Labyrinth Lost is a modern portal fantasy, a coming-of-age that feels fresh and new while following the oldest bones of story. Alejandra--Alex--is a bruja, one of three sisters with gifts, a mother who catches babies and codes medical billing, and a community she loves but wants no part of--she wants to reject her magic, fearing that it only brings death and destruction to her family. On her Deathday, when she is meant to come into her powers, she follows the guidance of a Nova, mysterious boy who attached himself to her at a visit to the local botanica which ends in chaos. Devastated, she follows him into Los Lagos, to find her family, and the Underworld--under the thrall of the Devourer, a great evil. Can she save them? Will she come into her powers, or sacrifice her gifts for the ones she loves?
This was such a wild ride of a book, a deep, living mythos populated by living, breathing characters with histories, passions, and wants. Córdova spares no details, but her writing is always fluid, painting a full picture of a world layered within our own, and one underneath it, exploring the motives and images that populate the underworld. There is a second-act introduction of the third member of the fabled love triangle, Rishi, who won my heart as a non-magical girl makings the best of a strange and dangerous world. While yes, the romance intrigues (with an arc and conclusion I loved), it's Alex's familiar relationships that drive the story and defeat the powers of evil. I loved it, and I'm so excited that two more Brooklyn Bruja books are on the way.