Blog Tour: ‘Labyrinth Lost’ by Zoraida Córdova Review and Q&A

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I received this book for free from Rain Coast Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. 

labyrinth-lost

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Review

Title: Labyrinth Lost

Author: Zoraida Córdova 

Song: Asturias (Suite Espanola) by: Frida Lopez  

Published: September 6th, 2016       # of Pages: 336

Date Started: August 28, 2016           Date Ended: August 29, 2016

Category: Fiction, Fantasy, Historical

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Description:

“ “Enchanting and complex. Every page is filled with magic.”-Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die

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…

Praise for Labyrinth Lost:

“Zoraida Cordova’s prose enchants from start to finish. Labyrinth Lost is pure magic.” -Melissa Grey, author of The Girl at Midnight

“Magical and empowering, Labyrinth Lost is an incredible heroine’s journey filled with mythos come to life; but at its heart, honors the importance of love and family.” -Cindy Pon, author of Serpentine and Silver Phoenix

“A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante’s Inferno. Very creepy, very magical, very necessary.” -Daniel Jose Older, author of Shadowshaper

“Labyrinth Lost is a magical story of love, family, and finding yourself. Enchanting from start to finish.” -Amy Tintera, author of Ruined.” ”

Review:

The plot was absolutely stunning! I loved how it twisted in the old and the new. Especially with the Latin American history/traditions. The opening was very informative. Giving us information and a background to our female lead. Which then gave her the idea that started the rising action. It was intense, secretive, dangerous, and well, just plain hot. {in more ways than one, Los Lagos.} But when it got to the Climax? Oh boy was it mind blowing. And the PLOT TWISTS! My poor heart cannot fathom such things. Especially certain people with arm tattoos and gorgeous blue green eyes… *cough cough* Nova *cough cough* The falling action was just as dramatic as the rising and climax of the novel. Which was a pleasant surprise. It kept me reading, especially the way the novel kept me pulled in. When I got to the conclusion, I had felt pain, loss, love, and forgiveness. And that was just from the book! It was beautiful, but that last sentence plot twist. MY FEELS CANNOT HANDLE SUCH THINGS!!!! WHY MUST YOU TORMENT ME SO ZORAIDA CÓRDOVA?! Absolutely spectacular work, I couldn’t put it down! I loved the world that was created, and I hope that there will be a second book. Especially with the way she ended this one. {read the book to find out what I mean}

The characters were a completely different story. Their development was written quite swimmingly. I enjoyed each character on their own and as a group. Even though certain characters could have been seen more in my opinion, I still quite enjoyed them. Especially the tall dark and handsome ones… And the sassy ones. First we had our Female Lead Alejandra (Alex) Mortiz, she is a bruja. Or as we call them, a witch. She is the soul purpose of what happened, and was driven to fix what she did. She is strong, powerful, beautiful, intelligent, sassy (when she wants to be), badass and strong willed. But besides those she can also tend to want to give up or underestimate herself. Denying her true purpose really. But she is not alone, the one person who is always by her side besides her family would be Rishi. Alex’s best friend. She is human, intelligent, caring, and kind. She would fight for Alex whenever. She is truly a good friend. The love that they have for each other is strong. Which is a good thing when your friends with a witch I think. Now besides those two we also have our Male Lead, Mr. I’m not scared of anything except maybe an evil witch, Nova Santiago. He is the bad boy in the story. Along with the one who helps Alex with something that she wants to end. He is badass, strong, powerful, sexy, mysterious, and dark. But is he someone you want to trust with your life or your family? That’s the real question. We also have our Villain. The Devourer. I won’t go into much detail on it because I do not wish to spoil anyone. But all you should know is that it is evil, cunning, powerful, and dangerous. Watch out for your magic, before its too late. Now besides all of the main characters we also had some supporting characters. Such as the Faun King Agosto, who you’ll meet in Los Lagos along with Madra. And Alex’s family, her mom, aunt Ro, Lula and Rose her sisters, Lady the family friend along with many others. Without these wonderful characters I don’t think this book would be the same. Especially with all the sass. Hopefully if there is a second book we will be able to see more of certain characters. So fingers crossed!

Overall,
This book was absolutely spectacular! I wouldn’t have changed a thing. {except maybe show a little bit more of my OTP ALEOVA} but that’s besides the point. It was written beautifully and I loved the idea of Latin American tradition being brought into play. It was spell binding and I couldn’t set it down! Not once. 

Congratulations Zoraida Córdova on an amazing story! I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

zoraida-cordova

Zoraida Córdova

Q&A With Zoraida Córdova

Throughout the story we see a lot of love, pain, and loss. Especially with Alex and her family. Was there a moment in your life that inspired this in the novel? How blood is more powerful than anything else?

Actually, it was my quinceañera that inspired part of this story. I didn’t want to
have one. I’ve never been one for tradition and I thought it was a huge waste of money. I give Alex some of those feelings regarding her Deathday. Alex’s Deathday is a big deal. The Deathday is a magical coming of age ceremony of my own creation. Like a Bat Mitzvah or a Sweet 16, but for brujas and brujos. It is a time when a family gets together and wakes the dead spirits of their ancestors. The ancestors then give their blessing to the bruja/o. With the blessing, the magic can grow and reach full potential. Without the blessing, well, bad things can happen. Like many traditions, they grow and become modernized. In Alex’s time, Brooklyn circa now, Deathdays are lined up with birthdays for extra festivities. Even though the Deathday ceremony was created for the world of Labyrinth Lost, aspects of it are inspired by the Day of the Dead and Santeria.

 El Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday that celebrates and honors deceased family members through food and festivities. Altars are filled with photographs, flowers, food, and candles. The celebrations are then taken to the
cemeteries where people play games, sing, and even leave shots of mezcal for the adult spirits. The unity of death and family is what drew me to it, and one of the things I wanted to include in Alex’s life. One of the best books I’ve read on the subject was The Skeleton at the Feast: The Day of the Dead in Mexico by Elizabeth Carmichael.

 Santeria is an Afro-Caribbean religion that syncretizes Yoruba beliefs and aspects of Catholicism. It developed when slaves from Western Africa were taken to Cuba and other Caribbean Islands against their will. Slaves were forced to convert, but held on to their religion in secrecy, and used Catholic saints as parallels to their Orishas. Those who don’t understand it often see Santeria as a secretive and underground religion. Like some Santeros, the brujas of Labyrinth Lost use animal sacrifice, possession, and connect directly to their gods. The Santeria Orishas, however, are not gods, but parts of the Supreme God. For further information, a starting point is Santeria: the Religion: Faith, Rites, Magic by Migene González-Wippler.

 For more information, check out the Author’s Note in the back of Labyrinth Lost. 

Quotes

Oh my goddess, please stop. No wonder your magic is blocked. You’ve got a broomstick up your butt. (Page 12)

You’re a falcon. You just haven’t learned to fly yet. (Page 103)

Yeah? Because you trust me so much.

I don’t, he says. You tried to suck the life out of me. If anyone should have trust issues, it’s me.

I’m not the one who spent three years at a juvenile detention center. 

I’m not the one who sent her family to hell. (Page 106)

A dark thought grips my heart. It is my turn to shape the galaxies. (Page 218)      

I would follow you into the darkest dark. (Page 246)   

I am dead. No, I am death. (Page 253)

I do. I love her.

You know, if you’d have said you loved me like ten minuets ago, I would’ve probably woken up sooner. (Page 309)

 

 

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