Book Review: The Lost Village by Camilla Sten

I think I’ll be living with this dull pain for the rest of my life. I’ll never get back what we used to have.


Documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt has been obsessed with the vanishing residents of the old mining town, dubbed “The Lost Village,” since she was a little girl. In 1959, her grandmother’s entire family disappeared in this mysterious tragedy, and ever since, the unanswered questions surrounding the only two people who were left—a woman stoned to death in the town center and an abandoned newborn—have plagued her. She’s gathered a small crew of friends in the remote village to make a film about what really happened.

But there will be no turning back.

Not long after they’ve set up camp, mysterious things begin to happen. Equipment is destroyed. People go missing. As doubt breeds fear and their very minds begin to crack, one thing becomes startlingly clear to Alice:

They are not alone.

They’re looking for the truth…
But what if it finds them first?

My Thoughts

I fell in love with the way The Lost Village was told. I listened to the audiobook version on Audible, which may have played into my feelings about this novel. The chapters are told in the present time, named “now”, and the past, named “then.” The back and forth between time periods not only build suspense but also a sense of urgency. The narrator for The Lost Village was amazing. At times, she read faster or slower to match the feelings of the characters which made the ending that much more exciting.

The Lost Village caught my eye because of the simple plot. A young woman wants to investigate what happened to her grandmother’s village. Why? A woman was found dead tied to a pole in the town square, a baby nearby, and everyone else gone with no traces of where they went. The main character Alice Lindstedt hopes to create a documentary about the mysterious Swedish village. What could go wrong?

I loved the creepy village, the small outings the crew had investigating the village, and how this all lead to their demise. The slow burn to all hell breaks loose moment was enjoyable. But that is where I began losing interest. Up to a certain point, Sten does a great job of sticking to the rules of reality. The characters need to eat every now and then, and they need water and shelter, but then suddenly the rules of logic go out the window. When the big reveal takes place, I shook my head. I was disappointed, to say the least. Once everything is revealed, I longed for a story focusing on the events that occurred in the past.

While I did enjoy this read, there were a few things that I did not sparkle with me.

  • Character development. I did not like Emme’s character and didn’t understand the secretive nature of Alice.
  • Tone! I wanted so much more out of this character. *sigh*
  • The “other” presence & logic associated

Overall, I enjoyed The Lost Village. The journey to the end has the perfect amount of suspense of nothing yet everything happening. The Lost Village would have been an easy 4-star read for me had the ending been slightly different.

Should you read The Lost Village?

Def give it a read during the spooky season. If you are looking for a read with an unsettling atmosphere, a budding cult, with an interesting layout, look no further than The Lost Village. I recommend curling up with The Lost Village during your next camping trip or by a fall fire for max creepy vibes.

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