Two Minute Review: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Monday, September 26, 2016
Title: Labyrinth Lost
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Genre: fantasy, supernatural
Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1
Pages: 336
Published: September 2016
Source: publishers via NetGalley
Rating: 2.5/5

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…

Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure.

So this 2.5 rating is perfect because it's exactly half of the five possible stars. I loved half of what Labyrinth Lost had to offer and I tolerated/rolled my eyes/disliked the other half. Overall, there's a lot of potential and an abundance of imagination, but some of the execution was muddled and/or confusing.  

Things I Greatly Enjoyed:
Authentic AND diverse cast 
Writing/turn of phrase
Creative and original take on supernatural/fantasy

Things I Disliked:
Slow and uneven
The romance
The descriptor "bipolar eyes"
Tropes abound -- love triiiiiangle

So, while this is book one, I am willing to be a bit lenient because there is a lot of promise here. 2.5/5 is not great but also not to the level of giving up on this series. I loved the inclusivity of the characters and the strong supernatural element. A little more time and depth on the how and why of everything and I will be on much firmer ground with this series. Not a perfect start, but a promising one.

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