This YA novel is a familiar sort of adventure, but in a new a refreshing setting. It hits all the right beats and turns in the story in an efficient and effective manner. I don’t know about anyone else, but I knew what I was getting into when I picked this one up, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it also means the experience of the read itself falls squarely in the middle-of-the-road for me.
Labyrinth Lost follows the story of teenage Alejandra (Alex), the middle-sister in a family of brujas in Brooklyn. She is about to have her Deathday celebration and come into her powers, but Alex isn’t sure she wants that: she feels that all magic has brought to her family is misery and pain. In attempting to rid herself of her magic, however, she miscalculates what exactly the damage will be, causing her family to vanish into the realm of Los Lagos, where she will have to journey to save the souls of her family, alongside some mysterious and charming young brujo that she is sure isn’t all that he seems.
This story takes us into an adventure in another world, with mythologies you don’t always see if your typical YA fare. There is a freshness, but also a standard sort of mode the adventure progresses in: one obstacle, two obstacle, three, etc. The character development of Alex is steady and well-done, with perhaps less meat put into the supporting characters as they are not the focus. Ultimately, we end up with a story about inner strength, family, and not being afraid of the power we possess. It’s not a difficult read by any means, and definitely an enjoyable adventure with some teeth to it in the realities of the characters’ day-today lives. The next novel in the series focuses on Alex’s older sister, Lula, who I didn’t love in this novel, but maybe if we get a little deeper into who she is I could learn to enjoy.