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The Lost Puzzler

(The Tarakan Chronicles #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  226 ratings  ·  46 reviews

A brilliantly written, page-turning, post-dystopian novel about a society hoping to salvage the technology of a lost generation, a mysterious missing boy who can open doors no one else can, and a scribe who must piece together the past to determine humanity’s future.

More than a hundred years have passed since the Great Catastrophe brought humanity to the brink of extinctio

Kindle Edition, 528 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Harper Voyager
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  226 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Lost Puzzler was a puzzle, in more ways than one. Not only was the story shrouded in mystery, the plot was also slow to unravel, inviting the readers to seek the solution to the big question while doling out clues gradually in a teasing fashion. In addition, the structure of the book felt like a series of many separate and dissimilar segments making up a whole, thus making it feel very fractured.

For obvious reasons,
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

After a Great Catastrophe, half of a society clings to technology, while the other half rejects it. There's also some curse like disease. Of course, there's a kid who is the key, and he journeys to save the world.

Not bad, but not especially memorable.
Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews
I’m sorry, but I could not wait for this story to end.

The Lost Puzzler dragged on for far too long, considering the storyline. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love a long story, and at 528 pages, this book is far from one of the longest that I’ve read.

The story was an overlapping tale, consisting of a scribe’s adventure in unearthing the mysterious disappearance of Rafik (story number two). Kless’ narrative went back and forth between the scribe (don’t ask me his name) and the story recounted t
Mad Max(Mel Gibson and Charlize Theron), Rain Man, and Jesus walk into a bar.

The Lost Puzzler was puzzling.
I just don't know what to make of this book or how to review it.
I do not recommend it. That's a good start.
First time authors should rely heavily on editors. The book was unnecessarily verbose.

So what was it about?
Uhm let me think about it.
A 'puzzler' is a person with tattoos who can unlock doors by solving complex puzzles.
For example: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,...What's the next number?
Solve the p
"Only at Tarakan valley will you feel at peace"

* * * * *
5 / 5

It is rare that one book contains so much of the elements and ideas that I love to read about. The Lost Puzzler read like the author had looked into my brain and written this book for me: a speculative, futuristic world featuring ancient cities, people with tattoos and special powers, an unreliable narrator, a young man gifted with a peculiar power, and a hunt for a confusing, wild truth.

We read books to solve a mystery, and the more I
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the world Kless invented here. The long infodump towards the end of the novel leads into a rushed climax. I'm not sure what the plan is for future volumes but this likely could have been expanded upon in multiple volumes. I do hope we see more from Kless in the future.
3.25 stars

The Lost Puzzler offers an interesting world but gets bogged down in a repetitive plot structure. Telling the story of Rafik, the titular lost puzzler, we see events that directly affect him in the past, along with a "present day" (future world) historical search for information about him, along with an attempt to determine his whereabouts. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, puzzlers are those both gifted and cursed with the ability to gain access to sophisticated technology and structur
Brian Cowlishaw
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review coming soon for I'll link it here when it's ready. Overall, pretty fascinating world-building in a compelling page-turner. Recommended for any SF/F readers teen and older.
Update: here is the online review I wrote.
Eyal Kless
Aug 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It started off ok, but quickly changed. It's a post-apocalyptic world that implies Earth but then implies not. It starts as SF in that world and then magical tattoos show up and allow magical actions, all while staying in an SF claimed world. Clarke's statement about technology and magic doesn't help with this travesty.

Then the author used the deservedly maligned trope of repeated flashbacks.

Then he just keeps writing and writing.

What started off as an interesting premise turned into a boring me
Courtney Lyn
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Please enjoy additional book reviews & adventures on my blog: The Bull Crabs

4.5 stars - The pieces all come together in such a rusting wonderful way.

I'm not sure why I started this book with a negative attitude, but I did. I did not feel like learning about a new world. If you are like me and sometimes get exhausted learning about each world inside each fantasy novel - HAVE NO FEAR.

THE LOST PUZZLER is a gradual build. You learn with the main character, Rafik, who is just as new to this wo
Christian Nuera
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Molly Anna
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
In a time after the Catastrophe, a secondary scribe at the Guild of Historians is sent by his LoreMaster on a mission to find one particular woman, Vincha, who knows the story of Rafik. Rafik was a puzzler, marked, as they say, and a key for the Salvationists. His fate could directly relate to the continued survival of humanity, but the Guild of Historians scribe will have to figure out what happened to Rafik and if there is a way to save the human race.
I was very surprised how much I enjoyed th
The world and cultural/religious aspect where interesting, but the middle of the story dragged out and the end of the book lost me. Too many twist at the end and the characters became unbelievable. Female characters where few and portrayed poorly. Perhaps SciFi of the past can be viewed with more leniency, but I expect to see less chauvinistic attitudes in new SciFi.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My hope for a gritty apocalyptic tale is sabotaged by yet another child with a secret power plot. Stop!

Again and again, I keep begging for this worn out plot device to be retired. And yet, here’s another novel ruining a good Sci-Fi premise with the kid with all the gifts. It rarely worked when the idea was fresh. Now it simply crushes hope. I stop reading after 140 pages.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I won this book as a Giveaway on Goodreads. It was an OK read. I'm really not much into the dystopian genre. Add to that a religious spin, another genre that I don't follow much. The story bounced between past and present of the characters which I felt made the storyline clunky and difficult to follow.
Eyal Kless
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This one was an odd mix. In a post apocalyptic world (pretty clearly ours) the action of the story is about getting a child with an uncommon talent to the site of the center of the fallen civilization. It was well written in terms of narrative and action but the story's unclear about why they had to do this and what happened to the earlier society and even who they were.

Several of the GR reviews call this a YA book, but it doesn't read like one to me. Though the central character is a young teen
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
The Lost Puzzler by Eyal Klessis a highly recommended YA post-dystopian yarn which excels in world building.

Over a century has passed since the Catastrophe that caused the fall of the Tarakan empire. Whatever caused the disaster was, it left humans almost extinct, and changed. Survivors have either returned to rural, agrarian, orthodox lifestyles or live in destroyed cities full of warring guilds, and mercenaries, City people live in slum-like environments while trying to adapt to using technolo
This was an early download from Harper Voyager (those who follow along already know I'm part of the Super Reader program, those who don't will know now lol), the blurb sounded cool so I gave it a shot.

It's somewhat your basic dystopian YA, which got it dinged for a star, in that it felt like it somehow restrained itself. I mean, I don't need it to go all Cormac McCarthy, but it trod the edges of dark without really taking that leap, without taking advantage of the possibilities that an R rating
Joe Crowe
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Review from an early advance copy)

Author Eyal Kless is a classical violinist, but he can whomp up a sci-fi adventure novel, too.

It's about a ragtag crowd of people in a dystopian society after everything got blowed up real good.

The press release says the book is a combo of "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "The Canterbury Tales," and now I can't un-compare the book to those two things. The author captures the energy and the craziness of "Fury Road" in the world he creates, while the depth of the chara
Brett  Higgins
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars due to the final 50 pages... considering this is a series, not a standalone, the ending seemed incredibly rushed and was not as richly detailed or thought out as the rest of the book. There was good world building and mystery but the conclusion haphazardly slapped an answer on many of those mysteries in an unfulfilling manner. I may pick up the next in the series but this ending made a great story fall flat for me.
Holly Mcentee
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brutal and compelling, and tantilizing in the hints the novel gives about the fall of humankind and its possible comeback. I adore the fact that the author is an employed classical violinist! I will read the followup, due out this November.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Eyal Kless has created a fascinating dystopian world. There is plenty of action in the story but there were also chapters that slowed things down too much. I also agreed the final couple chapters seemed rushed. I'm still looking forward to reading the next book, The Puzzler's War.
Vinay Badri
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read
Fab worldbuilding and non-linear storytelling for the pluses. A video game like devolution at the end kind of undermines a wonderful debut slightly
Mary Nee
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining read!Starts off a little slow but once you get into it you will enjoy it.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating vision of the future, and nearer-future than first assumed... I enjoyed this quite a bit!
Aviram Reichert
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Original blend of fantasy and technology novel with hints of lord of the of the ring, allien, metrix, and more. Bravo.
Shelley Bricker
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sci-fi at it's best because it's believable and frightening what power can bring...or take away!
Vikki Houghton
3.5 stars.

There was much I liked about this book, and a fair bit that I didn't.

The premise was good, with a slightly original take on the 'leftover technology from a dead civilisation' story. It was a bit confusing at first, but things do become somewhat clearer as the story progresses.

Rafik's story was very intriguing, the boy a very likeable and relatable character. His story was well told and it was written so that we learnt about Kless' world as Rafik did. His story did become a bit quick
Gabrielle Mathieu
Listen to the interview with Eyal Kless at
A picaresque novel about a serious boy with special powers, The Lost Puzzler takes place in an impoverished, technologically backwards world. After the fall of the advanced Tarakan Empire, the remaining population struggles to get by on what remains of their technology. Others turn to a rural existence, adhering to religious dogma which condemns all those who still seek out technology.
Children who spontaneously exhibit tattoos are
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Goodreads Librari...: Tarakan Chronicles series 2 9 Jul 10, 2019 07:52AM  

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Other books in the series

The Tarakan Chronicles (2 books)
  • The Puzzler's War (The Tarakan Chronicles #2)