I feel like everyone and their family have been hyping this book up to me. Is that just me? Maybe it’s also the timing of Bruja Born, but I’ve been seeing the love for this book everywhere, so I knew I had to pick it up.
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..
I do appreciate a short succinct summary. And this is really the heart of the story. There’s tons of added layers with gods and goddesses, with magical beings, and portal, but at the end of the day, the book is about Alex’s quest to save her family. At the same time, she has to come against her own issues: self-doubt, fear, and self-acceptance.
So the world building here is, sorry to have to say it, other worldly. There’s such a depth of color and detail not only in the Brooklyn scenes, but also in the magical aspects. I enjoyed being sucked into this world, like it was a portal to another world – even though I live in NY as well! You’ll never be able to see the city the same as anyone else.
This Latinx fantasy is wonderful, it actually makes me swoon with how much I enjoyed certain elements. You are dunked into the city, hooked on the characters and on Alex’s quest. There’s something so relatable about Alex. She suffers from this fear of the unknown and is balanced on the precipice of major change, the destruction of what we once knew. And who can blame her? Whether it be on brink of adulthood, or moving, or anything else like that, we can empathize with that fear. At the same time, we’re confronted with a fear of not belonging.
And the story is fueled by her emphasis on family and sisterhood. It’s about the sacrifices we make and the ways we don’t appreciate the ones around us until it’s too late. This hit particular close to home for me. Often we take advantage of our family, acting more cruel than we intend, but family won’t always be there forever – and what happens if it disappears in an instant?
Labyrinth Lost is a story about finding our inner strength and facing our fears. The book is steeped in magic, power, and family. When we can’t run, we have to be strong and look in the face of our own terror. We find out that we thought we really wanted is hollow when confronted with reality. I was swooning by the end, not only with the ship I needed to happen, but the way the themes of self-doubt and self-acceptance are explored.
Check out Labyrinth Lost on Goodreads.