Member Reviews

The Lost Dreamer is one of the most unique books I have read and I found it very moving and loved it!
The book being inspired by Mesoamerica is what had me the most excited to read it, especially because it is something we don't see often in YA.

From the very beginning, it grab's you and takes you on a deeply moving, action packed compelling ride. I felt so deeply for the characters and cried several times, I think it is written in a way that commands deep emotion from anyone who reads it and I found that to be very beautiful.

My biggest takeaway is that I now have so much more love than I already had for Mesoamerica culture and I hope that people who read this also walk away with a deeper understanding. Lizz Huerta has definitely become an author that I want to read more from.

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I was drawn in by the premise of this book and quickly awed by the lush worldbuilding. The world of this book is so very different from the worlds of other fantasy novels, it was fascinating to learn about the dreamers and the singers and the other types that inhabited it.
But the story itself was a little disappointing. The beginning was excellent but I felt the plot slowed down quickly, dragging for most of the book and only picking up again right at the end.
The ending was very well done with a nice twist to bring everything together, but for how long the book I was I was disappointed by where it ended.

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The Lost Dreamer was a creative and beautiful Mesoamerican fantasy novel. Not only is the background of this book positive for school environments, but the inclusion of an entire cast of strong female characters makes this book a must for all school libraries. The story did have some triggers that must be listed before allowing anyone to check it out from a school library, but none that would keep it from being used in a school setting.

The story jumps back and forth between two young women, Indir and Saya, and the struggles they are dealing with in their lives. Both of these women must face hardships that allow them to learn and grow into who they must be. The author has done a wonderful job keeping both Indir and Saya’s storylines separate while also keeping the reader intrigued on if/how they are connected. This book is a reminder to all that strength comes in many forms.

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I loved the idea of this book, but it just didn’t work for me. The use of dreaming was cool. I liked the premise, but I really struggled to follow the storyline, especially with the alternating viewpoints. Eventually I set it aside and tried the audio when it was released. I did make it through the audio, but even then it felt like the story moved quite slowly and there wasn’t much of a resolution.

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I have been waiting for a YA fantasy based on Mesoamerican mythology all my adult life, to say that I have felt the lack of representation is putting it mildly. Then comes The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta, who creates something of such vivid imagery, delicate beauty, divorced from the constraints of heterosexual patriarchal storytelling. I cannot wait until the second part of this duology is published, I am in awe of this debut. All the stars.

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Please tell me we’re getting a sequel?! This was a great book! I felt that the world building was fantastic and the storytelling was gripping and so moving. I would love to get a series from this author.

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This book made me cry! I loved the plot and the story. Definitely great to see inclusivity out there in the world along with these wonderful stories that captivate audiences in hopes to represent cultures. The world building was spectacular and the characters were perfect for the story. this is my first time reading something by Liz Huerta. I am so excited to dive into more of her work!

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the lost dreamer was a book that captivated me entirely because of both the beautiful writing style and flair that lizz heurta seems to pump out so effortlessly and because of the story itself. stories that focus on family whether good or bad are right up my ally.

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I am so very glad and overjoyed to have picked up this fantastically magical YA title. "The Lost Dreamer” is a story about coming of age, fear, joy and sisterhood amongst many other things. At the beginning of this novel, we are introduced to three sisters; Delu, Zeri, and main character Indir. They live in a town named Alcanzeh. This story tells the dynamic of the sisters in relationship to Indir and her talent and blessing as a Dreamer. Indir has the special ability and power to visualize and predict the future. Let’s just remember the wise and relevant adage, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Indir has certain dreams that prove to be problematic and set up possible dangerous situations for Indir’s family and home. She has a threatening premonition of a future king and an attempted murder (on herself). Scared out of her mind, Indir runs, which sets in motion a journey that is more important in itself than in its destination, As deep analytical thinkers and critical readers, we can see this idea reflected in Huerta’s writing style as well. Huerta takes her time telling this beautiful story. We are here for the journey and are in it with Indir wherever she may end up. I highly recommend this book and give it a cool five out of five stars. Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this tremendous book.

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I love that this story is inspired by ancient Mesoamerica. I was truly excited for it since you don't see many books that have this particular setting. Even though the writing is beautiful I couldn't really get into the story which is sad but can happen if a story doesn't grab your attention. There were some sections in the book that made the story drag on.
Hopefully I get to read more stories from this author in the future since I truly like how descriptive she can be.

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3.75 stars
It took a while to find my footing in this book, but it was worth the wait. Beautiful writing and a magical story. Own Voices. Set in ancient MesoAmerica, a time and setting I'm not familiar with. Will explore more stories in this setting. Didn't love the ending, although I assume we're getting a sequel? If so, then the ending is fine.

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I am 1/4 in and haven’t been hooked yet. Also I don’t know who anyone is and can’t keep the different POVs straight. It is just really confusing and too much info dump so I am unfortunately unable to finish this book.

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The Lost Dreamer

My excitement for this book made me think I would consume this story quickly. Instead, I found myself slowly slipping, tending to the embers creeping and growing, matching the storyline.

If there was a single word I could use to describe this story, it would be wise.

Wise in the mirroring of a fictional age of the past with today’s present building chaos.

Wise in such beautifully scripted examples of true body positivity, consent, respect, non-patriarchal societies, and more.

Wise diction imprinting on the heart to remind us of our own wisdom within:

“Trust that what is to be yours will be yours. The story we are a part of is much longer than any of us can imagine.”

“None of us survive our stories, sweet child; we just live the best we can, while we can.”

In The Lost Dreamer, Saya and Indir share their separate yet interwoven stories- each experiencing their own form of loss, both part of the gift and answer to saving their world.

It is through the breaking of negative cultural expectations and opening to ancestral knowledge that the characters are able to develop into who they each need to be.

I found the writing, and plot to be a challenge and resistance towards Eurocentric story development and overall storytelling. There is no beginning, middle, or end. There is no perfectly calculated happy ending because that is not truth. The story plays out as it needs to and I’m so grateful to experience a shift in how stories are told.

Some would call this a YA fantasy, but as a Latina with indigenous roots, I call this a YA return to roots. A true must-read for those feeling a calling to inner wisdom and desiring to move away from a conventional fantasy.

Thank you, NetGalley for this incredible ARC.

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📖Summary: Indir and Saya are both Dreamers, both born from a long line of seers with special gifts. The difference? Indir was born in the city sacred to Dreamers and forced to keep secrets to save her life. Saya is forced to use her secret so that her mother may play it off as her own in the different villages they travel to. How do their stories connect? What is the bigger picture? And what or who is the Lost Dreamer?
✨Rating & Review✨: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I don’t read fantasy often, usually because there’s so much world building, it takes so long to get to the plot. And that’s what happened with this book. I struggled to become engaged with the book and stopped reading for weeks. The story didn’t truly pick up until the last six chapters, which was honestly too long for me to wait. With the cliffhanger that was left as the last chapter, I know there will be more. Will I actually ready the next book though? I’m unsure.
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The Lost Dreamer is a debut YA fantasy based on ancient Mesoamerican folklore by Lizz Huerta. The eBook version is 384 pages and is told in the first person by alternating dual narrators, Indir and Saya.

Indir is a Dreamer who has grown up in the seclusion of a temple. Dreamers are seers who are able to see beyond reality while asleep. Indir has the rare gift of Dreaming truth, as most other Dreamers dream possibilities. She is called to Dream for the king just before he passes. When the king's son Alcan arrives to ascend to the throne, he does not respect the tradition of the Dreamers and wants to end their line.

Saya speaks to spirits while she dreams, but does not believe herself to be a Dreamer since she was never formally trained. She travels with her mother Celay, who keeps her safe but also exploits her gift while passing it off as her own. They are running from something, but Saya does not know what. But then Saya loses the protection necklace she's worn since birth and learns that she has other gifts and Celay has not been fully truthful with her.

The worldbuilding in this book is pretty cool! It took me until the 25% mark to really get into this, but it's still a pleasant read from start to finish. I guessed some of the twists, but that didn't dull the reveal for me. I'm definitely interested in reading more in this world, though this book can be read as a standalone.

Tropes in this book include: mythology/folklore, chosen family

CW: gaslighting, emotional abuse, animal abuse, death

Special thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) and NetGalley for providing an eARC of this book for me to review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

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From the outside looking in, I should love everything about this book. It’s set in culture that doesn’t receive a lot of mainstream recognition. There’s magical realism featuring the dreamscape which is one of my personal favorites that also doesn’t get enough recognition. There’s family drama, a hint of romance, and a coming to oneself. With that being said, I have also noticed that I’m aging out of certain young adult books.

I reached chapter 13 of 22, and I had no idea what was happening and no interest in finding out. It wasn’t because it’s a mystery; I just wasn’t following along. I’m not sure if it’s because of the storytelling method which I didn’t enjoy that much which was some jumping which had me a bit confused or if it was the actual story itself. I felt the story was a bit conflicted. It spends a lot of time with world building and back story to the point where it overran the story. I found myself not caring about the story, characters, or details as there was no connection.

I really tried with this one. I started on the book and then tried the audiobook. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me, and I primarily think it’s because of the age of the storytelling rather than the age of the characters. I really do look forward to future books as this author grows.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This book was quite the interesting read! I was not really sure what to expect based on the summary but I truly loved this story! The dual POV stories of Indir and Saya had me wondering how they would connect along the way from the beginning of the book. Even by the end, I was blown away by the way Lizz Huerta connects the two stories. It's a creative and refreshing YA fantasy novel. The world and characters were vividly written. So vivid in fact, it invaded my own dreams! I do feel as though the ending felt a bit rushed and left me wanting for more. I think I just wanted to see more of how these characters would handle the impending changes in their world. I do hope there will be a second book coming along so I can spend a bit more time in the world AND see what the outcome of the end of the cycle will be!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC, provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

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I loved almost everything about this book: the fresh and compelling magic system(s), the lush and vibrantly-described settings, the driven and intriguing plot, and just a whole new world of epic fantasy to explore.

The magic systems are exposed in a show of deftly-written show and not tell. I don’t like long-winded explanations of magic systems told in narrative, and many authors choose to use telling instead of showing to make you familiar with the magic system. In this book, Huerta made the right decision to show us the magic system (or, really, it’s more like multiple systems but the Dreaming takes a central and pivotal role) as part of the plot development and in character development, and it was a nice way to keep the plot moving along.

The ancient Mesoamerica settings were so well-described I felt as if I could smell, taste, and see them. This isn’t a talent easily-cultivated, and it isn’t a talent to scoff at. A lot of authors think they can skip over setting in a lot of fantasy novels, but given this fantasy takes place in a part and time of the world most people know little to nothing about it was a great decision to try and pull readers into that time and that space using as many senses as possible without slipping into purple prose.

My only complaint, the one that caused me to rate this a 4 instead of a 5, is the overly-large cast of characters and how similar some of them were. I couldn’t fully hold onto which character was which and where they came from due to just how many of them there were. I found myself having to stop to remember who was who and what role they were playing in the whole thing from time to time, and that doesn’t make for a great reading flow.

I highly recommend this fantasy book for fans of newer worlds and looking for different magic systems to explore.

Thanks to NetGalley, Macmillan Children’s Books, and Farrar, Straus and Giroux for early access to this title in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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I really struggled to get into this book, which sort of gives me mixed feelings about the entire thing.

That being said, the ending is what tied everything together and I definitely appreciate the story a lot more.

I really enjoyed the plot of the entire book and that it was told from two different perspectives that were connected. I wish the book provided more information about the people, their powers, and their relation to one another. At times the story was confusing Alcan’s return and how it impacted the Dreamers.

Alcan’s story left me with more questions and I would have liked to learn a little more about him and his motives early on in the book rather than towards the end. I never really understood why he was against the dreamers and not sure if that wasn’t made clear in the book or I missed something.

I loved the plot twists in the book, especially the one at the end! It definitely helped to turn the book into a beautiful story and how Indir and Saya are connected.

I really want to know what is going to happen next!

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TW:// infertility, violence, shitty moms, men that need to be slapped

I was really on the fence on what to do for this rating and ,as I’m trying to be more honest and do less people pleasing, I finally settled on a solid 4. Lizz Huerta’s mind is an absolute wonderland. I keep trying to find the words to describe it but the only thing that I can find is VIVID. This is a book that I think only she could have written and written well. This is story is absolutely epic, laden with beautiful imagery, lyrical prose, songs and poems, folklore, and character development. I often find that authors who attempt to take on a multi-faceted story such as this tend to fall short in one or more places but Huerta absolutely knocked it out of the park. I could see, feel, and hear the energy and beauty of Alcanza as I read, Saya and Indir leapt from the pages as vividly as if they were real. I loved seeing the parallels between Saya and Indir, seeing how they were similar but absolutely different, finding the places in the puzzle where their pieces fit. All I can say was, it’s giving what it promised to give.
On the other hand, the first few chapters are an absolute info-dump; so many new characters and concepts are introduced all at once that if you don’t keep your eyes open, you might miss the exit. Which again, could have gone wrong but was so well-done that I didn’t mind in the grand scheme of things.
My personal gripes with the book are mainly the pacing; I like my books fast paced and action packed and The Lost Dreamer is on the absolute opposite end of the spectrum. The story unfolds in pieces, slowly and teasingly, with a dual POV. It’s a story that requires you to pay attention, begging you to use all of your senses as you experience it. If I wasn’t such an impatient asshole, this would be a 5 star.
Also this cover is EVERYTHING and I want more like it.

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