family love! Creepy monsters! Girls who love girls! A boy made of sunlight! Zoraida Cordova’s Labyrinth Lost was a fun and fast-paced venture through another world. After trying to eradicate her magic during her Deathday celebration, bruja Alex is forced into Los Lagos to rescue her family. Alex’s quest is as much a poignant discovery of herself and her place in the world as it is about saving her family, and combined with a beautiful splash of romance, made for the perfect summer fantasy read.

— Nicole Brinkley

from The Best Books We Read In June 2016: http://bookriot.com/2016/06/29/riot-r...
Profile Image for Wanderlust_Wanz.
318 reviews47 followers
September 18, 2016
A rather interesting read! I felt more connected to Nova as his character is more complex and mysterious and I honestly like him better than Rishi as Alex's love interest. Definitely will be keeping an eye on the next instalment after the unexpected twists, betrayals and that shocking ending!
Profile Image for K..
3,667 reviews1,006 followers
February 6, 2017
3.5 stars.

I'd heard reeeeeeeeeeally mixed things about this book, so I was a little hesitant going into it. So colour me pleasantly surprised when I found myself completely sucked into the story basically from the get-go. I mean, it's a story about a Latina teenage girl whose family are brujas and brujos. She doesn't want to be a bruja. And when her family finally works out that her powers HAVE turned up and throw her a Deathday party, she tries to get rid of her powers and instead manages to banish her family to Los Lagos.

What I liked about this book is the representation. Alex's family were delightful and I loved the complex relationship that they had. I loved that we had an entire cast of Latinx characters whose speech wasn't randomly peppered with random italicised words in Spanish to emphasise that they're Latinx.

I liked that Alex is a bisexual character (although the word bisexual is never used) and that we see her being attracted to both male and female characters during the course of the story. I mean, THERE'S A FREAKING BISEXUAL LOVE TRIANGLE, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. It's delightful.


This book is.......heavy on the tropes. There wasn't a huge amount of characterisation pretty much across the board. Like, all I remember about Rishi, the female love interest is that she wears quirky clothes and platform boots. I should know more than that, surely.

Add in the fact that Nova's eyes are described as "bipolar" on multiple occasions, and there were...quite a lot of negatives here. I mean, if his eyes are different colours (which I suspect is what Cordova was going for)? THERE'S ALREADY A WORD FOR THAT. HIS EYES ARE NOT A MENTAL ILLNESS. YOU KEEP USING THAT WORD. I DO NOT THINK IT MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS.

So yeah. The story was reasonably compelling and I was intrigued to see how it all played out. But it...could have been better.
Profile Image for Mir.
4,862 reviews5,006 followers
August 2, 2020
This is a very standard YA fantasy quest about a Super-powerful teen who is Special traversing an unfamiliar magical land and overcoming obstacles (some external, some internal) to eventually fight the Big Bad and save Everything, supported by her sidekicks Spunky Best Friend and Sexy Bad Boy with a secret.

How much you enjoy this may depend on how many books with this plot you've already read in your life. For me, the answer is A LOT, and this was not one of the best in terms of plot or characters. I found the characters underdeveloped, especially Alex, whose head we are in and who should therefore be more interesting. I get that teen internal monologue may indeed be whiny and angry, but it isn't only that. I also found her reasons for wanting to get rid of her magic unconvincing.

On the plus side, this book has diversity and really colorful fantasy imagery. The world of Los Lagos is just crying out for CGI and this could make a really pretty and creepy miniseries. Also, kudos for good complex representation of family relationships, and for not making the MC too dumb over Nova.
3.5 stars
Profile Image for Brooke — brooklynnnnereads.
1,004 reviews244 followers
April 26, 2018
I'm bumping this book to a 3 star rating but in all honesty, it was more of a 2.5 star for me. I don't know if it was my reading mood but I was either in a reading slump beforehand or this book pushed me into one.

This book was imaginative and the story appears interesting and new, yet for some reason I had extreme difficulty getting into it and maintaining that level of interest throughout. No matter how hard I tried, I didn't find myself getting lost in the story or becoming truly invested in any of the characters. Even after finishing this novel, I don't feel like I truly understand the characters at a deep level (even the main character).

Part of the reason I think I had a sense of detachement from the novel was the language that was being used. I am all for encorporating different languages and cultures within the novel but....I was getting confused. Words in a different language were heavily integrated in the story and were not fully explained until the author's note (which I didn't realize there was one until I finished the novel). I understand the reason behind using that language but at the same time, it was part of the reason that I found this novel difficult to read.

One thing that this novel certainly had going for it was its use of imagery. Oh my! This was a very visual novel. At moments, I felt like I was envisioning a Percy Jackson-esque Quest in the Underworld from Once Upon a Time. Then I would imagine the world looking like something from the Pixar movie "Coco". Where I did not find myself lost in the story, I most definitely found myself lost in the setting.

I will be reading the next book in the series because I am interested in where the story goes from that ending and I also have an advanced reader's copy. I'm hoping that the sequel hooks me where the first one didn't and that the author continues with her creative and imaginative settings.
December 31, 2022

“Not all loves are meant to last forever. Some burn like fire until there is nothing left but ash and black ink on skin”.

Hace mucho tenía ganas de leer algo sobre brujas y demás, pero este libro se me quedó corto y me pareció muy juvenil para mi gusto. Ya sé, estoy vieja.

Aquí nos encontramos a Alejandra, una chica bisexual que, además, es la bruja más poderosa de su generación. A pesar de eso, a Alejandra nunca le han gustado mucho sus poderes y por eso planea deshacerse de ellos. El día en el que se celebra su Deathday, que es cuando las brujas aceptan completamente sus poderes y demás, a Alex se le ocurre usar un canto (una especie de hechizo) para eliminar esos poderes de su vida. Sin embargo, obvio todo le sale mal y lo que termina haciendo es exiliar a su familia a otra dimensión extraña. Entonces allí empieza su camino hacia Los Lagos, este extraño limbo, para salvarlos, pero va a necesitar la ayuda de Nova, otro brujo.

La verdad es que la premisa me parecía interesante, pero la ejecución de las ideas y el desarrollo de la trama se quedó plano, en mi opinión. La autora tenía muchísimo potencial que podía explotar con las diferentes tradiciones, con todo el color de la cultura y demás, pero el libro sencillamente no lo transmite muy bien. Más allá de eso, creo que la misión de Alex terminó estando llena de clichés y nunca logró separarse de los miles de libros paranormales que ya existen, ¿saben? Chica que no quiere sus poderes, familia en peligro, interés amoroso medio shaddy, etc.

Una de las cosas que la autora intentó hacer y que, en mi opinión, no salieron bien, fue crear un triángulo amoroso en la que la protagonista bi tuviera que decidirse entre un chico y una chica. Pero en ningún momento sentí que se fuera construyendo tensión de un lado ni de otro, así que cuando suceden cosas parecen forzadas.

En fin, creo que, en general, mi problema fue que la trama quería hacernos creer que era súper grande, peligrosa e impresionante, cuando en realidad no se sentía que lo que estuviera en juego fuera importantísimo.
Profile Image for ✨    jami   ✨.
660 reviews3,882 followers
January 2, 2018
My feelings are so mixed. On one hand, I loved the Brujo/Bruja 's and Los Lagos and all the magic and witchiness. This book had such unique and interesting story elements due to the incorporation of Latinx culture and I loveddd ittt.

BUT, I kinda feel like this wasn't what I was expecting and something didn't click with me. I really found this a slog at times, I think it's because I struggled to really connect with the characters so everything happening to them just left no deep impression on me. Also, the f/f romance was not as prominent as everyone made it out to be

Not sure if this is the book, or my mood though. I feel like if I reread this I'd like it more. Will ponder this and then post a full review
Profile Image for lauren ♡.
537 reviews108 followers
September 17, 2016
I loved the world and all the Latinx culture that was used. I felt like the characters were a bit flat at times, but things picked up towards the end of the book. It was a really fun read and it's great seeing a main character that is a person of colour and identifies as bisexual. Definitely recommend if you're a fan of paranormal/fantasy. Full review to come.
Profile Image for CW ✨.
644 reviews1,692 followers
August 10, 2017

This is a book of wonders. 

Labyrinth Lost is a blend of fantasy and adventure filled with dark creatures and magic, captivating but terrifying otherworlds, but, at its heart, is a powerful tale about family, love, and identity. The balance between fantasy and thematic is delicate, but the protagonist, Alejandra, and her journey to save her family and self-discovery is the driving force of the story. The results are spectacular; what we get is a story that stretches the imagination but is also full of heart.

I wonder what it's like in other households during breakfast. Do their condiment shelves share space with consecrated cemetery dirt and blue chicken feet? Do their mothers pray to ancient gods before they leave for work every morning? Do they keep the index finger bones of their ancestors in red velvet pouches to ward off thieves?

The beauty of this book lies mostly in the immersive world that Córdova has created. The strong Latinx mythos and influence inherent in the novel integrated wonderfully with Alejandra's world and perspective. The narrative is rich with minute but vivid details with beautiful imagery, found in the spaces of Alejandra's home and community in Brooklyn as well as the magical and dangerous world of Los Lagos. Undoubtedly an adventure story at heart, reading Labyrinth Lost teleported me to worlds I had never visited before, something utterly unfamiliar and new, and I enjoyed it immensely.

The characters of Labyrinth Lost are marvelous, and offered a diversity of perspectives and voices. The representation in this novel was wonderful, including healthy bisexuality representation and cultural representation. The portrayal of sisterhood was gorgeous, and I related to the relationship between Alex and her sisters, Lula and Rose. Though I loved Alex, especially for her flaws, I connected so much with Lula, who is the eldest sister and feels so much responsibility to guide Alex and help her understand and connect to her identity. Rose is a bit more of an enigma, but I have a feeling we will see more of her in the future books. I loved that Labyrinth Lost explores so much about family, and how it is associated with our sense of belonging, our sense of who we are and how it shapes our identity, as well as our connection to heritage.
I'm just a girl, and there is also magic in that.

Labyrinth Lost also offers a subtle but meaningful discourse on belonging and identity. While her family have a deep and close connection to brujeria and its traditions and practices and the only person at school who doesn't think her weird is the fierce and kind Rishi, Alex feels like she doesn't quite fit anywhere. As Alex ventures to Los Lagos to right her wrongs, Alejandra finds more than what she is looking for: she also finds strength, herself, and the deep bonds that hold her world together.

The book does have its shortcomings - the writing felt jumpy in some instances, the romance a little watered (though the ending was gorgeous), and I would have loved to see more development in some characters - but they did not detract from my reading experience.

Imaginative, ultimately empowering, and filled with all kinds of magic, Labyrinth Lost is a wonderful gem of a book. Though it is a fantasy and adventure, I also think that Labyrinth Lost is a coming-of-age - one with a satisfying and excellently developed trajectory. Reading Labyrinth Lost was like entering a completely new world, one that has opened my eyes and broadened my horizon. And what a beautiful sight to behold.

Rating: 3.5/5 (rounded to 3)


This review can also be found on my book blog, Read, Think, Ponder!
Profile Image for Anna lost in stories *A*.
1,021 reviews167 followers
June 18, 2020
I was going back and forth about what rating to actually give this book and I finally landed on 4,5 stars… there was just something that stopped me from giving it full 5 stars, and even though I can’t quite put my finger on it, I’ve decided to go with my gut feeling :) the writing style was stunning in this novel, and now I am not only interested in the sequels to this book, but all other books that Zoraida Cordova written or will write in the future :) it was colorful and immersive and absolutely entertaining… Alex was not the most likeable heroine, but I didn’t mind that as much as I was afraid… she makes some unbelievably stupid decisions along the way, but then tries to fix everything… she learns a lot about herself throughout her journey… aside from her, we have a bunch of very interesting secondary characters, and to say that I am now very intrigued to read the sequels about her sisters would be a huge understatement… ;) I loved the diversity of this story, both when it comes to the characters as well as the whole magical aspect of it… some twists and turns definitely took me by surprise and it’s always a good thing if you can’t predict everything that will happen :) I read this one so quickly that the majority of the details just sort of blur together right now in my mind, so if you want some more I’m sorry, but you’re gonna have to go and read other reviews as well ;) I can only add that I very much recommend you guys to give this story a try :)


Profile Image for Sol ~ TheBookishKing.
303 reviews180 followers
September 19, 2018
Okay so uhm Yikes. I expected to love this so much and just ... it's complicated.

There is a huge chunk of this that I did love. I loved the storyline, the plot, the world, Nova, and Rishi. So honestly, everybody but Alejandra.

Alejandra is by far one of the most annoying main characters I've ever read about and she ruined the whole book for me, I was skimming the last 100 pages so fast just because her narrative was driving me insane. Everything she said or did just got under my skin and wow I haven't been THIS annoyed with a main character in so long.

I really want to read book two but I'm not sure if it's from Alex's POV and if it is ... it would probably be better if I just left it alone.

The ending was good, that Epilogue left a lot of room for the sequel, but there's more frustration behind this that I'll get too when I actually review it.

Anyways, hope my next read is better lol.



Starting off Hispanic Heritage Month on the right note. Also while listening to Queen Selena and Pepe Aguilar.

I'm going to try to read a lot of Latinx books this month just because I really need too and I am really excited!

ALSO I've seen this book around so much but never read the synopsis so I never knew it was a Latinx book with a Latina author. So I'm a sad case lol.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,709 reviews703 followers
August 4, 2016
2.5 stars

I was pretty excited about this because of the synopsis. I was sold with the promise of magic and Wonderland.

I eventually liked Alex. She's a bit rough in the beginning and I struggled with trying to root for her. She comes across as a spoiled brat. Her family and sisters care so much about her and Alex seems to just throw it all in their faces. There are a lot of family members and secondary characters and magical characters that I sometimes felt lost. It was also hard for me to connect to anyone.

The idea of the story is amazing. Sadly, I felt like the story was missing a spark I was expecting to find. For me, I needed a bit more clarity. From the reviews I'm seeing, I'm in the minority.

Overall, there was something that compelled me to keep reading. I am intrigued at the ending and will probably read the next book of the series.

**Huge thanks to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Faith Simon.
198 reviews162 followers
March 7, 2019
Going into this book, I thought that I had the potential to enjoy it more than I actually ended up enjoying it. The first quarter of the book is way different than the rest of it. I enjoyed the world building, the introductions to the characters and the folklore that this entire book revolves around. Obviously, a lot of the concepts in this book have to be explained to the readers if you've grown up without these traditions/folklore like I have and a lot of other readers probably have as well. In this aspect, I think that this book effortlessly and seamlessly introduced all these concepts and transitioned right into the story and the plot with little difference.
The rest of the book is a different theme than the beginning. It starts to become sort of boring after the first act. Basically, the rest of the book, aside from the end, is just a journey through unfamiliar terrain to get to where they actually need to be for the story to further progress. I didn't find this boring enough to stop reading, and still found the circumstances they came across interesting enough, and I don't think that any parts of the book were wasted on this part of the story, I just think maybe it could have been shortened or made more interesting somehow, maybe brought some of the plot twists up a bit earlier in the story?
I loved most of the characters we were introduced to, the fact that these characters become integral to the plot development was a plus, and you didn't feel like you met them for one portion of the story only to never see them again. And I didn't feel like they just randomly showed up at the end either, each character had a purpose and a way of being useful to the final battle. The feast scene was by far my favourite in the whole book.
Alex was a relatable and likable character, I didn't find her annoying even though she was written incredibly human and flawed, she made a bad choice and went to the ends of the earth pretty much to make up for it, and she goes through serious character development throughout the book. I loved her relationship developments and her character arc.
I give this book bonus points for being diverse in a culture that doesn't have as much representation as it surely should, as well as LGBT rep that isn't between side/background characters. I was hoping I was picking up those cues right, and I was SO happy to find that I had been!
And this book left me on such a HUGE, CRUCIAL cliffhanger that now I obviously HAVE to read the next one.
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