The Lost Dreamer ARC Review! // a rich debut inspired by ancient Mesoamerica ft. female seers

If this is the measure by how debuts are judged, I’m going to throw my rough draft into a fiery pyre. Wow.

A huge thank you to the publisher for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! Quotes are subject to change upon publication.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

rep: OwnVoices for Mesoamerican rep

The Lost Dreamer is an absolute must-read for 2022. In fact, I predict that it will be quite the underdog. You see, I haven’t read a debut with such rich worldbuilding, beautiful writing, and enthralling magic in a long time.

We follow two perspectives: Indir, who is a Dreamer among the main Dreamers at the capital city of Alcanezeh. After the king dies, his son returns to the city with no regard for traditions. Indir’s entire world is thrown into upheaval. We also follow Saya, a seer (not an official dreamer) who travels constantly with her mother who takes credit for Saya’s gifts. Both girls will have to stand up for themselves, and the world they live in.

There is so much to unpack here. One of the things I loved about this novel was the worldbuilding. I seriously don’t think that there is a book I’ve read in recent times that manages to be so creative and unique in its magic system. I would love to discover more about Mesoamerican culture and mythology now! Especially because the author notes in her acknowledgments that this was a book specifically based off of the Kumeyaay tribe of people.

“When the Twin Serpents shed their first skin, they did so weeping in joy, and so the seas and rivers and waters of the world were formed.”

So there’s this concept of the Dream, where only Dreamers can go. Spirits live there and can help if offerings are made. I loved how you had so many different types of Dreamers. For example, Indir is a Dreamer of truth, while her sister Dreams possibility. There are also healers who sing Songs of healing through water, and the Fire Warriors are uh…basically the Fire Nation. There are also these amazing women named the Ilkan (who remind me of the Amazons from Greek mythology) who are very in tune with jaguar spirits. This book is just chock-full of creative magic!

Also, can we please appreciate the women??? They’re often described as having round hips and bellies, being tall and short, and having all different body types. And you know what? Each body type is considered to be equally beautiful and perfectly natural. I personally loved that. Also! I’m pretty sure only women are Dreamers? Which is awesome? The synopsis describes this book as tackling the themes of dismantling a patriarchal society and I can 100% see that.

“My mother always said that chaos is a womb. What will be birthed?”

And oh my gosh the writing is just…I’m speechless. So many sentences were strung together by an almost ethereal combination of adjectives and nouns and verbs, creating metaphors and similies effortlessly. I will say that sometimes the story dragged, though. It felt slow, and I had to really focus to envision the rich world and complex characters.

I’m not totally happy with one romantic plotline (personal preference y’know) but other than that, I really enjoyed the plot of this book. There were a few minor twists throughout the story but the last 25% really took me on a trip. I’m still reeling. Saya and Indir’s stories are just really well-done.

Overall, it is my opinion that this will be one of the most underrated books of the year. I definitely didn’t find myself as invested at certain points as I wanted to be, but I think that’s because this is a story that requires more than one brain cell. I’m giving this 5/5 stars! This releases March 1st. You can add this to Goodreads or preorder it as well! Tell me: are you excited for this one? What’s a book with unique mythology?

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14 thoughts on “The Lost Dreamer ARC Review! // a rich debut inspired by ancient Mesoamerica ft. female seers

  1. AHHHHH THIS SOUNDS SO AMAZING I SERIOUSLY CANNOT WAIT NOW AHHHHH!! I LOVE the entire idea of dreamers in general and have a habit of falling in love with anything that mentions ‘dreamer’ at first sight, SO THIS BOOK OBVIOUSLY CAUGHT MY ATTENTION THE FIRST TIME I HEARD OF IT! But your review IT IS GOLDEN, like i can practically feel all your love for this book 😭😭 AND YOU’VE ALSO MADE ME SO EXCITED NOW THANK YOU SO MUCH!! All of the quotes you’ve added, THEY SOUND SO BEAUTIFUL AND MAGICAL, I cannot even imagine what the book shall be like AHHH

    Liked by 1 person

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