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Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon…
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Keeper of the Lost Cities

by Shannon Messenger

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I really loved this book! It was one of the better fantasy books i've read, ( and I read a lot of fantasy...) I think the main reason I liked is book so much is because the main character is willing to do something for others even if it means the worst fir herself. ( )
  lizardferret | Feb 14, 2014 |
  scducharme | Jan 18, 2014 |
Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost.

Keeper of the Lost Cities was an odd change for me. As you guys know, I'm really more of a contemporary gal, even in MG. But I tried it, because it looked interesting-- admit it, that cover is so adorable. It looks kind of like a mix of City of Ember and I don't know, something else that I can't remember right now.

It was completely different, though. Keeper of the Lost Cities was about the elves, which I thought was a unique idea. I liked the capitalization on all of the powers of the elves and the lost cities, but I felt like there was more potential that wasn't really carried out. Not very much has been done with elves, and the author had the power to really make them her own, but she didn't really. Fortunately though, the plot kept me interested.

It was very slow in the beginning-- the first two-hundred pages were the slowest, because nothing was really happening. I mean, things were happening of course, but it was all happening so slowly that it was hard to pay attention. Fortunately, it picked up around the middle, where it became interesting and fast enough to keep me glued to the pages.

I liked our main character, Sophie. She seemed like a really sweet kid and she was pretty funny, but she wasn't all that remarkable. She could have had more development, but I look forward to reading more about her-- she has some great potential ahead of her. All in all, Keeper of the Lost Cities may not have been all that I had hoped, but that doesn't meant that it was terrible. It sounds like I liked it less than I did. ( )
  MVTheBookBabe | Aug 13, 2013 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: A girl with many gifts learns she’s not only an elf, but an elf raised by humans for the purpose of a rebel group, the Black Swan.

Opening Sentence: Blurry, fractured memories swam through Sophie’s mind, but she couldn’t piece them together.

The Review:

Sophie always knew she was different. I mean, how many 12-year-olds are in high school? It isn’t until a field trip to a local museum that Sophie starts to realize there could be something more to her telepathic abilities. Thrown into a colorful world of special abilities and mythological creatures, Sophie starts a new life as a student in a prestigious elf school. But even with her new friends by her side, odd and mysterious things keep happening. Something bad is about to happen – and Sophie is right in the middle of it. Full of adventure, Keeper of the Lost Cities is a fun and high-stake story about friendship and trust, discovering who your friends and enemies really are and what a little bit of faith can do.

For a middle grade book, I would group this with the Percy Jackson series and Artemis Fowl. This book is filled with hilarious and witty characters, a twisty-plot and a gorgeous world of elves and magic. As a high schooler, I still found myself laughing and sympathizing with the characters.

Sophie in the human world is a child prodigy. She has a photographic memory and just so happens to be able to read minds (not that she tells anybody this). I feel bad for her as she’s thrown all of a sudden into the elf world without a single glance back to her human family. She’s just there one day and gone the next. Of course this is hard on Sophie because now she lives with adoptive parents that seem a bit distant. Although she’s 12 years old, she’s still relatable. Actually for a 12 year old she’s very strong willed, yet still vulnerable, reminding us that she’s still a kid who totally up and moved from one world to another.

And there’s still a bit of romance in this middle grade book. Nothing steamy, just something cute and light-hearted. Despite the misleading synopsis above, this book mainly focuses on Dex, a nerdy and protective boy from Sophie’s school. He obviously has a crush on Sophie, but she has a crush of Fitz, a child prodigy in his own way and also the son of Sophie’s protector (for lack of a better word…maybe lawyer is better?) Nothing happens (They’re 12 for peat’s sake), but it is cute.

Overall, this is a pretty entertaining book with a slow beginning (just until she finally gets to the elf world). There’s plenty of twists, and the way the school works sort of reminds me of Harry Potter. Beware: although not a major cliffhanger, the plot line is still left hanging.

Notable Scene:

“On your marks!”

Sophie’s hands clenched into fists. If she was going to beat Fitz, she was going to have to give it everything she had–and then some.

Adrenaline surged through her veins. The murmur of the audience faded, and she became aware of another buzzing in the back of her mind, like a back-up pool of energy she’d never noticed before. It felt stronger than the other energy. Could she draw from there instead?

“Get set…Splotch!”

Sophie threw her hands out, pushing toward the splotcher with her mind. Her brain seemed to stretch, like someone snapping a rubber band, and her ears rang, but she didn’t break her concentration.

She felt her force meet Fitz’s and rebound. The next thing she knew, she was flying backward across the room. She caught the surprised look in Fitz’s eyes as the same phenomenon happened to him.

For a long second she was weightless, then her back collided with the wall and the wind was knocked out of her. An almost simultaneous crash told her Fitz had met the same fate.

Pain shot through her whole body and she collapsed. The last thing she saw was Fitz crumpled on the floor. Then everything went black.

FTC Advisory: Aladdin/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing provided me with a copy of Keeper of the Lost Cities. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Jun 19, 2013 |
I picked up Shannon Messenger's Keeper of the Lost Cities with high expectations. Not only had a heard very positive things about this specific novel, reviewers and readers seemed to extremely excited about her YA offering, Let the Sky Fall. I still haven't read Let the Sky Fall, but I really enjoyed this first installment of the Lost Cities books.

My favorite aspect of Keeper of the Lost Cities is the treatment of the characters. For the most part, the reader only knows as much about the characters as the main character, Sophie, who is naive due to both age and because much of her memory has been blocked by an unknown source. Sophie and, therefore, the reader, are never quite sure who can be trusted or what motivates the other characters in the novel. This novel is full of secrets, some harmless and some dangerous, but it's hard to determine which are which.

I also adored the entire concept of the "lost" cities, like Atlantis. In Keeper of the Lost Cities the places and beings that are considered fantastical myths by humans are actually real and kept hidden from prying humans. In this first book readers only get fleeting glimpses at these places, but I'm hopeful more in-depth exploration will occur in future installments.

Though, for the most part, I liked Keeper of the Lost Cities, I did take issue with a few elements, especially those that seemed a bit too similar to the world of Harry Potter. I'm not saying that I have a huge problem with Messenger drawing inspiration from another fictional world - there weren't any exact parallels or anything like that, it was more the feel or spirit of the ideas - but I just didn't feel like some of things were executed well. For example, Sophie describes the food and medicine in these lost cities as candy-like and sweet. While these details were probably meant to be fun, I didn't feel that they were all that genuine or necessary. In fact, I found them quite distracting! Sometimes it just felt like the novel was trying too hard to be something else, when it would have been wonderful as itself!

I'm looking forward to the next book in this series, Exile, which is due out October 2013! ( )
  thehidingspot | May 10, 2013 |
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At age twelve, Sophie learns that the remarkable abilities that have always caused her to stand out identify her as an elf, and after being brought to Eternalia to hone her skills, discovers that she has secrets buried in her memory for which some would kill.… (more)

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