The Lost City by Amanda Hocking is the latest YA fantasy installment in the author’s imaginative world of the Trylle. I received an advance reader copy (ARC), which I was super excited about because I had read the Trylle and Kanin series during the last few years, and I enjoyed both.
TLC is set to hit shelves this summer—on my birthday, July 7—and the great news is that Hocking already has the sequel written. Fun fact about her: she can write super fast. She’s written an entire novel in one week before!
I actually came across Amanda Hocking in 2014, when I was researching women authors who’d experienced success with indie publishing. She started out as an indie author before St. Martin’s picked her up.
From the world of the Trylle
I began reading Hocking’s books about five years ago when I was living in Dallas. The first series I read was the Trylle trilogy, and I can remember staying up all night, reading one after the other, until I had finished them all over the span of a weekend. Same with the Kanin Chronicles—unputdownable.
A refreshing deviation from fantasy books involving fae (I’ve read a number of books in that sub-genre recently), Hocking’s books take place in the world of the Trylle, or trolls. I’ve got nothing against fae stories—in fact, I love them—but it was exciting to jump into something different. Trolls are creatures I typically don’t see having starring roles in YA fantasy.
But in the world of the Trylle, trolls belong to specific tribes. Some live amongst humans, like changelings, but most live in cities that belong to their respective tribes, hidden from humans.
There are five tribes:
- Kanin: symbolized by a white rabbit
- Skojare: blue fish
- Trylle: green vines
- Vittra: red cougar
- Omte: amber vulture
The Lost City is the first book in the new Omte series. So keeping that in mind, let’s see what this particular story is about.
The Lost City (Omte Origins #1) summary
TLC is written from the first-person perspective of a girl named Ulla Tulin. Years ago, in the dead of night during a particularly nasty winter storm, she was abandoned at an inn in a small Kanin town located in the middle of nowhere. The Tulins, an older troll couple who owns the inn, took in the abandoned baby Ulla, and raised her until she joined the employ of the Holmes family as the nanny to their six children.
Understandably, Ulla knows nothing about her parents or her roots. This becomes the driving force behind TLC’s main plot: Ulla wants to find out who she is and where she comes from.
The story picks up once Ulla starts her internship at the Mimirin institution in Merellä. She meets a half-troll, half-human boy named Panuk, who is about her age. And sympathizing with Ulla’s desire to learn about her heritage, Pan decides to help her.
But Ulla’s move to Merellä isn’t without its mishaps. One of the six children she nannied stows away in the car during her move there, and the stowaway, Hanna, kicks off a sub-plot involving a mysterious girl named Eliana.
Eliana has unusual abilities and suffers from a strange case of amnesia-like symptoms, and she seems to be on the run without knowing why.
The Lost City follows Ulla as she discovers who she is and how she’s connected to Eliana, and it sets the stage for the sequel. Considering how TLC ended, I’m looking forward to finding out what happens in the next installment.
Book review: The Lost City by Amanda Hocking (Omte Origins #1)
I gave The Lost City by Amanda Hocking four stars on Goodreads. Like Hocking’s other novels, TLC is a fast-paced page-turner. You can probably get through it in a day if you have no disruptions.
As a fan of both the Trylle books and the Kanin Chronicles, I really enjoyed how those characters were woven into this one, even if only a mention. It makes me want to revisit them. Maybe I will, and write quick reviews here on the Story Darling blog.
Worthy of a mention
One thing I didn’t mention earlier but should have called out, is that the main character, Ulla, isn’t the typical slender, lithe heroine common in soooo many other novels. Hocking took the opportunity to make this protagonist a plus-size girl with ogre-like brute strength. Take a look at the curvy blonde on the cover. The artist pretty much nails how I pictured Ulla.
I only wish she drew more attention to that. Ulla’s size and appearance are mentioned a couple of times in the context of her Omte lineage, but I somehow was expecting more. Maybe the sequel will highlight that as she learns more about her heritage.
Though TLC was light-hearted and fun, there was something missing. It had romantic intrigue, but I think I wanted more of that. But again, maybe the next book will go into more detail.
It just took a while for me to get into this book. I think it wasn’t until page 60 that I started feeling hooked. There was a lot of Trylle history and backstory and lore. Since I’ve read the other books, that’s probably why it took me so long to get into this one.
Still, give it a try. It’s a good choice if you’re prone to distractions (like me). I was recently given an ARC to the sequel. Check out my review of The Morning Flower.
Looking for more?
If quick-paced page-turners are your thing, I recently reviewed a fantasy-mystery of sorts called Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte. It’s action-packed and loaded with innocent romance and thrills that my fellow YA fantasy darlings will love!
You might also consider the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. I’ll be reviewing each installment in June and July.