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...
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire
Three stars: A book that starts out strong, with excellent world building, but it ends up falling flat.
Alex isn't your average teenager. She is a bruja, the strongest witch born in her family in a generation. Yet, Alex hates magic, and she doesn't want to be the most powerful bruja. She doesn't even want her powers. So she tries to hide them, but then when a situation forces her powers to the surface, there is no turning back. Alex makes a daring decision during her Deathday celebration. She decides to get rid of her magic, but everything goes terribly wrong. Instead, Alex's entire family, living and dead, are banished to a strange land, Los Lagos, in between the living and the dead. This land is plagued by the Devourer, a powerful witch who feeds off souls and the land. Alex must go to this strange place and recover her family before they become victims of the Devourer. Will Alex rescue her family in time?
What I Liked:
- Labyrinth Lost is a book that starts out strong. It grabs you with brujas, magic, demons, and a strange land: Los Lagos. What makes this book stand out, is the world building. If you like books with witches and strong world building, this is one you should try.
- I liked the way the author presented witches. Instead of the traditional type of witches, you get the Spanish version with brujas and brujos. I liked learning more about the Spanish style of witches and witch craft, and I enjoyed the idea of magic being all about give and take.
- What makes this book shine is the world building. Once Alex is transported to Los Lagos, she enters a world that is strange, dangerous and exciting. This land features several types of mythical creatures, and it even borrows a bit from Fairyland. I liked that I never knew what to expect around each and every corner of this world. I would recommend this book for the world building.
- Alex is a character whom I thought required extreme patience. In fact, the majority of the book I didn't like her. She is whiney, self centered and she doesn't appreciate her gifts nor does she want to take time to challenge herself. Thankfully during her journey, she grows as she opens her eyes to her magic. By the end, I liked her much better. She still has some growing to do, but she is far more confident and likeable at the end.
- The ending is satisfactory in that it mostly concludes the main story lines from the book, but then it drops two interesting cliffhanger story threads that will continue in the next book. So it was a bit of a love/hate ending.
And The Not So Much:
- I wish I could put my finger on what went wrong for me with this one. I thought it started out strong, but then at the end it faltered. Once Alex was in Los Lagos, after awhile the book lacks drive. I didn't feel any urgency, and I got bored. It could of been a case of me not the book.
- The other big issue for me was the romance. There really isn't much development with any type of a romance, which I thought was totally fine, but then toward the end, you get not one but two sudden romantic relationships, and then the author throws in a bisexual twist. I wasn't drawn to either love interest, and honestly, I could have cared less. I thought both romantic relationships were weak, and uninteresting.
- Some of the more interesting characters in the book were Alex's deceased relatives. I was drawn to her great grandmother and her aunt, but unfortunately their roles were minimal.
- I wish more time had been spent on the witchcraft. I thought the explanations and such regarding the beliefs and ceremonies was hasty. I wanted more depth and development.
Labyrinth Lost was a book I really wanted to like. It started out strong with its presentation of Spanish witches and their craft, and a creepy, interesting land in Los Lagos. I appreciated the strong world building and Spanish flair, but I felt this book was missing something. I hated the romance, and I wasn't a big fan of the main character. In the end, it was a book that was good, but not great. It could be a case of me becoming more and more disenchanted with YA books, or just a book that didn't quite work for me. If you want a book that is a bit different, and you like witches and strong world building, give this one a go.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.