“Right now, I’m just a girl, and there is also magic in that.” ― Zoraida Córdova,
I was chosen by the Deos. Even gods make mistakes.
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, but who may be Alex’s only chance at saving her family.
Caitlynn: I tried really hard to enjoy this book more because I loved the concept of it. Unfortunately, it didn’t hit the right parts for me to do so. Cordova has a great writing style, but this book needed a bit more. 3/5 stars.
Eden: I did not enjoy Labyrinth Lost as much as I’d originally hoped. Part of this is due to my own expectations and the other part is simply that I didn’t enjoy the world of characters. Overall I gave it 2/5 stars.
Jenn: The premise of this book is super intriguing. However, this story just fell flat for me. I loved the diversity. But, felt as though the characters and storyline could be developed more. 2.5/5 stars.
Eden: Alright, what did we all think of Labyrinth Lost?
Caitlynn: Eden, what did you rate it?
E: I gave it 2 stars.
C: I gave it 3, cause I don’t normally give books lower than a three…
E: That’s true. What did you think of it?
C: I wish it would have ended up more like my original feelings towards the book… Like Raven Boys-esque… but that’s not at all what I got.
E: When I first started reading it, I thought it was going to be like the movie the Labyrinth, so that was a big let down. I also very quickly came to hate the characters. I think that was a big piece as to why I didn’t enjoy it very much.
C: I agree.
J: I came into it with absolutely no expectations and was still let down with where the story went. I think that between the cover and the sugar skull vibe on the cover, I was hoping for something more set in our world, centered on the day of the dead. I feel like what we got was something that wasn’t fully fleshed out for a fantastical world which made it confusing. I was also not focused on the characters or the story line because neither was strong enough to hold the other one by itself.
C: Yes, I totally agree.
E: I think something that really bothered me was that they were required to get through all of these obstacles to get to the final destination and the obstacles never felt like real obstacles. I feel like it was a paired down version of a fantasy novel and it didn’t stick.
J: I felt like she was trying to stick too closely to the script of the heroes journey.
E: It almost ran so simple that it was a Dora the Explorer style of journey, everything is broken down and simplified for them.
C: I still do like Cordova’s writing style, I wish that it would have been a better story. The biggest issue for me were the characters in general, all of them. They were just problematic from the beginning.
J: Yeah, they weren’t interesting, they didn’t have depth, they were kind of one-dimensional.
C: And, they annoyed the crap out of me.
J: Going back to what Eden was saying about it being simplistic, task-fueled story line, what it reminded me of was the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland compared to the C.S. Lewis Alice in Wonderland. There’s a much more direct path and it’s much more in your face and you know what to predict rather than actually giving in to the fantastical world and trying to make it something that’s much more complex and have more depth to it.
C: I saw someone else talk about this book in comparison to Alice in Wonderland and it makes so much sense.
J: Well, there’s a part that reminds me exactly of the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Labyrinth Lost.
E: It also reminds me of Alice in Wonderland but I was also reminded of The Mortal Instruments.
J: I thought you were going to say Percy Jackson…
E: Yup… that too. Ok, well now I really feel like this was ripped off entirely.
E, also: Back to The Mortal Instruments… this book reminded me of the time Jace and Clary went to Faerie and almost got stuck there, it felt very much like that. Also in Percy Jackson when they got stuck in the casino for days, weeks, months…
C: It felt like I was reading it for years.
E: I couldn’t complete this book while reading it… I had to listen to the audiobook.
C: Like you didn’t want to put any more effort into it.
E: If I didn’t, I would have DNF’d it. That’s how much I disliked this book.
J: If it wasn’t so short, I would have.
C: So, why did you still end up giving it 2 stars.
E: I gave it 2 stars because I was interested in the first 100 pages, after that it was too surface-level for me to truly enjoy.
C: I agree.
E: Some bright spots, there were a couple of things I didn’t expect… friendships and relationships. Honestly, I don’t know if they were bright spots though.
J: I think it was a lack of character development throughout the book.
E: You know, I wanted to know more about her mother.
C: Me too.
J: I wanted to know more about her aunt, she seemed like a pretty bad ass lady.
E: Yeah, she did seem pretty bad ass.
J: I kind of just wish everything about her family was a little more fleshed out. I feel like we got more about her school ties than we did about her family and their background. Even when she talked about her father, we didn’t get any of his background. So I didn’t care about him because I didn’t know who he was. I didn’t know what kind of relationship she had with him because she just avoided the subject. It felt like a cheap way for the author to get out of having to build that.
J, also: It’s kind of like the Disney complex… Oh you need them to go on a journey and don’t want parents to get in the way? Get rid of the parents!
E: I had been really excited about this book, too. I had heard some mixed reviews on it and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. We now know how I feel about it.
C: I’m really sad because I really liked the concept of it and I really wanted to learn more about that religion. I really liked learning about it and wanted more of that.
E: I was a little insulted when they were like “this is real magic, not like voodoo!” and I was like damn…
J: I feel like that was all in the scope of the religion though.
E: Jenn was going through my Goodreads the other day and saw my review of The Graces, where I mentioned that I didn’t like books about witches and this book kind of followed that.
J: I never read a good book about a witch!
C: Maybe we need to stick to witch movies.
J: Hocus Pocus.
J, also: I like Manon…
C: I absolutely hated Alex at the beginning of this book.
J: Just the beginning?
C: I hated how spoiled she acted. I really didn’t like her at the beginning. She listened to this random guy about doing a canto to get rid of her magic…
J: And he was very blase about the whole thing to… I mean you can do it if you want…
E: Their conversation was so strange, they started out talking across the counter then slowly getting closer and closer to one another until they were basically kissing.
J: I was so confused as to the staging of that scene, one moment they were face to face then she was going to the counter to do something else. I thought you were already at the counter!
E: That was a huge issue in this book… I never knew where anyone was ever at in this book.