Amanda Hocking’s YA urban fantasy seriesabout the worlds of trolls have been on my radar for quite some time, but so far I have only gotten around to reading Frostfire, which is the first book in the Kanin Chronicles. I have been keen to read some more – because what’s not to love about adventure and trolls hidden away in our human world (plus the nods to Norse mythology piqued my interest) – so I jumped at the chance to get an early look at this newest (and final) series.
Ulla Tulin was abandoned in an isolated Kanin town as a baby. Taken in by strangers and raised hidden away like many of her kind, she has never stopped searching for her parents, or wondering about them.
When Ulla hears of a project designed to help those like her, in the beautiful city of Merellä, she seizes the chance to discover her true heritage. She enlists the help of Pan Soriano, who is both handsome and resourceful – a half-human with telekinesis powers. And she must also contend with Eliana, a mysterious girl who claims she’s being pursued. Though Ulla suspects there’s rather more to the story.
Ulla and Pan work to unravel the truth about themselves and Eliana. But in the process, they realize that someone – or something – is determined to stop them. And they face a force that will do anything to keep certain secrets.
I’m not entirely sure what I thought of The Lost City yet. It wasn’t my favourite – it has that real ‘first in a series’ world/character building feeling, where not a lot really happens, but you can see the author is setting up for the rest of the series. In this case I didn’t think there was a lot of actual world building, which perhaps makes sense since the world is already quite well established from two other series Hocking has set there. I did feel like I was given enough information about a world that is relatively new to me to be able to understand what was going on – as I mentioned above, I have only read one of the previous books – so I feel like the balance of information provided was probably pretty good. We were introduced to a couple of characters, but I didn’t feel like we got very deep into any of them – I’m looking forward to seeing how they (and their relationships) develop in the rest of the series.
The next book in the Omte Origins trilogy – The Morning Flower – comes out in just a few weeks, and to be honest I felt a little bit like perhaps they had been written together and had been a bit too much for one book, but not quite enough for two. It felt like there was a bit of filler in there – lots of kind of every day, or even a bit repetitive stuff, that I can’t really see how it could add to the overall story (do we need to know about Pan working with the wooly elk?). That said, I’ll be interested to see whether those threads do come to something in subsequent books, and so I’m inclined to hold my judgement until I read the next installment.
I did enjoy the writing itself – apart from the pacing starting a bit slowly I thought it flowed ok, and I do love that the roots of the trolls cultures have a Scandinavian twist – I’m a bit of a Scandi-phile, so this is something that drew me to Hocking’s work in the first place. The troll history and glossary in the back were quite fun, and I also really liked the mysterious villans that were introduced in The Lost City – I’m looking forward to seeing how the adventure picks up in The Morning Flower.
So, I guess this is kind of a check in/progress review of the Omte series – I’ll let you know how I go with the second book soon =)
The Lost City by Amanda Hocking
Out now from Pan Macmillan AU
Source: Free copy sent to me by Pan Macmillan for review (thank you!). All views are my own.
Category: Urban fantasy YA (with a little bit of romance)
Themes: Family, belonging, folklore/mythology
Format: Paperback (384 pages)
Aus RRP: $17.99