Labyrinth Lost - Zoraida Córdova

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…

Wow! This is book is super good! There's a wonderful cast of POC characters who are also magical and not all heteronormative! The protagonist, Alejandra (Alex) is also bisexual, and it's not reduced to stereotypes ("She just can't decide who she likes more! She's just selfish! She's confused!") I love that this is a story with fantastical elements (and a Narnia style otherworld) that is also quite believable and combines elements of queer sexuality and Latinx culture.
"You are a woman now," [Uncle Gladios] says. "I knew there had to be great power in you." 
I put on a smile when all I want to do is roll my eyes. It's always nice when your older male relatives tell you how great it is to be a woman now, like I was an androgynous experiment before.
Though I did find myself a bit unsure about how quickly Alex and her friends came to terms with being in the actual world of Los Lagos, I still found the overall narrative to be pretty smooth and well-paced. The characters are also well-rounded, and they grow believably over the course of the book.

Labyrinth Lost is a great exploration of mythology, friendship, family, love, and the prices we pay to try and be the people we want to be. This novel will be sure to captivate the imaginations of fantasy and magical realism fans alike. I think Daniel José Older said it best in his blurb: "A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante's Inferno." Yep, that's about the perfect description!

Highly Recommended 

(Sourcebooks Fire, 2016)


  1. I'm in the process of reading this right now myself and I'm in love with it!!!


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