Twelve Days of…Latinx Book Recommendations: Day 8

This “Christmassy” series is brought to you by my love of books by Latinx authors and my need for all of you to read them. Every day for twelve days leading up to Christmas, I will be gifting you all with a recommendation of a book by a Latinx author, along with twelve reasons why you should pick it up. Hoping to have lots of fun with with series which I am not so subtly calling Twelve Days of… Latinx Book Recommendations. Covers are linked to Goodreads. Feel free to sing this first part to yourself aloud.

♬On the eighth day of Christmas, my favorite Latinx blogger gave to me, a recommendation for…♬

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

      “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…”

Reasons You Need to Pick This One Up:

1. Witches
2. Magical system unique to their Latinx heritage
3. Latinx urban fantasy
4. Magic has consequences
5. Sisterly bonds
6. F/F friends to lovers romance
7. Reluctant hero
8. Magic goes horribly wrong
9. Set mostly in an Underworld type realm
10. Betrayal
11. MC learning to embrace herself
12. The sequel is even better

Have you read this one? Are you planning to read it? What’s the last book you read with Latinx witches?

ARC Review: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Title: Labyrinth Lost
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Series: Brooklyn Brujas, #1
Pages: 336
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: September 6th 2016
**I received a copy of this ARC through a giveaway hosted by Armchair BEA, which does not influence my review** 

      “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…

swirl (2)

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova is an imaginative witch novel with family ties at its heart. Alejandra “Alex” Mortiz was born into a family of witches, known as brujas and brujos. From dream walking to healing, every member of her family is full of talent. As Alex’s Deathday approaches, a coming of age ceremony, she’d like to convince herself that there is no magic in her. But Alex is special in a way that she never expected and doesn’t want. Despite knowing there may be consequences, she makes a decision to undo the growing power burning inside her. Then the unthinkable happens and Alex must learn to embrace who she is if she has any chance of rescuing her family from the limbo-like world of Los Lagos.

Unlike the other members of her family, Alex doesn’t view magic as an essential part of who she is. Haunted by an horrific experience, Alex has only viewed magic through the lenses of a very scared girl. She scared of her family’s legacy, one not just of magic but of death. While her sisters embrace their gifts, Alex is full of apprehension because all she sees is the consequences of magic. In this world, all magic comes with a price, even the simple act of healing. In her desperation to rid herself of her family gift, Alex is reckless, despite being warned by the strange brujo boy Nova. But Alex is also brave and knowing her own life could be forfeit, she dives headfirst into a land brimming with dangerous creatures and a power hungry entity determined to suck the land dry.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Alex and her family. She doesn’t always get along with her sisters and after suffering a loss, her mother has never been the same. As a family of witches, Alex’s extended family also plays a key role in her life. I do wish more time had been spent on these relationships, but most of the story focuses on Alex’s journey through Los Lagos. Alex isn’t alone on her quest, with two companions at her side, and while there is potential for a romantic relationship, it never overshadows her ultimate goal of saving her family. I do think these relationships could have been flushed out more. Most of the time, I felt I was being told how these relationships had developed rather than being shown.

Labyrinth Lost has a magical system unique to Alex’s Latin American culture and the author provides plenty of detail to really bring this world to life. There are a couple of loose storylines introduced that I’m sure will be explored in later installments as this first shows a lot of potential.

Rating: 3/5

★★★

4th Annual ARC August: Week One Update

arcaugust2016

The 4th Annual ARC August Challenge, hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat, has been underway for the last week. Every week there will be an update on my progress for this challenge (unless I fail to pick up any ARCs), which encourages bloggers to pick up all the ARCs that have been piling up. My goal for this month is three ARCs with the possibility of getting to six. This first week I’m off to a great start, having read two ARCs. Yay me! Here are a few thoughts I had on these books. Full reviews will be posted closer to the books’ release dates.

ARC August Read #1:

Title: The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart

Author: Lauren DeStefano

Publication Date: September 13, 2016

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Lauren DeStefano’s newest middle grade read The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart is full of charm, following two orphans as they encounter a spirit that possesses one of them. I really enjoyed the friendship between the two leads, Marybeth and Lionel. They accept each other for who they are, without expectations and without wanting to change the other. I still think that DeStefano’s first MG book A Curious Tale of the In-Between outshines this one, but Peculiar Night was still very enjoyable. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

ARC August Read #2:

Title: Labyrinth Lost

Author: Zoraida Córdova

Publication Date: September 6, 2016

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I had very high expectations for Zoraida Córdova’s Labyrinth Lost and even though it didn’t meet all my expectations (I have absurd expectations when it comes to witch books, don’t ask me why), I still liked it. Witches, demonic creatures, and a perilous journey make this an exciting read to pick up. I loved how important the Latin American culture played in this one and am looking forward to picking up more books by this author. Book cover is linked to Goodreads.

Are you participating in ARC August? What’s the last ARC you read and loved? Let me know and leave a link to your own ARC August week one update post in the comments and I’ll be sure to visit.