Today — Tuesday, January 8th — marks the release of Eyal Kless’s debut novel, The Lost Puzzler, published by Harper Voyager. Happy #BookBirthday, Eyal!
This book has been on my radar (and, honestly, physically on my to-read-and-review shelf) for quite awhile. It has an intriguing premise: a world recovering from a century-old apocalypse, where some people are reverting to old ways while worshiping new gods, while others cling desperately to the technology of the past, hoping they can salvage the progress of the past. From the official release blurb:
In 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 more than a decade before. Born of a rare breed of marked people, the child, Rafik — known as “The Key” — was one of a special few with the power to restore this lost civilization to glory once again.
In 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 him.
The Lost Puzzler sounds like a heavy dose of Mad Max-esque ruckus and dystopia, but with a techno-fantasy overlay. While I’m not generally a huge fan of the Mad Max films and similar settings, I definitely go in for a good genre mash-up, and early reviewers have drawn parallels to The Fifth Element, a film I adore, so that sounds promising.
The size of this one is a little daunting, clocking in at 528 pages. It’s a pretty meaty trade paperback. Fans of long reads will definitely be attracted to this deep dive in a whole new world.
The Lost Puzzler kicks off the The Tarakan Chronicles series, so there will be a lot more where this came from. Available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and your local bookstore. You can also read a book sample here.