Hello and welcome to the Labyrinth Lost Blog Tour! I'm so excited to be apart of this blog tour, Labyrinth Lost has been one of my most anticipated books for 2016, and I couldn't have been happier to have been picked for the tour. Today I have for you, a brief interview with Zoraida Córdova, as well as my review of the book. I hope you guys enjoy!
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Release Date: September 6th, 2016
Read: August 10th-16th, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Series: Brooklyn Brujas, #1
Format: ARC, 336 pages
Source: BEA 2016/Publisher in Exchange for Honest Review
Description from GoodReads:
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...
Some of us die afraid.
I have a slight obsession with the Day of the Dead, it got to the point where in High School I would literally bug my Spanish teacher to do a huge unit when October came around. I couldn't get enough of the idea of La Dia de Los Muertos. I had read The Vicious Deep Trilogy by Zoraida Córdova back in 2013 right before the final book in the series was released. I followed her on almost everything social media, imagine my excitement when one day I came across a tweet mentioning an up coming YA novel based off of the Day of the Dead...
I loved Los Lagos, it was bright and colourful, just like I imagined the underworld for the Mexican Culture. (In class I learned about the Mexican Spanish Culture, I know other countries also celebrate the Day of the Day.) If not for the evil roaming the lands, I think I would have been very satisfied with living down there for the rest of eternity. I also loved the not so perfect areas in Los Lagos, things can't be perfect without somethings being the opposite, so things have something to be compared too.
Alex's family also reminded me a lot of mine, we're a very tight knit family. From being close to both sides of my parent's families, as well as my close family with my sisters and parents. Seeing Alex, Lula and Rose argue with each other as a morning routine, or just do whatever together, I would constantly picture my sisters and I doing the exact same things together. Thus I sort of ended up picturing the three characters as my sisters and I for a good chunk of the book.
With YA novels, I've found that I don't know what to expect for romance anymore. YA romance isn't always the same thing anymore, we don't have as many love triangles or instant love anymore. Now a days we have a lot of budding love, LGBTQ making more of an appearance, no romance at all and a bunch of other newer things. Labyrinth Lost fit itself in one or two of the new categories, and I love to say that the romance almost took me completely by surprise.
Labyrinth Lost was an adventurous, magically and new experience for the YA world, I look forward to seeing what is in store for us with the rest of the series. I also hope that we are to expect more diverse books for the future! (Specially Day of the Dead themed, to help with my obsession!)
"Sometimes they're perfectly normal humans. Sometimes they're so beautiful, you would never suspect."
"Death is the most sure but unexpected part about life. It's almost up there with love. It's bound to happen, but how and when- now that's the tricky part."
"You won't believe how much it hurts to be dead."
Recommend to People Who Enjoy:
Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Witches, Day of the Day, Mexican Legend/Folklore
Labyrinth Lost has many creatures that haven't really been seen in YA fiction before,
knowing that the book is inspired by the Day of the Dead, what made you pick the
creatures that you did, and what made you pick the particular stories to retell?
The book actually isn’t inspired by The Day of the Dead. It was my quinceañera that
inspired part of this story. I didn’t want to have one. I’ve never been one for
tradition and I thought it was a huge waste of money. I give Alex some of those feelings
regarding her Deathday. Alex’s Deathday is a big deal. The Deathday is a magical coming
of age ceremony of my own creation. Like a Bat Mitzvah or a Sweet 16, but for brujas and
brujos. It is a time when a family gets together and wakes the dead spirits of their
ancestors. The ancestors then give their blessing to the bruja/o. With the blessing, the
magic can grow and reach full potential. Without the blessing, well, bad things can
happen. Like many traditions, they grow and become modernized. In Alex’s time, Brooklyn
circa now, Deathdays are lined up with birthdays for extra festivities. Even though the
Deathday ceremony was created for the world of Labyrinth Lost, aspects of it are inspired
by the Day of the Dead and Santeria.
El Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday that celebrates and
honors deceased family members through food and festivities. Altars are filled with
photographs, flowers, food, and candles. The celebrations are then taken to the
cemeteries where people play games, sing, and even leave shots of mezcal for the adult
spirits. The unity of death and family is what drew me to it, and one of the things I
wanted to include in Alex’s life. One of the best books I’ve read on the subject was
The Skeleton at the Feast: The Day of the Dead in Mexico by Elizabeth Carmichael.
I don’t want to take credit for the creatures in Labyrinth Lost. The maloscuros are
mine. They’re shadow creatures that hunt for power. They’re the scariest things I
came up with. The saberskins are mine as well. I wanted something that was a cross
between a sabertooth tiger and a snake. Duendes are evil elves that they use to scare
kids into going to bed. I decided to change the rules and give them different attributes.
Each one represents a different vice, sin, or emotion-- like greed or fear. The Avianas
were inspired by harpies. They’re bird women that have been banished to Los Lagos. The
Devourer is the big bad, but you’ll find out how they came to be ;)
Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on repeat. Her favorite things are sparkly like merdudes, Christmas, and New York City at night.
Thank you so much for stopping by for my part of the tour! Don't forget check out the rest of the stops on the tour!
Ambur @ Burning Impossibly Bright
Christine @ Padfoot's Library
Connie @ Hoot Reads Books
Alexis @ Inside the Pages Book Reviews
Brittany @ This is the Story of My (Reading) Life
Shelly @ Read.Sleep.Repeat
Stephanie @ Ohana Reads
Wendy @ A Cupcake and a Latte
Lindsay @ Me on Books
Yash @ The Book Wars
Sarena and Sasha @ The Writing Duo
Eileen @ BookCatPin
Lisa @ Little Miss Trainwreck
Liz @ Midnight Bloom Reads