The lost puzzler

Eyal Kless

Book - 2019

More than a hundred years have passed since the Catastrophe brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Those who survived are changed. The Wildeners have reverted to the old ways--but with new Gods--while others place their faith in the technology that once powered their lost civilization. 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.

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Series
Kless, Eyal. Tarakan chronicles ; 1.
Subjects
Genres
Apocalyptic fiction
Science fiction
Published
New York, NY : Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2019]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
516 pages : map ; 21 cm
ISBN
0062792431
9780062792433
Main Author
Eyal Kless (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

A lowly scribe of the Guild of Historians is sent on the near-impossible mission of locating Vincha and convincing her to share what she knows of Rafik, a child who disappeared over a decade before. Even among the tattooed—mutants whose markings appear during their youth—Rafik was special: he was a puzzler, and a powerful one at that. Only puzzlers have the ability to open doors to the City within the Mountain, allowing their teams to scavenge Tarakan artifacts from the postapocalyptic ruins, with more powerful puzzlers able to penetrate further into the ruins. Buried within Rafik's disappearance is the greater mystery of Tarakan society and the apocalypse that wiped it out, along with most of the world's technological knowledge. This rich dystopian world includes snippets of technology that perplex most of the characters, a steady mix of storytelling and action, and intense character development that makes the book hard to put down. Kless' debut, first book of the Tarakan Chronicles, will leave readers eagerly awaiting more. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this twisty novel's high-tech dungeon crawls, teams of specialists called Salvationists assault the lost Tarkanian civilization's buried treasures. The most valuable member of the party is the Puzzler, who can open the cyber-locked nodes in which goodies lie. Rafik, a puzzler exiled from his religious community due to the naturally appearing tattoos that proclaim him cursed, is traded from hand to hand until the powerful Keenan guild buys him at auction. Then he goes missing, lost on a dangerous expedition into the deepest labyrinth of the heavily trapped City within the Mountain. The Guild of Historians suspects that Rafik is alive, part of the plan that a rogue Salvationist (or the City itself) is pursuing to bring Tarakan back to life. Kless (Rocca's Violin) makes a strong entry into speculative fiction, adroitly blending the scattered bits of advanced technology and hints of old Earth with the tension of creeping into monster-filled ghost towns, desperately searching for loot. A plethora of flashbacks slow but do not derail the narrative. Readers looking for a crafty puzzle that descends into the twisty depths of loyalty and betrayal will enjoy this far-future adventure. Agent: Rena Rossner, Deborah Harris Agency. (Jan.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In a postapocalyptic world, a lowly scribe ventures into an untamed wilderness of mutants, warring guilds, and greedy mercenaries in search of a child who disappeared more than a decade before and who may hold the key to humanity's survival.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A lowly scribe in a decimated, post-dystopian world ventures into an untamed wilderness of mutants, warring guilds and greedy mercenaries in search of a missing child who may hold the key to humanity's survival. Original. 35,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A brilliantly written, page-turning, post-dystopian debut from Eyal Kless, about a society hoping to salvage the technology of a lost generation, a mysterious missing boy who can open doors no one else can, and a scribe who must piece together the past to determine humanity’s future.More than a hundred years have passed since the Catastrophe brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Those who survived are changed. The Wildeners have reverted to the old ways—but with new Gods—while others place their faith in the technology that once powered their lost civilization.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. 

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A brilliantly written, page-turning, post-dystopian debut from Eyal Kless, about a society hoping to salvage the technology of a lost generation, a mysterious missing boy who can open doors no one else can, and a scribe who must piece together the past to determine humanity's future.More than a hundred years have passed since the Catastrophe brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Those who survived are changed. The Wildeners have reverted to the old ways'but with new Gods'while others place their faith in the technology that once powered their lost civilization.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.