Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
When the bruja meets her dead, she will welcome them. She will open her heart and know her true potential. —The Deathday, Book of Cantos
In less than two weeks, Alex will turn 16 years old. Alex belongs to a Latino family of powerful witches known as brujas/brujos. Their magic develops at puberty but so far all attempts to reveal her bruja powers have failed. Now, as she turns 16, Alex’s family plans the Deathday ceremony that all brujas are given at that age. Her family will gather in ceremony to wake the spirits of her ancestors, and Alex will receive their blessings, allowing her magic to grow and reach its full potential. Without the blessings, bad things can happen.
But Alex has been keeping a dark secret from her family and she has no intention of becoming a bruja. At the Deathday ceremony, as her dead ancestors are summoned, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her bruja powers. The spell turns disastrous and her whole family vanishes. Now Alex must find a way to bring them back.
In the company of the young and mysterious brujo, Nova Santiago, Alex travels to another realm known as Los Lagos. Los Lagos is the land of in-between. Alex will need to confront a creature that lives at the heart of the land known as the Devourer. The Devourer feeds off of the Tree of Souls, collecting its power throughout the month and then turning it to raw energy at the eclipse. Alex will find her family at the Tree of Souls but she must do so before the next eclipse.
As Alex and Nova traverse the evils of Los Lagos, they learn that their powers are stronger when used together. But Alex isn’t quite sure who Nova really is and whether he can be trusted.
Labyrinth Lost is a young adult fantasy with definite tones of Beautiful Creatures. It says so in the blurb and that couldn’t be more accurate. It is full of the usual teenage angst that accompanies that time of life when you are trying to figure who you are and how you will fit into the world around you. But this book does have a few new things to offer. The characters are drawn from a diverse pallet, with multi-racial characters and a gentle look at bisexuality as Alex comes to realize that she is attracted to Nova, yet she is also attracted to her female friend Rishi. The author also draws from both Latino and Spanish Caribbean influences by incorporating aspects of the Day of the Dead and Santeria. So there’s a little something for everyone to identify with here making it a very contemporary take in the young adult world.
I want to thank the publisher (Sourcebooks Fire) for providing me with the ARC through NetGalley for an honest review.