Posted in Book Review

The Red Labyrinth by Meredith Tate

Read Dates: April 16, 2019 – April 18, 2019
Expected Publication date: June 4, 2019
Source: Netgalley arc ebook via the publisher

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The Red Labyrinth

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Zadie is a Blank living in a world made only for Skilled. Blanks have no special abilities. The Skilled, however, are born with abilities. Sometimes more than one. Zadie was taken away from her mother at only six years old and sent to the wastes to work for her place. She signed a contract with the Warden to work in exchange for meals and shelter.
Years later, her mother, sister, and best friend had saved up enough money to buy her way into the city. Zadie has a special ID card that lets her into the city of Trinnea but she still doesn’t feel she belongs. The skilled torture the Blanks. Luckily, Landon, Zadie’s best friend and the most skilled boy in the city, comes to her aid when trouble presents itself. Until one day, Landon disappears into the labyrinth and the townsfolk forget he ever existed.
Zadie’s only option is to go into the labyrinth, find her best friend, and find the Great Leader who lives in a palace on the other side of the Labyrinth. She hopes the Great Leader will see reason and make changes to Trinnea for the greater good. But an evil lurks within the labyrinth. It’s full of traps and inhabited by the legendary Dex who steals Blanks into the labyrinth. Sometimes they never come back but when they do wander back to town, they’re not the same. But Dex is the only one who knows the labyrinth, so Zadie must make an alliance with the murderous monster to save her family, her best friend, and all of Trinnea.

This book was SO GOOD. Seriously. I couldn’t put it down. And when I did put it down, all I thought about was picking it back up for wanting to know what was going to happen.

Now, full disclosure, Labyrinth starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly is my favorite movie. Of all time. Ever. So I discussed with my best friend the possibility that this book was only amazing to me because I was imagining THAT world. Once you get into the labyrinth part of the story, there are “dangers untold and hardships unnumbered”… BUT… they’re different. AND THEY ARE SO GOOD. Oh my goodness. I don’t want to give any of the obstacles away but they’re so clever and so dangerous and so… elaborate.

As for the characters, I was kind of annoyed with Zadie at first as she was so helpless allll the timeeee. Someone would start picking on her and she would mentally wish for Landon to swoop in and save her. But I soon learned there was a reason we were taken through that part of her character. She had to grow. She had to learn. Being a Blank scum who was considered worthless around her town was all she knew and it came to be how she saw herself. I love where the author took her character and I enjoyed her journey up to that point.

I’ve been known to love the dark characters in books and this book was no exception, Dex was my favorite. The mystery and the way he does what he has to do no matter the cost… Maybe he’s evil but I LIKE IT. 😈 Let’s just go ahead and add him to my fictional boyfriend list.

This is a YA novel… BUT, that didn’t stop the author from making some brutal decisions throughout the story. I loved that aspect. Given the situation of the book and the setting, there’s no room for romanticized words or actions and the author sure doesn’t try to force them in. We get some pretty heart wrenching scenes in this book. The author really doesn’t show any mercy. For ANY character. So, prepare yourself for that. I wasn’t ready.

This was honestly such a good book but I NEED THE SECOND ONE. There’s going to be a second one… right? Meredith???

Keri

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