The Red Labyrinth – By Meredith Tate

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Goodreads Synopsis: The massive labyrinth was built to protect Zadie Kalver’s isolated desert town. Unfortunately, living in the maze’s shadow makes her feel anything but safe. Even without its enchanted deathtraps and illusions, a mysterious killer named Dex lurks in its corridors, terrorizing anyone in his path.

But when Zadie’s best friend vanishes into the labyrinth-and everyone mysteriously forgets he exists- completing the maze becomes her only hope of saving him. In desperation, Zadie bribes the only person who knows the safe path through-Dex-into forming a tenuous alliance.

Navigating a deadly garden, a lethal blood-filled hourglass, and other traps-with an untrustworthy murderer for her guide-Zadie’s one wrong step from certain death. But with time running out before her friend (and secret crush) is lost forever, Zadie must reach the exit and find him. If Dex and the labyrinth don’t kill her first.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

Do you ever get so excited about ARCs and pretty covers and cool ideas that you convince yourself you’ll like a book, and then when you get the ARC and start the book you realize that it probably wasn’t the book for you? Because once in awhile I do that exact thing. *le sigh*

If this book had been written 10 years ago I probably would have enjoyed it, we have a female protagonist who goes on a journey to save her male friend (and crush). 10 years ago this story would have been much more unique. Today this story was cliche as hell and I’m pretty sure I hurt my eyes from all the eye rolling I did.

From the first chapter I felt like the world-building was severely lacking. I was confused but tried to push on for the sake of the characters. Sadly they didn’t get any better either. Zadie is nothing new, she’s an outcast and everyone hates her. She’s got a crush on her best friend but of course won’t tell him. And right away you can see that there’s going to be a stupid love triangle between her and Dex and the other guy. Like really? We’re still doing love triangles? Fucking please.

Which of course brings me to the character of Dex. He’s set up to be the bad guy, but anyone can see the ”bad boy with a heart of gold” storyline coming from 10 miles away. Which is another trope that I really really hate.  These storylines tend to mask abuse and it’s triggering and a gross message to be sending to anyone.

I’ll stop ranting now. But the point is this book was not the book for me. I got the ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and I gave this book 1 star on Goodreads.

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