Cover Image: Hunters of the Lost City

Hunters of the Lost City

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Member Reviews

An excellent MG fantasy story with a feisty female protagonist and twists to keep you guessing where the story is going. The world building is superb.

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This is a very engaging middle grade fantasy adventure story. Its got a young protagonist on a quest, magic, monsters and some dark secrets. The writing is very descriptive and world building is well done with an interesting setting and magic system. Great for kids who like their magical adventure stories a little on the darker side.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an advanced copy of Hunters of the Lost City for me to preview.

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First of all can we talk about the cover, like it was so captivating!

The world building was so cool even though I found it was a little bit slow. The adventure, the magic, the story, the friendship was enjoyable

Over all, this was such a fun middle grade fantasy book!

Thankyou to Quirk Books and NetGalley for the arc last year. I just got the chance to review it here now

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I do not thin it was my time to read this book: I put it away for now and I will be coming back to this once in the mood for that genre.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the published for giving me an advanced copy of this book to read and review.

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I devoured this story. A middle grade spin on a dystopian world. Their little city is led to believe the villain died, monsters rule the world, and every human outside of their walls perished. Their ruler gave up magic and her family in order to save their little city. When the truth gets out, war could happen again.

Such a fast paced, creative story. I loved it.

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Hunters of the Lost City by Kali Wallace starts with 12 year old Octavia in Vittoria, which you quickly learn is one of the last standing cities in the world. Years ago there was a deadly magical war and plague that wiped out the people and left twisted monsters that still stalk Vittoria to this day requiring them to keep their walled city closed at night and only travel during day when attack is less likely to happen.
Octavia is aware of how dangerous the world is as her older sister, a part of the elite guard that keeps the city safe, was killed awhile back. Octavia’s mother struggling with the loss of her daughter keeps Octavia from applying to the guard and guides her choices to work for one of the last, barely welcomed members of known magic users in their world. The woman’s mother was the one who created the plague that took out most of the world. In secret though Octavia continues to hone the skills her sister taught her and it is during one of these excursions to practice the skills she’s learned that Octavia meets a girl, a girl not from her city but outside it, which couldn’t possibly be true, because everyone outside of Vittoria is dead…. Right?
Everything Octavia thought was true is thrown into question and now nothing can be trusted except what she can learn with her own eyes and ears. Octavia goes in search of truth, but in a world of magic and monsters adding lies on top of it can make anything more deadly.
I loved this book, I wished it was longer just to spend more time with Octavia. She’s a young pre-teen girl, she’s not perfect. Some of her choices seemed silly but they are also things you should expect of a child so they all made sense. I thought the world was fascinating and despite the answers behind everything being incredibly sinister and maybe darker than I thought it should be for a kid’s book I loved every second of this book and can’t wait to get a copy of this book into my fantasy loving nephew’s hands.

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I absolutely love this . Definitely a unique read for a middle grade. The monsters .. an eerie vibe.. a strong female mc..definitely a great read

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I don’t normally read dystopian type books but this one sounded interesting so I thought I would give it a go.

The story develops at a good pace with just the right amount of intrigue to keep you guessing. The characters are engaging and likeable, which has you rooting for them to succeed. The writing and atmosphere helped imagine the city of Vittoria and its residents growing up inside the walls and the surrounding desolate areas.

It was interesting to see how characters and the town as a whole reacted to outsiders and when they realised everything they’d been brought up with wasn’t necessarily true. Definitely relevant in today’s society. A good book with a great message.

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I wanted to like this but I could not get into the story or the characters. I felt that it was pretty far fetched and not something I could connect to.

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This book was very intriguing. It was not like many of the other books out there at the moment. I did enjoy the story and all the surrounding characters.

The story is set in a small town/city that hides quite a secret. A girl within the town must protect her family and friends and discover the secret. I do not want to really give too much away, I believe it’s worth reading to find out.

*reposted to blog

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Octavia is an interesting protagonist and we are drawn into her adventure from the first page. It was dystopian and cold but also uplifting and hopeful at the same time. A great plot with well rounded characters.

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4.5 stars.

Incredibly clever and fun middle grade fantasy adventure. The world-building was interesting and I loved the atmosphere that was created here. I'm actually surprised I haven't heard more about this book and definitely recommend that others check it out. It's a very entertaining read.

The plot is unique and adventurous with a good female protagonist. There is a lot of the world that still could have used some exploration, but I think there are some good foundations in place and the general principles of the story were well-developed. The character interactions are fun and, for the most part, realistic.

The writing gets more relaxed and mature as the story evolves, making this a story that took a little bit to get into but one that really hooked me once I got going. I wound up staying up late in order to finish. The ending was very solid and I think some of the more difficult & mature situations were handled quite well for middle grade readers. There are some great lessons about personal strength and believing in yourself. I also appreciated that there is a strong focus on the importance of verifying information and not just believing everything that you are told. The journey is one that developed a strong character and sets a good example for young readers.

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Sigh. Sometimes I think I should just stop reading this kind of fantasy alltogether, because I really don’t seem to enjoy any of them anymore. Maybe I shoudln’t have read it in October, when I am in the mood for mystery and thriller books even more than usual, but I hoped that the fact that this is a middle grade would have changed things and that I could actually like it, if not love it. I have been known to love middle grade fantasy more than YA or adult.
Unfortunately, my main issue with the book was exactly that it didn’t really feel like a middle grade. I guess it’s upper middle grade, but it read as a YA with younger characters, in the sense that the plot was that of any basic YA fantasy dealing with magic.
There was not one bit of this book that felt original to me, it was a mix of tons of things I’d already read elsewhere, even in middle grades. I didn’t care for the plot and the fact that the characters were also forgettable did not help this book’s case.
You may be wondering, then, why did I give the book 2.5 stars, which for me is a neutral rating, if I did not like it? There are two main reasons: the first one is that, for its audience, this can be a nice book, not the book of their lives, but there’s nothing inherently wrong about it. The second reason is that at least the violence depicted in the book was stronger than usual, which you may argue is wrong for a middle grade, but I would argue back that kids know there’s violence in the real world, so to show it to them how some things are wrong through a fantasy story is not bad nor inappropriate. I have seen many readers complain, but I don’t agree with them: the violence in this story was well written and it was balanced, I don’t believe it was too hard to handle for kids, who read and watch way worse things. In this, the book was original, if you will.
Aside from this, I cannot really say anything good about the book, because the characters — as I was saying — were really devoid of any personality and they didn’t feel like real people. The main character, Octavia, in particular didn’t have a distinct voice or anything really going for her, so it became boring really quick and I just wanted to be done with this book.
I am also still wondering whether Octavia and Sima were being portrayed as a couple to be or even in love, but I don’t have an answer for this particular question. In my eyes, Octavia was clearly falling for Sima and her love was requited, but it was never explicitly stated so either I imagined it, or the author didn’t have the courage to go quite there, and that bothers me in any case. One person shelved this as LGBT+ on Goodreads, but it does not appear on the “official” Goodreads tags or on Storygraph. I am going to have to do some googling, but I will be pissed either way, so maybe it’s better to live in blissful ignorance.
Overall, it was just a bit of a boring and plain book, nothing really wrong with it, and at least is a standalone and it’s not overly long, so if you want to give it a try, you still can without wasting too much time. However, I believe there are better middle grades out there and there’s no real reason to be bothered to read this one instead.

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For middle-grade readers who enjoy Holly Black and Tamora Pierce, this page-turning fantasy tale is brimming with startling twists, terrifying monsters, and dark magic. Octavia, a 12-year-old, grew up thinking Vittoria was the only town remaining in the world. The residents of Vittoria are the only survivors of a horrific magical war and epidemic, and they are aware that no one is outside the town’s gates alive besides the terrifying beasts that stalk the forest. Then, though, the unthinkable occurs: Octavia encounters a different girl outside the walls who aren’t Vittorian. There is no turning back now that she is forced to reconsider everything she has ever believed. Octavia discovers a world filled with deception, monsters, and magic while searching for the truth. To learn the truth about Vittoria and the rest of the world, she will need to rely on every ounce of her talent, cunning, and bravery.

This middle-grade fantasy was just great. The pace of this book is slow, and there are many descriptions. The slow pace didn’t bother me, though, because it was a quick read and it was middle school. It is crucial to consider who this book is intended for. A middle schooler’s ability to see and comprehend what is happening in a story is greatly aided by detailed descriptions, particularly in fantasy literature. The author accomplished a fantastic job at world-building by creating their original, brand-new planet. I genuinely thought I knew everything about it and was a part of it. The magic was also really well-planned. When I was younger, I would have loved to imagine this world.

To find out what happened and learn the origins of these creatures that harmed so many people, I found myself reading this book more quickly with each new chapter. The magic system and Octavia’s fortitude in navigating the outer world were two more things that I like. From the first page, Kali Wallace’s book hooks you and keeps you turning the page. The story’s gradual development immediately grabs your attention. This is a story that will stay with you long after it is gone, from the horrifying, mystical Feroxes to the terrible indifference of the Vittoria peasants. I appreciated the city map at the beginning, which helps you understand what is happening. I only wish there was a map of the areas outside the city walls, but I suppose that would reveal too much about Octavia’s explorations outside the walls.

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The world building in this novel was my favorite part! ❤️ It was really well thought out, and I loved it had its own history and magic system. The characters were also really interesting! I’m not the target audience, but I think for a MG aged person, they’re really easy to identify with!

For the pacing, I don’t know if I’m too old or I’m just used to some faster paced books, but there were some parts where the plot was dragging a bit. I didn’t mind the long descriptions, but sometimes it seemed a bit much.

Nevertheless, I think this is a great book and as soon as my nieces and nephews speak enough English this will be one of the books I’ll be giving to them!

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Rating: 3,5 stars.

This book must be wonderful for younger readers! The only problems I had with it were probably due to my age (for example: Octavia, our protagonist, seemed to act older than she is supposed to be). I found the magic system to be exciting and very original, especially at the end when you realize how it has actually been utilized! The plot twists towards the end were good, I didn't quite see it coming. I also generally found the plot progression to be nice, at no point did it feel like it was dragging its feet. The story was adventurous and exciting, and at times even thrilling! I think this will be a good hit amongst the middle grade readers. I warmly recommend it!

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Hunters of the Lost City is such a fun and magical middle grade story. I could easily see this being a standalone or a series based on the ending, which is fine by me because it ties up everything nicely but it does leave it open for future storytelling in the world. I do appreciate it as a standalone though and hope it remains that way!

In the book we are following a city who has lived within walls as the last known survivors of the sorcerer war. The walls are to protect them from the Ferox, sorcerer created monsters, that roam the wilderness and attack at night. The number one rule of the city is once that gates are closed, they will not reopen for anyone until morning.

One day our main character, Octavia, gets left outside the walls and only survives due to a mysterious stranger that begins to tell her that everything she grew up knowing is a lie. From there on, Octavia and Sima are on the quest to find Sima's family, save Vittoria, and figure out the truth.

The setting of this story was immaculate, I could easily picture the map layouts described. The town, the wall, the wilderness. It was all so beautifully and descriptively written.

I had a lot of fun with these characters. I think Octavia was a great protagonist for the story and I loved Sima, Flavia, and certain unnamed characters that could be considered spoilers.

I do felt that the plot moved a bit too quickly towards the end of the story. The beginning of the story was a bit slower with the worldbuilding (which I enjoyed) which didn't leave as much time for explanations or pacing in the end to fit it all in a smaller book.

Overall, I thought this was such an imaginative story and really enjoyed reading it.

Thanks to NetGalley for giving me a copy to review. All thoughts are my own.

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I was definitely hooked from the beginning of the book. I enjoyed the main character Octavia and the other strong female characters throughout. The plot was good, it did slow a little in the middle but picked back up towards the end. It had some good twists, some I saw coming and some I didn’t. This was a great middle grade read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Quirk Books.

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