I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on September 2th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Amazon・ Good Books・Book Depository
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…
You know sometimes when a book is so painful and bad that it becomes really hard not to just shit all over it like you just ate sugar-free Hasbro Gummy bears from the 5 pound bag? Well, this is not that book, so it’s okay. I mean, it’s still not a great book, but I honestly don’t want to vilify it with a barrage of mocking words intended to excrete any unchecked rage.
I’ll probably end up doing it anyway, but here we go, m’kay?
The heart, the beating soul of this book is something lovely, something that I really can’t help but endorse. So let’s get the good out of the way first before I become a vomitous mess of rage fire.
Firstly, this book has a rich and beautifully woven identity in its Bruja and Brujo world building. Stunning groundwork is laid here for a fascinating reality set not just in our own world, but in Los Lagos, spun together to create something sumptuous to behold.
Then we have a lovely cast of characters. Alex, who is difficult at first to appreciate, grows on you like one of those creeping vines that smothers trees. As in, to say, that she is a slow-to-warm character and by the time you start to like her you’re probably already dead.
There is a love triangle which is refreshing for its representation.
And that’s about all the good I have to say for Labyrinth Lost.
Where this book is really let down is its writing which relies strongly on telling and leaves you scratching your head at a lack of precision. Actions happen, like a fight, but the details are all lost on me. How people won or why is a mystery. You’re just told that they do. There’s a whole world of Los Lagos to explore but I couldn’t tell you much of it because a clear picture is never painted by the author. I’m not asking for pages of exposition about every tree and branch. But a good writer should be able to, with a few words, give you a view into where you are. Yet most of this book happens in a white, listless backdrop.
The structure of the story and relationships leaves a lot to be desired. The basic premise of redemption and self-acceptance, the main arc, is there but the intricacies of a well-woven story escape us here. This is most especially seen in the romance department where threads of tension are continually dropped throughout the story, leaving the overall emotive response lacklustre. Why are our final couple perfect for each other? I don’t know. Nor can I tell you what they particularly see in each other or what draws them together.
I won’t bang on about it incessantly, but lacklustre could sum up this entire book. What appears so magical and inspiring from the synopsis and cover, is sadly all smoke and no substance.
Finally, bipolar eyes are not a thing.