The Lost Book: A Book of Mazes is an interactive activity book inspired by a love of German folklore and mystery. Authors Tim and Justin Grotrian have channeled a dark and forbidding environment reminiscent of the world of Edgar Allen Poe and turned it into a challenging and playful interactive game book.
Loosely linked tales of lost magical gems, dark castles, jealous counts, forbidden gardens and crying damsels in distress are each paired with a moderately challenging maze. The black-and-white maze illustrations are complex and spooky and will fully capture the imaginations of children ages 8-12. The maze solutions are included at the end of the book so no one will remain lost forever!
While the illustrations and characters brought to life in The Lost Book are imaginative and lush, one wishes the stories were more intricately linked. While some characters reappear — the count, sweet little Melissa, Samantha and young, helpful Max to name a few — other characters appear in just one story, never to be seen again. Some stories and mazes include specific calls to action for the reader/player: “try to rescue the crying girl”;” deliver the message”; ”find his safe.” These maze stories feel the most integrated and engaging because they invite children to be active agents in the story and help save the day. When the mazes are simply a puzzle with an accompanying description or a poem, they are fun, but ultimately less satisfying.
A more consistent story arch and polished word play would deepen readers’ connection to the brand. That said, The Lost Book will certainly entertain young lovers of puzzles, mazes and games.