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Publisher's Summary

Step Fletcher, his pregnant wife DeAnne, and their three children move to Steuben, North Carolina, with high hopes. But Step's new job with a software company turns out to be a snake pit, and 8-year-old Stevie's school is worse. As Stevie retreats into himself, focusing more and more on a mysterious computer game and a growing troop of imaginary friends, the Fletchers' concern turns to terror. Young boys, whose names match a list of Stevie's nonexistent friends, have mysteriously vanished from Steuben. And as evil strikes out from the most trusted corners, it's suddenly clear that Stevie is next on the list.
©1992 Orson Scott Card; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Winner, Science-Fiction, 2005

"Card skillfully uses terror as a background to everyday family life. For Stephen King fans and those who like their suspense mixed with the supernatural." (Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    309
  • 4 Stars
    214
  • 3 Stars
    100
  • 2 Stars
    54
  • 1 Stars
    53

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    204
  • 4 Stars
    82
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    158
  • 4 Stars
    99
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    19
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Dave
  • Andover, MA, USA
  • 01-03-06

A knockout

This book knocked me out with a roundhouse hook that left me down on the canvas, seeing only stars. I won't say anything more to ruin your own experience, but the chills ran up and down my spine and I just said over and over, "Omigod, omigod, omigod."

The pace of this book is admittedly slower than most. In fact, quite a bit so. There's comparatively little "action" as compared to a lot of day-to-day stuff, but there's tension building all the time. And most books of this type need a solid grounding in day-to-day stuff to make the rest work.

Yes, there is a lot about Mormon life, but that is true to the characters. It is a major part of their personalities. This book is no tract for that particular religion. In fact, there's a particularly unlikeable Mormon character. I wonder if some people have a prejudice about reading a lot about religious details. Grisham details a lot about being a lawyer. Cook a lot about being a doctor. The list could go on and on about detailed books of one type or another. Why are detailed non-religious lives ok, but religious ones are not? And just for the record, I'm a non-believer.

So if any religious talk annoys you or you require a lot of action, then this may not be your cup of tea. But if you're willing to have patience for a big payoff, then I think you'll find it worthwhile.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The best from Orson S. Card yet!

To me this is the greatest of all his books that I've read; it's story is layed out in a meticulous and slow manner which shows how he must have enjoyed the characters themselves and how his creations evolved and interacted. It is also very cleverly written and scary too. It reminds me of the movie 'Unbreakable' by M. Night Shayamalan; he also masters the art of slowly and elaborately spinning out a story yet keeping the reader/viewer intensely interested. Highly recommended.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Meridian, ID, USA
  • 12-13-05

Not what I expected, but still good

I bought this thinking Sci Fi. If you are looking for a Sci Fi, this is not the book. But I quickly got caught up in the story. The characters in the book are Mormon in faith and this being a suspense/mystery book about faith, it include aspects of the Mormon faith. I am not a Mormon, and if you can get past that part of the book, this is a great book. The ending was a total shock and surprise. It is one of those books that make you think about it after you have finished reading it. This is a well written book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Issaquah, WA, USA
  • 11-16-04

Not what you would expect

Despite what the other reviewers have written, this book is neither "boring" nor preaching in tone. The protagonists are devout Mormons, but this helps to give the story texture. Not being Mormon myself, I found the procedures of the faith interesting, and it helps give the characters a beleivable base upon which to build up the tension.
It is much more straight fiction than science fiction or fantasy (or mystery for that matter) and it succeeds quite well there. The dilemmas faced by the characters have the ring of truth and drive real emotions in the listener.
The mystery portion of the story, however, feels a little shoe-horned in. It definately make the ending noteworthy, but feels like a different story in some respects.
Overall I liked the book immensly, although others looking for an Ender-type story may not be as pleased.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Compelling

I was compelled to listen to this book to the point that I often didn't get other things finished because I had to hear more. The story creates a good deal of suspense and you become extremely involved in the characters which are developed with care. I felt some loose ends were not tied up at the end of the story and after finishing have some questions about events that are unexplained and seem inconsistent to me. However, this did not take away from my immense enjoyment of this book. I highly recommend 'Lost Boys.'

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joel
  • LANCASTER, PA, USA
  • 10-16-04

It hit me hard.

I really connected with this book. It's not that I have any life experiences that are directly related, but that I am a 29 year old father finding his career. The characters were very honest. The father in this story reminded me so many times of my fears of raising my boys in such a harsh world. I knew it was coming the whole way through the book, but I didn't know where and I was so nervous for the family that I couldn't stop listening. Read this.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wow, that was different!

I have read (or listened to) many of OSC's books and this one was quite a departure from the Ender series! Apparently, it was partially autobiographical, but the story that he weaves is compelling and quite intense in the last few chapters. He starts slowly, develops the characters very well and then really nails you between the eyes with an amazing and unexpected conclusion!

31 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A compelling read

Wow - what a range of comments on this book. Forget SciFi and what you know of Orson Scott Card.

This is far more than a mystery of a serial killer as 75% of the book isn't about that. But it is a compelling set of characterizations and how people deal with each other. Step and DeAnne are in the middle of it all.

Yes, we get deep in the Mormon faith and I found it interesting, especially all the people interactions. It also got deep into computers and computing programs - and employee/management interactions. And we got into parent-teacher. All I could do was root for the couple!

It drew me in. I stayed with it and then went quite for a ride at the end. Very satisfying

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • M.
  • 10-27-06

A new way... a new road...

I can’t begin to explain how much I enjoyed this book.

As a person who doesn’t believe in organized religion, I have to say that it didn’t bother me that it was such a strong element in this story. It is a part of the characters lives, it is just a part of who they are. Another detail in the story.

The character build up is a bit slow, but it makes you a part of the family in the long run.

I have to say that, after 5+ years of membership at Audible, this was one of the best.

The narrator is excellent and holds you to the story very well.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tara
  • Trinity FL, USA
  • 12-02-04

What a great book!

I have listened to the Ender series and so was surprised that this book was a different kind of story. It does have some information about the Mormon religion but not put in a preachy way at all - just as a way to add interest to the story. I was very impressed with the story (I have a brother with a minor form of CP) line as well as the ending. If you can remove yourself from the Ender series and appreciate this as a stand alone book I think you will really like it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • S D ORR
  • 04-17-06

Lost Boys

I am a great fan of Orson Scott card and he his near the top of my personal list of favourite (living) authors but this novel is not one of his greatest but still a highly enjoyable listen.

It is difficult describe what classification to put on this novel in because it is not simply a Science Fantasy as catalogued but it neither is it a crime thriller, ghost story or a moral values insight novel like to kill a Mocking Bird but it as elements of all of these.

At its core is a Mormon Family and how they hold their family and religious convictions together against a slowly tightening noose of evil influences. The characters are introduced like the current in a long winding river, some lead you into small eddies that go nowhere, others into small whirlpools that disorientate you and yet others feed out small tributaries the sweep you faster towards your final destination.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Wendall
  • 09-02-09

Tedious in the extreme

I read other reviews of this and thought I might like it (being a fan of Orson Scott Card) but here I am, more than half way through it, struggling to get enough enthusiasm up to listen to it. Card is a Mormon and in this novel, presents a clear description of Mormon duties and responsibilities... but help me, Step and Deanne are just too reasonable for words. Goodness knows when the action starts, so far all we have had is Step dragging his family across the USA to a terrible job, where people treat them terribly, and they behave in a calm and considered way. If that had been my husband, I would have walloped him by now. I assume, from other reviews things start to happen nearer the end of the book, but I really can't be bothered to struggle through for the last few chapters. I'm off to download another Audible title instead!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Iris
  • 06-15-08

Lost Boys

this is a great book and what a lovely family, Iwas very sorry to get to the end but when i did i was in tears oh so sad,but saying that i enjoyed everything about this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • ne5566
  • 06-21-17

Mixed Views

I've listened (and read) Lost Boys twice. At first I was enthralled with the story and recommended it to a relative. We started listening to it together (my second listening) and all the time I kept saying, 'in the next chapter you'll be hooked.' Then I realised the chapter that hooks you appears after you've 'read' 75% of the book. From that point on the narrative is an emotional roller coaster and on both listenings I've choked-up.

There were discrepancies between my hard copy and the audio version and I think Card has done some revisions (My hard copy is rather old). Much of the book deals with early computer systems, the names which I remember, and this in itself was interesting. However, the actually book's synopsis paints a description of 'lurking terror,' 'danger' and suspense but these are never fully exploited.

The book has the most captivating opening, as memorable as Wyndham's, Day of the Triffids, but then you have a long wait flitting between rather mundane family life and computer 'stuff' before the roller-coaster begins.

However, the final 25% of the story are well worth the wait! In retrospect, I think much of the middle material could be removed and those elements not really exploited could be revamped. It is though this is a novel still in the making and as a Card fan I can't believe I'm being so critical.

Stefan Rudnicki is one of my favourite narrators and I think he does the book credit.

Without doubt, the last 25% is worthy of five stars but other than the opening, the middle pulls the overall mark down.

Despite this, I still feel the experience was worthwhile and would recommend listening to it.

  • Overall
  • sarahmoose2000
  • 05-20-10

BRILLIANT

I've never cried at an audiobook before, but this one really got to me.

A family relocate to enable the father to work at a computer firm, the mother is expecting their fourth child and the eldest, aged seven is finding it difficult readjusting. I didn't know a lot about Mormons or religion for that matter, but this book describes the religion and doesn't shove it in your face as if trying to convert you.

The family is so close and willing to believe and help each other that you are rooting for them throughout, but you can't help but think something bad is going to happen.

  • Overall
  • Hilary
  • 07-08-07

Not his best....

I agree, it's not SF....more like a Stephen King. Gripping enough, but a disappointing - almost cop-out - ending. I've re-read the Ender series more than once. I think these are absolutely outstanding books (along with the Shadow series). This doesn't come close.

  • Overall
  • Tim
  • 03-27-06

not s.f.

not a bad book but most definitly not science fiction