The Lost Path by Amélie Fléchais

The Lost Path follows three young boys on a treasure hunt. With a map in hand, the boys travel along a path that is wild and with a magically mysterious past. They discover a whole new world where creatures speak and a hat has incredible importance. As they journey through the woods their lives increasingly grow in danger for they should not be there. It was once a place where a husband and wife lived. One day the woman realized that there was something off about their new home in the woods. The husband didn't believe her and things didn't turn out well for either of them. Only time will tell whether the same fate will befall the boys.

I loved Amélie Fléchais' The Little Red Wolf. It's the reason I wanted to read The Lost Path. I recognized the author's name and illustration style. I think that was the case with most reviewers of this book who like me tend to have felt the same way about The Lost Path - it just wasn't as clear, cohesive, and beautifully told like The Little Red Wolf.

I didn't understand most of what was happening in The Lost Path. I understood what happened in the past with the couple somewhat and to a certain extent what the three boys were facing in the woods but a lot of the "message" I guess you would say of the story, was lost on me. The storytelling was off. I could tell this right away by the black and white images and the color ones. It just felt weird. I found no purpose driving this design in the story. Just pick a design and stick with it or transition into color and stay like that.

Then there was the three boys who I didn't get to know beforehand and didn't really care for. That's not necessarily a bad thing since the author I'm assuming wanted to make everything as mysterious as possible. However, I got only a basic sense of their personalities. There was no tying me to them and what they were going through. And what they faced during their journey through the woods didn't flow right or leave me caring for the boys plight which really consisted of nothing. Some animal pops up with a hat, let's follow that animal, let's visit this place, oh here's another creature, let's follow him, okay already. Get to the point. How does this coincide with the young couple? What was malicious in the woods? There are some parts I have some understanding to and other parts I'm unable to figure out with the non-information given to me.

I also didn't like the leader of the group because he was so cocky but that's okay because it would be boring if everyone was the same. So there are some instances I could relent on but like I alluded to earlier the story didn't make sense. I didn't get the message of what the story was giving me. I didn't get anything from it. I liked the ending, the art style, and the potential of the story but it wasn't enough for me to feel moved in any way whether it was being thrilled, heartbroken, surprised, or even leaving me wondering. The creatures and guardians in the book could have made a really interesting story. There was potential there - it just wasn't realized.

I recommend Fléchais' The Little Red Wolf. The author can write compelling stories as well as create beautiful images. I hope to read more of her stories that are more fleshed out in the future.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with The Lost Path in exchange for an honest review!

What great stories have you read with mystical creatures?
Have you ever had an author wow you with one book but leave you disappointed with another?


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