Cover Image: The Lost Kings

The Lost Kings

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Member Reviews

What a jaw dropping ending;  I wasn't expecting the ending at all.  It's thrilling, disturbing but also has some funny parts but be prepared for some vulgar language and a few sex scenes.   

Overall, this was a good read.
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Oh my this was a dark and twisted read!!! Highly recommend, but also be so warned that you will feel the effects of this novel days after you finish it. Character driven, this story really shares the story of broken voices and suffering.
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This is the year of the twin thriller and this a great entry into the genre, Thank you to Knopf for the gifted ARC my honest review.
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Well, this one surprised me. I wasn't a fan of Jeanie, at all. She was very unlikeable, at least in the beginning. As the story continued to unfold, I couldn't help but feel a litle more compassion towards her. She went through a lot during her childhood and it lead to her spiraling out of control. I would definitely would read more from this author.
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I can very easily see the audience for this book! It's not my type--I think I've read too many like it (self-destructive narrator, family mystery) and the twist at the end I called in the first quarter of the book. But I do think there's absolutely an audience for this and I appreciated that it was more of a character study than an actual psychological thriller.
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Jeanie is a mess and I really liked her. I enjoyed following along with her story. I do wish we could have gotten there a little faster, but it still kept me interested. The characterization was excellent, even the peripheral characters were fairly well-drawn.  I also appreciated the atmosphere. Both Washington and England. Overall, a good read, just a little slow and a bit more of a literary story than a thriller to me, but that was just me. 

Thank you to #NetGalley, Tyrell Johnson and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Anchor Books for this ARC. All opinions are my own.
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This was not my cup of tea. Sadly, I did not finish it. I couldn’t get into it. I appreciate the opportunity to read it since the premise seemed interesting enough.
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The Lost Kings by Tyrell Johnson was a mystery unraveling a lot of childhood trauma, a murder, a missing twin, and finding that missing part of oneself.

I didn't particularly like the plot at first, but I gotta be honest, the writing was so accessible that I couldn't stop turning the pages. The pace significantly got better too in part II, by which I was already so enamored by the mystery.

Something that I relate with in this novel is how Jeanie couldn't really form honest relationships or commit to a lifetime with another person. I think this is because she still had a long way to go on understanding herself as a person.

The conclusion kind of was lacking for me. I do hope we get to have that reveal at 70% then spend the last pages seeing her get in terms with her mental condition.

I don't have a wide knowledge about DID or dissociative identity disorder, so I couldn't really judge whether this is a good representation and exploration of how trauma can cause it, so taking that out of consideration, I'm giving this book a 3 out of 5 stars.
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A thank you to Netgalley for sharing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this novel. There are obvious aspects that render it a thriller, but it's also equally as much grief, childhood trauma and it's subsequent effects. It never fully engaged me, but I was curious enough to see how things eventually panned out. I just can't say that it rocked my world or can think of anyone that I would recommend it to.
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I am normally such a high fan of slow burn thrillers, but this one didn’t do it at all for me. 

I felt the storyline was intriguing and capitulating at the beginning, but the pacing immediately grinded to a halt after. the middle of the book was intensely slow, and I feel like a bunch of the chapters could have been cut out. 

that being said, this was a heart stopping and pounding thriller!!! I was flipping through my kindle so fast at the end of the book because I wanted to see if my predictions were right 

sadly, they were. 

sometimes I enjoy knowing that I was able to thwart the writer, but this was kind of a let down, in my opinion. 

if you’re new to thrillers, I’d definitely recommend this one to you. 

rating: 2.5 stars
wine pairing: california zinfandel
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Thanks so much to the publisher and to NetGalley for giving me access to this book. What a great  psychological thriller .... with side coming of age notes. This book grabbed my attention and kept me until the end.  I will be recommending this novel to my patrons that love thrillers.
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Well I finished it. Pretty much at the beginning I guessed the twist. I kinda hated all the characters, except Manda. It was a somewhat interesting story but the narrative was not for me.
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I read about 75 pages and I was kind of bored... I thought this sounded fantastic but it kind of dragged for me... I needed more payout earlier in the story.
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The Lost Kings by Tyrell Johnson is one of my favorite books of the year. The story was so original and his descriptions of Washington were so realistic that  I feel like I’ve actually been there. The character development was on point and excellent. I read this book feverishly wanting to find out what happens but at the same time I didn’t want to finish it. I highly recommend this book. I will not forget these characters and will think about this book for a long time to come. Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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The Lost Kings explores the boundaries of memory, trauma, and family ties. When Jeanie King’s mother died in an accident, she and her brother Jamie were raised by their aunt and uncle until their father came home from the war and took them to live with him in a cabin in the Washington coast range. They ran wild, missing school, and living more or less off-the-grid. Their only company other than their father was Maddox who became very close to Jeanie. They shared their first kiss with such sweet innocence.

But it was not a back-to-nature idyll for them. Their father drank and occasionally was hard on Jamie. It became worse when her father brought a woman home to live with them and she was only more trouble, slapping Jeanie and driving her father to rages. One night her dad came home covered in blood but he disappeared by morning and so did her brother. Jeanie was taken back to her aunt and uncle, losing Maddox, her dad and her brother all at once.

And what about Jamie? Did their father take him and leave her in a cruel choice of one child over another? Or did Jamie run off without telling her or ever reaching out to her again? Or more likely, did her father kill Jamie? These questions haunt her and she is in a destructive cycle of drinking, sleeping with married men, and continuing therapy with a therapist who seems exploitive. But then one day Maddox finds her and tells her that he knows where her father is. Will she finally get her answers?



The Lost Kings is one of those suspense novels that show how ridiculous genre boundaries can be. Sure, it’s a thriller but it’s also a literary novel. Why can’t books be both?

I liked the story and though it was completely fair, I didn’t twig to the answer until the end. Well done. I like it when the mystery element is not obvious. I also thought it did a great job of exploring the dynamics of dysfunction, showing how a parent can be loving and destructive. Sometimes love is not enough. I thought the book slowed down in the middle, though, and wished it would be shorter or faster, just anything to get beyond the somewhat tedious self-destructive cycle on Jeanie’s part. But when it did, when she finally acted for herself, the book was stellar.

I received an e-galley of The Lost Kings from the publisher through NetGalley

The Lost Kings at Anchor | Penguin Random House
Tyrell Johnson author site and on Facebook
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I really enjoyed this! It was unique and fast-paced. I was expecting it to be darker or creepier than it was based on the synopsis but I think it may have actually ended up feeling forced if that had been the case so it was perfect in that regard. There was literally no way I could’ve predicted the twist so bonus points from me for that. Thank you @vintageanchorbooks for this review copy! It is out now 🙃
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I generally do not like books narrated by whiny self-destructive women. I decided to read The Lost Kings anyway because part of the story takes place in Oxford, a place dear to my heart. Unfortunately my original  rule of thumb turned out to be true with lots of poor choices propelling the action. I did raise my rating because of a good twist at the end, but you might not think it was worth the time to get there.
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Thank you to NETGALLEY for the advance reader copy of this book. I highly recommend this twisty psychological thriller. A bit dark, but great story telling! 5 stars.
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I would describe <b>The Lost Kings</b> by Tyrell Johnson as part coming of age, part character study, part domestic drama with some psychological thriller aspects as well. 

After the tragic death of their mother, Jeanie and her twin brother Jamie go to live with their aunt and uncle until their dad returns from active duty.  Upon his return, he moves them to their cabin in rural Washington  where they bond with a boy named Maddox. Their father is an alcoholic who suffers from PTSD which makes life very difficult for the twins. One night, their father comes home covered in blood. Jeanie sees him and is sent to her room. The next morning she wakes up to find both her father and Jamie gone. 

20 years later, Jeannie is living in England, struggling with the events of her life and dealing unsuccessfully with her pain by drinking in excess, being promiscuous, and carrying on an extended affair with a married man. One day Maddox shows up at her place of employment after tracking her down, and she is forced to face her past. 

This was my second book by this author and just like <b>The Wolves of Winter</b>, I enjoyed the writing and storytelling. Be warned, this story is very sad, dark, and depressing, but just like life, books are not always all rainbows and butterflies.  While I did not necessarily like Jeanie, her actions were believable given the trauma she endured, and I cared about her and rooted for her the whole time and really wanted her to make better choices. As for the two major twists, one I saw coming but the other one I did not. 

The pacing in the beginning was great, for me it lulled a bit in the middle but not for long, and then picked up pace again, but after the buildup, the ending felt a bit rushed. I keep thinking I missed something because I am still not sure where the title comes from and how it relates to the story.  I do wish we would have learned a little bit more about Jeanie's mom and how her parents met especially given she was from England, and also where the inheritance money came from which is never really clarified. Overall, this book kept me engaged in the story throughout and I will gladly read anything else written by this author. 4 stars.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Anchor Books for my eARC.
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Very interesting physiological thriller.  I definitely did not see the ending.

A bit wordy and slow in places but definitely worth the read!
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