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The Lost Puzzler

(The Tarakan Chronicles #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  409 ratings  ·  85 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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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  409 ratings  ·  85 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.
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.
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 puzzle in 5 seconds to open the door. If the
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
"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
Courtney McCormick
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 world
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
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book shows an impressively original future, very entertaining and interesting characters.
Mirek Jasinski
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The general concept of this book is quite interesting but there is something missing in the narrative. I am surprised that it took Harper Collins editors 8 months to edit this book.
Molly Anna
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Make it 3.5. I liked but didn't love this one. The audio was good. I might pick up the second in the series when it comes out next month.
Clifford Smith
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dystopian setting with a good set of characters to build off. A solid well crafted base to what will hopefully be an even better series. While a little machismo, rough and tough at times, there are some warm notes. Excited to see how this will develop. Definitely a page turner that leaves you wanting more.
Lewis Wilson/Jennifer Wilson
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Didn’t want to put it down

I liked the characters and the story was well told. I read way in to the night when I should have been sleeping, the sign of a good book!
Erin Collins
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
This was awesome!
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of those times were having approximately zero expectations ends up being a good thing: this book wasn't one of those big hype YA books, but I still think it would work on similar audiences as those big YA hype books. There is violence and sex, but whilst the violence is explained, sex is mostly just mentioned as something that happens "behind the scenes", so to speak. You know, the American-style prudeness where people dying in droves is less bad than showing a nipple. Admittedly, violence ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Tomb raider meets mortal combat in a gritty cyberpunk kinda world... it was well thought out, excellently written and a compelling story. I want to know how it ends but I also want to know how it began...

I picked this book up on a recommendation from a little indie bookstore I like and I’m glad I did. I’m usually more of a Fantasy reader but I dabble in Sci-Fi but never would have found this book on my own.

The story evolves quickly and what starts out as a story being told to you abo
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.
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2020
This started out as a really fun read, but it was just too damn long. Like there came a point where getting through this book stopped being fun and started being a chore. The first half of the book was a soild 4 star read, but the second half was a 2 star.
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately it only gets interesting on the last 40 pages. The Plot until then is not important for the main story and could have been told in a few chapters
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.
Mike Manzer
There was a lot to like (I love Science Fantasy, which this was), but also a lot of problems with pacing, overwriting or underwriting (lots of details that I didn't really care about and others that weren't there that I wanted) and the characters were hit and miss - great intentions, but not all fully developed. I also didn't really like the end. I am intruiged enough that I'm going to check out the next book in the series when I can, though. Hopefully it improves on the rough patches and keeps ...more
Cool worldbuilding and very good first half but couldn't really hold the grip through the chance for the second half. Still, cool premise and memorable moments throughout.
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
Cassie Hess
I really wanted to like this one, but sadly this is a dnf on p. 246. It was fairly interesting though, but eventually the "road-trip" structure grew tiresome to me and I had to set this aside for a few weeks only to pick it up and realise that I forgot almost everything that I've read. I just didn't care for the characters enough to keep reading and the mystery at the heart of this book, though intriguing, just wasn't enough to hold my attention.

Not rating this one as I remember being intrigued
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
Michael Elia
An interesting story of a future survivor's culture living among and using the remaining relics and technology of those who came before. In some way it made me think of the Egyptians who continued to live in the shadows of the Great Pyramids long after the makers were gone and how they were built and by whom fell into myth. It becomes clear [at least to me] who the predecessors were as the story unfolds, and fans of stories taking place in the future will understand more as assumptions in langua ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Tarakan Chronicles series 2 9 Jul 10, 2019 07:52AM  

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