Sunday, April 17, 2022

Review: Hunters of the Lost City by Kali Wallace


by Kali Wallace
Quirk Books
Middle Grade Fantasy
304 pages 
ages 8 to 12

APRIL 26th!!!

Packed with shocking twists, frightening monsters, and dark magic, this is a page-turning fantasy adventure for middle-grade fans of Holly Black and Tamora Pierce.

Twelve-year-old Octavia grew up believing the town of Vittoria was the only one left in the world. The sole survivors of a deadly magical war and plague, the people of Vittoria know there’s no one alive outside the town walls—except the terrible monsters that prowl the forest.

But then the impossible happens: Octavia meets another girl beyond the walls, someone who isn’t Vittorian. Everything she’s ever believed is thrown into question, and there’s no going back.

In her quest for the truth, Octavia discovers a world full of lies, monsters, and magic. She’ll have to use every scrap of her skill, wits, and courage to uncover what’s real about Vittoria and the rest of the world.



Monsters, magic and rich world building create a fantastical setting with more than a surprise or two.

From the very first page, the world building draws in with an intricate weaving, which is well-laid out and offers few holes or stumbling blocks. It is an original magical system, which creates a lovely background for all of the twists and turns along the way. The heroine, Octavia, is one to root for as she does her best to discover the truth of her world, and she faces more than a few, small dangers. She's determined, makes mistakes, and has a good moral compass.

There is quite a bit of imagination involved, although there are just as many familiar aspects in the fantastical end of things. It makes it an easy read to sink into and a fun world to discover right along with the heroine. To say that this is action-packed and quick-paced, though, isn't quite correct. The entire thing slowly begins, letting the world-building deepen, but I found myself skipping over more than a few paragraphs along the way. The middle didn't step-up on this end, either, although the ending does hold tension and grabs more than the rest of the tale. 

It's an easy read with a fun fantasy world and interesting characters. Fantasy fans, who appreciate a well-rounded world, and don't mind the slower pacing, will enjoy it.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Never trust the wall and what it's hiding.

Tonja Drecker said...

Wise words!