Cover Image: The Lost Dreamer

The Lost Dreamer

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Member Reviews

I really appreciated that this book had a fascinating concept with diverse representation and worldbuilding. Unfortunately, for me, the execution was a bit lacking. The writing felt stilted and awkward at the beginning and with so many characters, plot lines, and settings, I struggled to feel grounded. This pulled me out enough that I did not finish the book. I will likely try again later, as so many others have give this glowing reviews.

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In Huerta's story made of stories, the melding of Mesoamerican beliefs, traditions, and motifs is strong.

It was easy to fall forward into the world that Huerta has created as her descriptions are crisp and lush, overflowing with influences and practices of the time and setting. I enjoyed the reveal and the manipulation of time with regards to the events and the characters.

The bond the people have to their rituals and way of life is clearly felt as the reader gets to know the characters and where they and their people are headed.

As much as I was enjoying the way Huerta centred Story and Song in this telling, the villain's presence was so abstract, so underwhelming that this could have just been a story about a young woman finding her path and the people who were a part of her story.

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The Lost Dreamer is a YA fantasy series starter that is founded in a world of dreams, but also of usurpers and those who wish to bring a a rule based on patriarchy and power. Inspired by ancient Mesoamerica, this dual POV story examines the tides of change. Currents of insurrection and a desire to tear down. Seeing Saya and Indir's lives is a brilliant way for readers to get to know the world. While it The Lost Dreamer begins a bit slowly - as Huerta establishes the characters - as someone who has finished, it is 100% worth it for the story.

There are so many layers within the world. Secrets about Saya's past and the dreams she may be having. Indir's family and the way that a burning fire threatens not only her family, but the stability of their world. In many ways, Saya and Indir are foils as Saya feels disconnected from a community, whereas Indir is surrounded by her family and support. But throughout The Lost Dreamer, we begin to realize that their lives are not as separate as they thought as each wonders who they are and how the world will change.

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I DNFed this book. While I loved the atmosphere of it, I was 20% of the way in and didn't feel any tension or like the story was moving forward. I also found that the characters were speaking too formally for it to feel realistic. Perhaps I'm not the intended audience for this one.

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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book.

I wanted to like this. It has a beautiful cover, with Mesoamerican influences, and an interesting premise. But I found the writing flat and the overall story meandering. The world-building was slow and very confusing. I started skimming at about 40% because I found I just didn't care about the characters and nothing was really happening. After a certain event, I guessed the sort of twist and what the ending would be, but there were still a lot of unanswered questions. This one just wasn't for me.

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I did not finish this book; it ended up not being for me. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review. I will definitely recommend the book to middle grade readers in my community.

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I devoured this book in two days. I loved the world building, the writing, the characters, and the mythology.

Told in alternating POVs, the story centers on Indir, a privileged Dreamer who grew up in a temple in the capital city of Alcanzeh. She is a dreamer of truth, surrounded by family, security, and love. But, Indir is hiding a secret that could turn her comfortable world upside down. When the king dies and his son ascends to the throne, he sets out to rid the world of Dreamers and Indir's secret could destroy her world.

Saya is also a Dreamer, but she's never been trained. Instead, she's grown up moving from place to place with her mother, who uses Saya's gift of Dreaming to exploit the local people. When Saya removes her protection necklace and discovers that it hasn't been protecting her, she begins to suspect that her mother isn't telling her everything she needs to know. Saya begins to seek out answers, answers which have the power to either destroy or save her world.

Issues of body positivity, consent, and respect are dealt with so seamlessly, that you don't even realize it's there until you finish the story. The society is non-patriarchal (something the new king wants to change) and the women of all shapes, sizes, and gifts are celebrated for their individuality and what they can bring to the whole. The world Huerta describes is just gorgeous, despite being on the edge of chaos. I could picture everything clearly in my mind as I read.

The entire book was just a pleasure to read and my only complaint is that the sequel isn't out yet! There is a twist ending and it's definitely a cliffhanger. Highly recommended! 5 enthusiastic stars!

Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Full of lush details and a bit off a slow burn, The Lost Dreamer is my new favorite YA. I would recommend this to teens 13+ who have graduated from Percy Jackson, Aru Shah, and other mythologically-based novels. But it's unique beyond its ancient Mesoamerican setting. Its two fully developed main characters exist in a complicated network of relationships with family and communities, and the novel doesn't shy away from examining the flaws among those that are held dear. The only difficulty I've had with this book is keeping the "supporting characters" straight in my head, particularly within Indir's story. Would have loved a "cast of characters" to reference.

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC of this novel! 2.5/5 stars.

I really, really, really wanted to like this more than I did. It took me forever to get through, and it felt like all of the lead up was even more confusing not knowing that the 2 points of view took place in different points in time. I LOVED the Mesoamerican influence, and it's truly unique to the genre. I would have loved a reference point or really a way to get more information on the influences, stories, and mythologies that are included in the novel.

The prose is beautiful, but the story took forever and the most of it felt like there wasn't really a plot. On top of that, the storylines finally converge around the 90% there a sequel? I don't feel like much of it was resolved.

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Phenomenal. Astounding. Captivating.

Thank you Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book! It truly was an honor.

I can’t begin to sum up the brilliance of this book. I don’t think I have ever quite read a book like this. It stole me away and took me to a different world. I won’t lie, there’s so much world-building that I had to take this book slower than I usually do. But, the beauty is in the details.

The story follows two POVs — Indir and Saya. Indir is a Dreamer, living in Alcanezeh. When the king dies, his son returns to claim his throne. However, instead of continuing the peace in Alcanezeh, he brings chaos. Saya can also enter the Dream, but isn’t a Dreamer. She’s constantly traveling with her mom, while her mom takes credit for her gifts. However, she grows to distrust her mom and starts seeking answers of her own. Both girls have to realize their place in the story and trust the Dream to guide them.

I didn’t want to put this book down, but unfortunately I had to find time to sleep. It really blew me away, especially at the end. This is a story of love. It’s a story of how powerful women are. It’s a story of community. It doesn’t remind me of typical YA fantasies (even though those are great too). Is there some romance? Sure, but very little. The focus really is on trusting yourself, your inner powers, and your place in the story.

I absolutely loved the characters, especially Saya. I felt like I got to know all of their personalities really well, even minor characters. I really enjoyed reading about how they interacted with each other. It really showed who they are as people.

Overall, I have nothing bad to say about this book. I think it’s a must-read if you love YA fantasy. And if you love feminist stories. Don’t be discouraged if it starts off a little bit slow—all of the pieces will come together to form a beautiful picture. In a way, it reminded me of Beasts of Prey probably because of the world-building and location. So, if you enjoyed that one, I’d highly recommend picking this one up! If you do, please let me know your thoughts.

My review is already live on Goodreads and will be posted to Bookstagram, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble on publication day.

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The introduction to Alcanzeh and its inhabitants first seemed to drag on, I almost gave up on finishing. I'm so glad that I didn't; a few chapters in and THE LOST DREAMER became something I couldn't wait to return to. A welcome addition to the growing list of fantasy novels featuring/inspired by peoples and cultures beyond Anglo-America and Western Europe.

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A sprawling journey with strong Ancient Mesoamerican influences, The Lost Dreamer stands out in a vast sea of fantasy novels. The worldbuilding is detailed and impeccable, but the book struggled to find its pace within the world it created, particularly for one of the POV characters.

The novel follows two points-of-view. The first is Indir, one of the sacred dreamers of Alcanzeh who prophesies via the mystical world of The Dream. When the king dies, his son Alcan, who was once traded to a neighboring nation as part of a peace treaty, returns to claim the throne. Alcan is vengeful and desperate to strip away the traditions of his people, particularly the role of The Dreamers. Indir and the Dreamers know a new age is coming as danger and rebellion slowly seed their way into the community, but it doesn’t make it any easier for her to face her prophetic role in what’s to come.

The second POV is Saya, a lonesome “seer” who can enter the Dream but cannot fully access it the way Dreamers can. Saya lives under the thumb of her mother, who publicly claims Saya’s power as her own, all while hiding Saya in the shadows. It gives her an air of authority as they travel from village to village— which they do often, sometimes in the dead of night. When Saya loses the protective charm she’s worn since birth, she discovers her life is not what it seems and sets out into the world to find the truth.

As previously mentioned, the worldbuilding is stunning. It’s very easy to visualize these locations, the society, and the non-human beings that live among the main characters. I was definitely drawn to the world of The Dream, which is as unpredictable as it is fantastical, but there is also plenty of spectacle in the “real world” portion.

I really enjoyed Saya’s POV, which invited a sense of coming-of-age as the character discovered herself, took risks, went on an adventure, and built a found family. There wasn’t a ton of action on either side, but Saya’s journey was engaging. Indir, on the other hand, was a little tougher. Her chapters seemed to focus on exposition and setup, particularly in the first half of the novel, and moved at a much slower pace. Indir’s role was mostly chronicling the growing tensions in Alcanzeh, and she sometimes felt more like a necessary buildup to the end of the novel than a uniquely crafted character. This feeling does ease up a bit in the second half, when she becomes a little less passive.

For all its faults, The Lost Dreamer ended beautifully, in such a way that made me curious for the second book. I have a feeling that it might have worked out better as one lengthier book rather than a duology, but I was really happy with the way these two characters’ stories intersected.

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I absolutely LOVED this book. Not only does Lizz do a great job at world-building and making the reader really get into the story (something that for me is hard to do when reading books like these), but she also does an incredible job at tying tradition with fiction. It was truly captivating. I also appreciated the way she described the physical appearances of the female characters so much so that I highlighted every word. It was very body positive in a way that doesn't feel forced or staged, truly appreciating what makes every woman unique. I mention this because it was something I was pleasantly surprised to see. Finally, the story itself is a wonderful mix of adventure and emotional rollercoasters regarding family, finding yourself and your purpose, with also leaving space for more books in this series.

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Written in first person, past tense, dual POV, THE LOST DREAMER is a beautiful story steeped in ancient magic that slowly reveals itself like a flower in bloom.

It didn’t take long for me to get lost in Saya and Indir’s tale of dreams, jungles, temples, spirits, fire magic, and Song. There’s a robust cast of well-developed characters to keep track of. I had to make a list while reading the first few chapters to remember which characters belonged to which magical clans (dreamers, healers, fire warriors). Once I knew who was who, I was able to speed through the book without pausing.

If you like slower-paced books, ancient otherworldly magic, and dream sequences, then you will adore this book!

I received a free e-ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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DNF @ 28%

Unfortunately, this book just isn't for me, I think. I found the writing to be a little too stagnant (very: subject verb object, subject verb object, etc etc) although I did get over that eventually. .However, and I know that I maybe just put it down too early, I'm not invested in the characters or the story. Indir's chapters were harder to get through than Saya's, so I just kept putting the book down at every other chapter. These are just my personal opinions though! I think many other people will enjoy this book.

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First of all, I want to praise this book for its wonderful representation and beautiful cover. The cover is what drew me to the book in the first place. There are so many named characters in just the first chapter alone. It was hard for me to keep everyone straight. I found the writing style difficult to get through. I wanted to love this book, but I just don't think that it's a good fit for me. That said, I do think there are some young adults who would find this books incredibly valuable, and I will keep that in mind when I consider my recommendations. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC.

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this is why I read. Writing: impeccable. Characters: Perfect. Representation: amazing. I will definitely write a longer review in the future, but for now just... WOW.

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I hold this book near and dear to my heart. I genuinely believe stumbling upon a book like The Lost Dreamer is a once in a lifetime thing. Not only does it fill me with love, joy and pride as a latina to experience a fantasy story rooted in and inspired by our culture and heritage, but to see it masterfully crafted in such a stunning, breathtaking way is something I will never forget. I can’t wait for The Lost Dreamer to be out in the world soon; this story deserves to be read, loved and celebrated.

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I was excited to the read a fantasy that would be based in Mezoamerican culture, but I felt the world building could have been stronger. There were a lot of characters introduced in this first book and the terms used to describe the differences in tribes and abilities were at times repetitive but a little confusing, particularly the concept of "Dream" and dreaming. The pacing was also a little slow despite there being a lot of tension and build up. I really like how we are lead to believe we are following two stories that are coexisting in the same time line, this lead to a nice reveal at the end of the book. However, I still found the ending to be underwhelming. I'm hoping that more will be explained in the next book. I anticipate the story will provide more information on the creatures featured in the story and for there to be more developments on a few of the characters that go missing in the first book.

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The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta is an ancient Mesoamerican inspired fantasy novel that tells the story of the Dreamers, sacred women with access to another world. When both of their worlds are threatened, the women must abandon all that they know in search of the answers to save everything they hold dear.
This book is incredible. Both the waking and dream worlds are so richly detailed. Combining that with a page-turning adventure of a plot, this book is an absolute must-read.

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