Lost and Found Paperback – 22 September 2020
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- ISBN-10 : 1094091197
- ISBN-13 : 978-1094091198
- Product Dimensions : 13.97 x 1.91 x 21.59 cm
- Publisher : Blackstone Publishing (22 September 2020)
- Reading level : 12 - 17 years
- Language: : English
- Customer reviews:
"[A] touching and quirky novel...a quick page-turner about bizarre 'supernatural' abilities, missing people, and it handles some real issues facing teenagers and families."-- "The Nerd Daily"
"Lost and Found was an amazing, heartwarming novel, and I was really impressed with Card's writing. From the well-rounded and fleshed out characters, to the way that the character-driven plot unraveled, I was left speechless. The author has done a fantastic job."-- "San Francisco Book Review"
"An intriguing premise...This story raises provocative questions about family, friendship, and the value of individual abilities."-- "Publishers Weekly"
"Only a few authors have the ability to create characters that seem like real friends by the end of a book. Prepare to meet several in this absorbing and heartwarming coming-of-age story by master storyteller Orson Scott Card."-- "Nicholas Sansbury Smith, New York Times bestselling author of the Hell Divers series"
"The pacing of the multilayered mystery enables a buildup of dread leading to the revelation of how incredibly dark the crime story really is. The story's psychological elements--both traumatic fallout and beautiful interpersonal relationships--are given breathing space in a satisfying denouement...A winning combination of wit, a twisted crime drama, and a fresh take on teens with powers."-- "Kirkus Reviews"
"Unputdownable, unmissable. Classic Card character depth that goes to the center of the earth, and secrets that slowly unfold until the breathtaking, heart-lurching ending."-- "Mette Ivie Harrison, author of New York Times Notable Book The Bishop's Wife and Vampires in the Temple"
"When you read a few hundred novels a year, you learn to tell from page one who's got the storyteller gene. Or at least the storycrafter skill. Orson Scott Card has both, and here in his latest novel he lets 'em roll...On the surface, it's a young adult coming-of-age mystery with powerful plot compulsion that makes it entertaining reading. Underneath, there's a lot of important moral and character-crisis material that leaves a sense of 'wow' and 'but of course.' Emotionally gratifying whether you're fourteen or forty or seventy-four."-- "New York Journal of Books"
About the Author
Orson Scott Card, a New York Times bestselling author, has won several Hugo and Nebula awards for his works of speculative fiction.
Claire Bloom, CBE, is an English film and stage actress, known for leading roles in plays such as Streetcar Named Desire, A Doll's House, and Long Day's Journey into Night, along with nearly sixty films and countless television roles, during a career spanning over six decades. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2013 Queen's birthday honors for services to drama.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
After reading the book, I can say that those criticisms are slightly valid, but not enough to in any way make the book bad. Yes, the characters speak in a more clever way than most people I've met in the real world. But... I do know people who speak like this. They are usually very bright and just interact with the world differently. And yes, the book does speak about dark, mature topics a bit past the halfway point. I wouldn't read this book to my daughters (ages 8, 9, and 13) because it might freak them out. But... as an adult reader, I knew that the topics brought up are actually real and these things happen in real life. Card didn't make up something horrific to be scandalous - he picked a real-world topic and added it to his story. So I didn't mind.
After saying all of that, how is the book? It's good! It isn't quite as engaging as some of Card's other books, but only because it is smaller in scale and scope. The Ender saga (which is up to approximately 12 books by now) feels important. The themes, moral dilemmas, and human interactions all have weight to them because of how epic the story is.
"Lost and Found" has a bit of adventure and danger, but it is much more grounded. It is focused on (almost) regular humans living their lives in contemporary times. So it is a touch lighter, a touch simpler than some of Card's other books.
Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the book from beginning to end and would love to find out more about micropowers and just how inane they might be. The world-building is good enough to make me crave more.
One last note: the micropowers discussed actually *do* relate to the Ender saga, because they seem to be based (intentionally or not) on philotic rays. The main character can "feel" a connection between lost items and their owners. Another character can "feel" where spiders are. And one can "feel" other peoples' navels. It instantly reminded me of the ansible, the hive queen, and philotic webs. So that's something.
I agree with another reviewer that sometimes the characters are a little too verbally aggressive, though several have been through enough problems to justify their having developed not just thick skin but porcupine quills. Fortunately, they’re seldom totally obnoxious, and when they _are_, they realize it, feel guilty, and somehow or other manage to make up for it. Ezekiel, in particular, the point-of-view character, is prickly, sometimes self-pitying, but good to the core. He feels real, human, and someone you’d be proud to call a friend.
Card started his writing career as a playwright, and his books have always relied on clever, thoughtful, or just plain funny dialogues, and I seem to have noticed that dialogues occupy more and more space in his recent novels. This is especially true in this one. Usually, it works, because characterization and dialogues _are_ Card’s strong points, yet sometimes I had to wonder, “Do you remember that the bad guys may be nearby? You may want to be discreet long before you actually reach their lair, just in case they’re patrolling or something.”
I’m very sensitive to what I consider plot weaknesses. Card is very good at avoiding them, as a rule, but I found two in this novel:
1. When Ezekiel’s only friend disappears, Ezekiel worries … but not enough to take action for two or three days, even after he’s learned about the gang kidnapping little girls (his friend, Beth, is a proportional dwarf; she looks like a little girl). Even if she had _not_ disappeared, I’d still be frantic to talk to her, to make absolutely sure she’s all right. There’s no logical argument such as “there’s so little chance that she, among all other potential victims, was kidnapped” that would reassure me — especially when she, a very serious student, failed to show up at school.
2. Whereas Card was very careful to define and limit magic powers in his Mither Mages books, Ezekiel’s power starts to … overflow. It is presented as a finder’s power, and I was fine with Ezekiel starting to get information about the owner of a lost item, then seeing what the owner sees, and even with himself being “owned” as a friend (this last aspect was well prepared), but at some point his power apparently told him to ditch the friendly, helpful, competent FBI agent who was driving him to save Beth (though stopping as Shank did at a fast-food place really makes no sense when you’re on your way to save a child who might get killed at any moment) to instead have his father come all the way from his workplace to drive him instead. Not only did his power overflow, serving as a deus ex machina, it also seemed to make Ezekiel into a puppet. Just do that, Ezekiel, because that’s what your power tells you to do and you can’t resist the compulsion.
For all my ranting, the main problem with this novel is that I read it when I was supposed to work. I couldn’t drop it. So now I’ve got work to catch up with, but … I don’t regret the read.
I hate to give more away than this, since this happens in the very beginning and the book does a good job unspooling the story. There is some disturbing imagery and children in peril, but I liked it over all and I recommend it for most readers.