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  • The Lost Puzzler
  • Eyal Kless
  • English
  • 18 September 2019
  • 9781982608750

10 thoughts on “The Lost Puzzler

  1. says:

    35 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum Lost Puzzler was a puzzle in 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 uestion 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 fracturedFor obvious reasons novels like this often present me with a conundrum how to rate it when I enjoy some of its pieces but not the others? In the case of The Lost Puzzler I loved everything about the first half We begin the tale through the eyes of a lowly scribe of the Guild of Historians who has been tasked with a dangerous mission to discover the fate of a boy who disappeared than a decade before This boy—named Rafik—is said to be a Puzzler an individual with a special talent to unlock mysterious puzzle box like nodes that are scattered across the world hidden away in labyrinths and other dungeon like places where they guard the valuable treasures of the lost Tarkanian civilization Following an apocalyptic event known as the Catastrophe those who survived have split into different groups and one of these groups called the Salvationists believe that the answers lie in the ancient technology of their forebears They send teams on dangerous expeditions to plunder Tarkanian strongholds where the Puzzler will attempt to crack their defenses while the rest of the suad protects itself from threats like traps and attacking lizard like creaturesSoon after the intro though the narrative shifts to tell the story of Rafik He was born in a community that has reverted to the old ways after the Catastrophe becoming deeply faithful to the new gods they worship while shunning everything to do with technology When the strange tattoos marking him as special began appearing on Rafik’s fingertips his parents feared their son cursed sending him away to a “friend” of the family who promised to get a good price for him at auction Recognizing his value a powerful guild ends up purchasing Rafik at a high price nearly bankrupting themselves in the process To ensure a return on their investment Rafik’s new handlers begin grooming him for the demanding role of Puzzler putting him through rigorous training exercises to prepare him for his first expeditionThe book flips the reader back and forth between these two timelines—the one in the present where our historian attempts to extract Rafik’s story from a woman who used to know him and the one in the past which flashes back to her knowledge of the boy’s history and her recollections of her time with him The awkward transitions notwithstanding I generally liked how the two narratives were presented especially the way they framed Rafik’s backstory while doing an excellent job filling in the lore and background of the setting Like I said I loved the first half of the book particularly the parts detailing the initial stages of Rafik’s exile from the time he discovered the telltale markings on his hand to the harrowing journey on the road where he is traded from master to masterNot surprisingly some of my favorite moments from the book came from these early segments with Rafik’s time with the charismatic Captain Sam and his supertruck Sweetheart immediately coming to mind The problem however is that many of these fascinating encounters are much too short While I really enjoyed Rafik’s backstory I wasn’t so much a fan of the episodic nature of his narrative It felt really fragmented with his character being passed like a hockey puck from one situation to the next not to mention how a lot of the entertaining side characters end up sticking around just long enough to endear themselves to the reader before they are swiftly left behind and never to be seen again It seemed a little wasteful in a way how many of the incredible characters and concepts presented here were never explored to their full potential It made me think that much of Rafik’s backstory of his time before being sold to the Salvationist guild could have been cut down or reworked because of the way it plodded and meanderedThe novel also started losing me in its second half After Rafik is bought by the guild the story descends into a confusion of ideas that remind me of a bit of a fantasy RPG campaign mixed with the premise of a YA dystopian like The Maze Runner These elements didn’t mesh as well with the rest of the world building I also didn’t feel as invested in the story once the present timeline took over for good And while the conclusion provided some answers the explanations given were convoluted and I didn’t find them particularly helpful especially since they led to even uestionsAll of this led to my mixed opinions on the The Lost Puzzler At times it was a compelling page turner where all I wanted was to know about the life of Rafik and his abilities; other times I was uncertain how I felt about the story’s direction and disjointed sections That said on the whole I found this to be an entertaining read and a fairly solid debut and at this point I’m up for giving this world another go if there is a seuel

  2. says:

    I won this book in a goodreads drawingAfter 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 worldNot bad but not especially memorable

  3. says:

    Mad MaxMel Gibson and Charlize Theron Rain Man and Jesus walk into a barThe Lost Puzzler was puzzling I just don't know what to make of this book or how to review itFirst time authors should rely heavily on editors The book was unnecessarily verboseSo what was it about?Uhm let me think about it A 'puzzler' is a person with tattoos who can unlock doors by solving complex puzzlesFor example 11235813What's the next number? Solve the puzzle in 5 seconds to open the door If they don't they could die Well that's not goodBehind the doors are weapons medicine books and other assorted goodiesThese puzzlers are shunned and most of the time killed because the simple town folk believe the tattoos are a sign from SatanThere are 'Guilds' that buy 'puzzlers' to open the doors and give them powerful goodies and knowledge to control the land 12 year old Rafik is one of the most powerful puzzlers There are black boxes or locks on the doors with three holes in them The puzzler inserts three finger in it and is transported to a puzzler dimension to solve a geometrical puzzle once solved the door opensI don't know what i'm sayingRafik The Scribe Galinak and Vincha were interesting characters Some of the action scenes were cool but this bloated post dystopian novel didn't workThanks to Goodreads for an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review

  4. says:

    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 readThe 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 to him by RafikWhenever I feel like this I feel compelled to think about why this story didn’t work for me I really think that it comes down to a connection; the story moved along well enough with action but I never really felt like I knew enough about any of the characters For the story to work for me to really pull me in I have to care If the author can’t make me care about the characters I really can’t care about the book I honestly think that Kless needed to give me background and development on this scribe who I felt was the real focal point of the storyI can see how The Lost Puzzler could resonate with some people life would be boring if we all liked the same things It is high on creativity the writing is sound and it ticked off a lot of boxes of what is expected from the genre I just wanted no needed from the charactersI received a copy of the book from the publisher via Edelweiss

  5. says:

    Only at Tarakan valley will you feel at peace 5 5It 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 I heard about Rafik the I was intrigued even obsessed with finding out what had happened and whyThere are two interwoven stories in The Lost Puzzler The first is that of the primary narrator an unnamed man set on a uest by his Guild of Historians He is tasked with searching for a woman who knows what happened to a young boy around fifteen years ago Through this Historian we are introduced to the City of Towers with its ancient Tarakan technology violent bars roving gangs and for hire “trolls” who have willingly modified their bodies with technology smoking drugs to dull the pain of these modificationsThrough the narrator and his search we hear the tale of Rafik a young man born to a wildness village We jump back into the past to Rafik’s highly religious community who view the tattoos of the Marked as signs of the devil When Rafik’s fingers turn black with ink his family sneaks him out and sends him to the city There he passed from hand to hand shot over haggled bought and sold for the tattoos on his fingertips that mark him as the rarest of rare a Puzzler I’m a total sucker for this sort of thing; I loved the Arcane Ascension books for the same sort of reason some people are gifted with RPG like powers that work in a ‘real world’ sort of way These men told him what was wrong with him; they had named his malady He was a Puzzler Now he had to find out what that meantEssentially Rafik can open locked doors and treasure boxes In the Salvationist era society where wealth and fame is to be made in what are essentially dungeon runs fighting beasts to get to locked nodes of Tarakan treasures deep in the mountains Rafik is a prize above all others I adored the way the author wove together a realistic gritty imaginative fantasy world with RPG mechanics It worked so well and had me turning pages manicallyJump back to the future and our Historian Something happened to Rafik and we want to know what The story got weirder and weirder as it becomes apparent that the reader is being lied to the truth is being fudged in the tale we are hearing There’s a great balance in The Lost Puzzler There’s a balance between the draw of the mystery of what happened to Rafik and the action that’s going on in the present The world is interesting and otherworldly without being alienating and hard to understand There’s gun fights and pit jumps and moments of terror balanced against moments of happiness and peace for RafikThe Lost Puzzler is an engaging beautiful and balanced debut novel that I urge fantasy and sci fi readers to pick upRead this review and on my blog

  6. says:

    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 from Kless in the future

  7. says:

    325 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 structures that are remnants of the mysterious Tarakanian society While the concept was initially intriguing the repetitive theme of twelve year old Rafik being sold from guild to guild as people exploit his puzzle solving abilities seemed to drag on The reader can foresee early on what facets of the ending of the book will be but it's a long 500 pages getting there My biggest complaint however was the development of the character of Vincha who is judged by everyone in this future dystopian world by the same double moral standards as those in our day It felt odd that this was a world that evolved with sophisticated technology fell apart its denizens struggle to survive in an almost Mad Max sense many with significantly augmented humans yet everyone is still focused on how many people Vincha has slept with in this camp or another Evidently women's sexualitypromiscuity is still a significant social issue while men can still just be boys Really? After a while it just began to annoy me Wouldn't it be uniue to have a future dystopian world in which assertive or aggressive women are not labeled bitches and no one cares about who they sleep with? It also would have given the sting of the revelations about her character's actions far impact I received a Digital Review Copy from Harper Voyager via Edelweiss along with a paper review copy in exchange for an honest review

  8. says:

    Please enjoy additional book reviews adventures on my blog The Bull Crabs 45 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 as you are You travel back in time as everyone tries to better understand the past This was an absolute well put together book The pieces all come together in such a rusting wonderful way The author only reveals what you need to know at the time which helps understand the world not feel bored learning about the world and adds a little suspense as you continue reading eager to find out what's next The book is long I love longer books but every word is important There isn't a lot of 'fluff' that you can skim over every word is impactful to really take in the half men machines and grit I do agree with other reviewers The story did drag on so I dropped it a half star due to that reason I absolutely fell in love with this book I was left hanging though and am now forced to pick up the next book as I enjoyed reading the first book in the THE TARAKAN CHRONICLES so much

  9. says:

    Review coming soon for Seuartorg I'll link it here when it's ready Overall pretty fascinating world building in a compelling page turner Recommended for any SFF readers teen and olderUpdate here is the online review I wrotehttpseuartorgmagazine69573revEyal Kless

  10. says:

    This book shows an impressively original future very entertaining and interesting characters

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The Lost Puzzler

Eyal Kless ´ 7 Read

Fore Born of a rare breed of marked people Rafik known as The Key was one of a special few with the power to restore this lost civilization to glory once againIn a world riven by fear and violence where tattooed mutants manic truckers warring guilds and greedy mercenaries battle for survival this one boy may have singlehandedly destroyed humanity's only chance for salvation unless the scribe can figure out what happened to h. 325 stars The Lost Puzzler offers an interesting world but gets bogged

Summary ↠ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ´ Eyal Kless

Ed to the old ways praying to new Gods while others place their faith in the technology that once powered their lost civilizationIn the mysterious City of Towers the center of the destroyed Tarakan empire a lowly scribe of the Guild of Historians is charged with a dangerous assignment He must venture into the wilds beyond the glass and steel towers to discover the fate of a child who mysteriously disappeared than a decade be. I’m sorry but I could not wait for this story to end The Lost Puzzler

characters The Lost Puzzler

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 futureMore than a hundred years have passed since the Great Catastrophe brought humanity to the brink of extinction Those who survived are changed The Wildeners have revert. I won this book in a goodreads drawingAfter a Great Catastrophe half of