Friday, September 16, 2016

Blog Tour - Q&A and Review: Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Cordova

 
Labyrinth Lost Blog Tour Banner

Hey guys! Today I'll be sharing a Q&A with Ms. Zoraida Córdova, author of Labyrinth Lost, followed by my review of the book. Thank you to Raincoast Books for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this tour!


Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
Labyrinth Lost
(Brooklyn Brujas #1)
by Zoraida Córdova
September 6, 2016
339 pages

Goodreads Summary:
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.


 
Q&A

BCP: Hi Zoraida, could you talk about the inspiration behind Labyrinth Lost and the research you did into writing this book. Thank you!

ZC: When I set to write Labyrinth Lost, I wanted to write a Latina version of Charmed. I’ve loved magic and the supernatural since I was a kid, and have always wanted to write my own version of it. That’s when the Brooklyn Brujas, Alex Mortiz and her sisters, were born. I should warn you that even though the words “bruja” and “brujo” are used for Hispanic and Latinx witches, the magic in the book is not a reflection of brujeria in the real world.

The scene we chose for the book trailer is the moment where Alex makes a terrible decision that changes everything. This is the Deathday ceremony. The Deathday is a magical coming of age for the witches in my world. It’s like a Sweet 16, except instead of just a party you also sacrifice an offering to the spirits of your ancestors in order to get their magical blessing. Don’t worry there is cake afterwards.

A mythology class I took in college inspired the ceremony. I kept thinking about the power of family, and how that works in relation to the gods and individual magic. But I needed to be careful. One person’s myth is someone else’s belief or religion. The look of the Deathday needed to feel organic but new. I was born in Ecuador, and raised in Hollis, Queens. I’ve been surrounded by different cultures my whole life, which is another reason why the magic in this book couldn’t be European like other witches in Pop Culture. Don’t get me wrong, I love those stories, too, but I’m ready for more. While I read books about witchcraft throughout history, I also read about the Day of the Dead and Santeria because I wanted to know the things I shouldn’t use when creating this world. There were three things I always went back to: power, family, and sacrifice.

Alex is very much a girl from Brooklyn, but her roots and the magic in those roots is what makes her the bruja she is. I hope you cheer for her as she journeys through Labyrinth Lost.

Thank you so much for sharing this. It's truly wonderful to see how much thought you put into writing Labyrinth Lost!
 
Zoraida CórdovaAbout the Author
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

Website   Authors Goodreads
 

Review

Labyrinth Lost has me a little lost (no pun intended). The beautiful writing and mesmerizing world had my attention but at the same time, I had a hard time liking the characters and getting into the story.

Alex resents her witch lineage but no one in her family is aware how much she hates magic. She fears their reaction therefore keeps it a secret. When she tries to get rid of her powers, the ritual goes very wrong putting her family in the clutches of an evildoer. As Alex journeys to rescue them, she figures out the importance of her magic. It was satisfying to see Alex grow more and more confident. Her determination and willingness to get her family back at any cost made up for her indecisiveness.

Labyrinth Lost was a little slow for me. The pacing only picks up once the characters enter Los Lagos. From that point on numerous things happened. Ruined or not, Los Lagos was a captivating place and it was enchanting to witness Alex cross the lands. I was waiting to see if she would step up to the plate and she does- outmaneuvering each dangerous encounter while learning and growing into herself. Los Lagos is magical.

Romance wasn't really a focal point in this book. I will say that Alex has two romantic interests. A love triangle almost forms except the relationships weren't prominent enough to really become any shape. Alex's choice was pretty much made for her since one of the love interest does something unthinkable. I didn't feel a spark for the resulting couple so it was hard to cheer them on. Mostly I felt like the person she chose stepped onto the scene too abruptly. I would've liked to see more development beforehand.

The value of family was key to this book and I loved every second of seeing how tight-knit Alex's family is. No doubt they were strong when they banded together. I'm curious what that ending will do to their family (Alex's father returns after wordlessly disappearing years ago).

A diverse spellbinding story, Labyrinth Lost was more than just a story about a lost girl. It's about family, it's about identity. The story promises a thrilling adventure journeying inside a world you will still want to visit long after the book ends.
 
3 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.
 
 
For more Q&As and reviews, check out all the other tour stops (click to enlarge)!
 
Labyrinth Lost Blog Tour Postcard

4 comments:

  1. Great interview! This looks like it will be a lot of fun!

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    Replies
    1. It's a series so there's more fun to come!

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  2. Thanks for reading and being part of the blog tour!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for stopping by!! *squeals*

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