Author Interview, Uncategorized

Author Interview: Zoraida Córdova

Welcome to the First Annual “Trick or Treat” Blog Tour hosted by Moonlit Reads!

It has been taken place during the last 13 days of October leading up to Halloween Day. You can trick or treat along the tour finding giveaways, interviews, blurbs, and more! You can find the start of the tour and its schedule here. 

We were lucky enough to be able to interview the lovely and talented  Zoraida Córdova. She’s the author of The Vicious Deep trilogy, the Brooklyn Brujas series, and the upcoming Hollow Crown that is being published next year.Her short fiction has appeared in the New York Times bestselling anthology, Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, and the feminist witch anthology, Toil & Trouble.

How much of your own culture do you incorporate into your stories?
The magic and mythology in The Vicious Deep and the Brooklyn Brujas series is made up. The things that influenced the latter are things like food, music, and language. The gods are all named in Spanish. 
 
What made you want to write about brujas?
I always write the story I want to read. There weren’t any books about Brujas for teens and I made that my challenge. 

You’ve included the Duendes and the Cuco in your books before. Do you have any plans on using other monsters in the future?

I don’t have cucos specifically in my books, but the maloscuros in LABYRINTH LOST are inspired by them. I changed them, however, and gave them my own spin. Maloscuros are Brujxs who became corrupt and so they’re rotten and monstrous versions of who they were. 
 
I will always write monsters in my books. 
 
What genre are you most intimidated by? Would you ever write in it?
I think historical has always fascinated me but also been intimidating because I would get lost in research and what I don’t know and never actually start writing. One day! 
 
How do you stay focused on one story when there are so many other stories to write about?
 
This year has been a busy one. I typically work on more than one story at a time. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. As long as I know who the characters are and what they want, I’m fine. 
 
Can you talk a bit about the magic in your upcoming series, Hollow Crown? Will Brujas be included there as well or will it be a different type of magic/witch?
 
HOLLOW CROWN is a project I’m working on with Glasstown Entertainment. It is totally separate from any of my worlds, but the magic will be sensory and mental instead of physical. I can’t say much more right now but I’m excited for people to read about it! 
And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed our little interview and check out her books if you haven’t already (our review of Labyrinth Lost is here). And if you want to know more about Zoraida her twitter is here and her website is here.
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Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

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My mother dips her fingers in a bowl of white clay. She covers my face with it, blows on it to help it dry quickly. Her breath is sweet like rose punch. Then comes the coal. She traces the black of bone around my eyes, down my nose, my lips, my cheeks. We wear the face of the dead so the waking spirits feel at home.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova is the first book in a young adult fantasy trilogy. It follows Alejandra a sixteen year old bruja who has been hiding that she has come into her powers for years. I think that’s all that’s needed going into the story. I knew a lot more and so I knew what was happening for the first fifty or more pages, and it slowed the story down a lot. 

This is an own voices book regarding the Latinx representation. There is also the bisexual love triangle. Rishi is Indian. Diversity like this always elevates a book in my opinion. It makes it feel more real.

The world that Córdova creates is rich and complex. I particularly liked the excerpts from books in their world at the beginning of every chapter. The magic was fun, the belief system felt so real, and I loved exploring Los Lagos with the characters.

The characters themselves were great as well. I loved watching Alejandra grow into herself. I loved her love for her family. Rishi, her best friend, was a fun addition. I always loved her dialogue. Nova, her guide that she’s not sure she trusts, was perhaps the most fleshed out of the main characters. The love triangle between the three wasn’t the most compelling of all time, but it didn’t subtract from the story at all.

Some parts felt a little rushed. Particularly the action and some of the emotional bits. The guilt of Alejandra and the growth of how she felt about her magic felt very repeated, especially at the end. If they would have balanced that out a little more then I think this would have been a complete five star read for me. 

4 stars