Monday, September 12, 2016

LABYRINTH LOST Blog Tour: Review & Q&A with Zoraida Córdova! #BrooklynBrujas #LabyrinthLost


It's FINALLY here!! LABYRINTH LOST is now out...and you can get a copy, and you can get a copy...and I can get a copy! We can all go out and get copies of this AMAZING book!

I have been eagerly (and quite impatiently, I might add) awaiting the release of Zoraida Córdova's newest book, LABYRINTH LOST!! I am not ashamed to admit that I fangirled like crazy when Raincoast Books sent me an ARC of it, and I tortured myself a bit by waiting until it was closer to the release date, but it was soooo worth the wait! I think this is my favourite book of Zoraida's yet, and I'm extremely excited to share my review and a quickie Q&A with you all for the fantastic Canadian blog tour that Raincoast has put together!



Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1)
by Zoraida Córdova
Source: Received an ARC from Raincoast Books Canada in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Number of Pages: 336 (Hardcover)


Description from Goodreads:
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…

Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure.

MY REVIEW

I first heard about LABYRINTH LOST about a year before it released...and I immediately started fangirling over it! Magic, brujas, a journey to another world, and written by Zoraida Córdova...sign me up! I've been a fan of Zoraida's writing since I first read THE VICIOUS DEEP, and I've eagerly devoured and loved everything she's written since...and LABYRINTH LOST was no exception! In fact, it's my favourite out of everything she's written so far!

Why did I love LABYRINTH LOST so much? Well, there are plenty of reasons. The first reason is the characters. Zoraida always writes amazing characters! They're dynamic, and usually flawed in a way that makes them extremely easy to connect with. Her characters have so much depth and I always find myself loving each and every one of them, and Alex was the same! She was vulnerable, and super self-conscious, which I think anyone who's been (or currently is) a teenager can relate to. Even with her doubts, Alex is so strong and determined, but what I loved most about her was her capacity for love and her willingness to grow and to forgive. I really admired everything about her, and I think she's a wonderful character to see in a young adult novel because she's definitely someone worth admiring.

Alex isn't the only amazing character though! Her family is also absolutely fantastic! From her sisters, Lula and Rose, to her mother and extended family members, LABYRINTH LOST is packed full of some wonderful family dynamics, and diversity, too! While Zoraida admits in her author's note at the end of the book that she's invented much of the belief system for the brujas and brujos in her story when it comes to the deos and their actual magic, the cultural elements surrounding them are definitely rooted in reality and inspired by research and her own background, which I really loved! It was fantastic to get to see a diverse cast of characters, and I loved seeing the importance that their ancestors and family histories played in their lives! :D

Gotta love that snark! ;D
The other two big characters in LABYRINTH LOST are Rishi and Nova, and I loved them both, too!!! I'm not going to go into too much detail about these two because I think you need to get to know them for yourself when you read the book and I don't want to spoil anything, but I really loved what they each added to the story. I loved their dynamics with Alex, and they were certainly never boring. :P

Now that I've blabbered on about my love for Zoraida's fantastic characters, I've got to tell you about the story and the world-building! I thought that they were both absolutely superb!!! LABYRINTH LOST was the perfect coming-of-age story, and it reminded me of epic journeys where the hero has to discover themselves in order to return home and become the hero that they're meant to be. The magical elements and intricate world of Los Lagos really added to whole journey element, and I LOVED getting to see the world that Zoraida created!!! It reminded me of her previous trilogy, The Vicious Deep, which I loved! The world was extremely well thought out⎯it was intense, magical, and completely enthralling!!! I was reading it far too quickly, so I actually forced myself to slow down as I read, and that made me love it even more!! Once you start this book, you definitely won't want to put it down!

If it isn't obvious already, I loved LABYRINTH LOST, and am completely smitten with the world of the BROOKLYN BRUJAS! I can't wait for more of their world, and I was ecstatic when I heard that Zoraida would be writing more Bruja books!!! So, now that I've told you all about why I loved this book, I'm going to tell you that you should definitely read it! If you're a fan of magical stories and you love complex characters, intricate world-building and an abundance of diversity in your books, then you'll absolutely love the LABYRINTH LOST and the BROOKLYN BRUJAS, too! I seriously can't recommend this book enough...read it, read it, read it!!


Q&A with Zoraida Córdova!

My Question:

The world of the Brooklyn Brujas that you've established in Labyrinth Lost and your Vicious Deep trilogy are intertwined (I may have squee'd out loud when I realized this after seeing Tristan's name :P)--did you always have plans to expand the world you first created in The Vicious Deep? If not, what inspired you? And are there other parts of the world you've created that you'd like to explore?

Zoraida's Fabulous Answer:

After creating the world of The Vicious Deep, I was left with characters who wanted their own stories. The Vicious Deep has more than merpeople. There are allies who are vampires and shapeshifters. Their stories are still to come. At that time, these brujas were still an idea. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to frame their story. Alex Mortiz and her sisters have been in my thoughts longer than Tristan and The Vicious Deep. Even though they exist in the same universe, borough, and school, I needed to tell Alex’s story completely separate from Tristan. Though, I am super glad that you caught the Tristan reference!

Going forward, I want this magical New York to have many layers. Book 2 in the Brooklyn Brujas series is going to be from Lula’s point of view. I’ve been toying around with the idea of bringing in some characters from Tristan’s book (not Tristan himself) into Lula’s story. It all depends on how well they fit into the plot line. At the end of the day, I have to be true to the worlds I’ve created.

 About Zoraida Córdova

Zoraida Córdova was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York. She is the author of The Vicious Deep trilogy, the On the Verge series, and Labyrinth Lost. She loves black coffee, snark, and still believes in magic. Send her a tweet @Zlikeinzorro

Connect: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram



Yes!!! I absolutely loved Zoraida's answer to my question!!
Hearing that there are more stories from Zoraida's magical imagination to come has me so excited!!! And I'm glad to hear that the second Brooklyn Brujas book will be from Lula's POV. I was wondering if it would be Alex again, or if each book would follow a different sister, so I guess now we know! ;D

What do you think?

Are you as excited about LABYRINTH LOST as I am?
Does it sound like something you'd like to read?
If you've already read it, what did you think?
And who else got super excited to find out that Tristan and Alex's worlds are intertwined?
And what did you think of my Q&A with Zoraida?

4 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you loved this book! The cover is gorgeous. Great review :D

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    1. I definitely loved it! One of my top books this year for sure!! It really is a stunning cover! Thanks, Jenn!!

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    1. You're welcome!!! I pretty much jumped at the chance to be a part of it, and I'm glad that I was able to be! I'm always eager to support your books and share my love of them with others because they're fabulous!! :D Thank you for writing such wonderful books for all of us readers to enjoy! :D

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