Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Title: Keeper of the Lost Cities
Author: Shannon Messenger
Genre: Juvi, fantasy, coming of age, first in series
Star Rating: 5/5 stars

'Fablehaven' by Brandon Mull. 'The Emerald Atlas' by John Stephens. 'Vampirates' by Justin Somper. 'Harry Potter' by JK Rowling. 'Knightley Academy' by Violet Haberdasher. These are all great juvi (middle grade) titles that entertain kids 8 to 108. After sailing through this amazing read, I must add 'Keeper of the Lost Cities' to that list!

'Keeper of the Lost Cities' by Shannon Messenger is a fantastic book. You don't want to miss out on the pure enjoyment found in this debut novel.  'Keeper of the Lost Cities' follows Sophie, a 12 year old girl with incredible smarts and the ability to hear peoples thoughts. She's a bit of an outsider, being a 12 year old high school senior and never really feeling like she fit in completely with her family, either. Until, that is, she meets a mysterious boy who tells her that she is far more than an ordinary human.

I won't lie-- I loved reading 'Keeper of the Lost Cities'. It was the most enjoyable read I've had in a long time. Everything from beginning to end was perfect. 'Keeper of the Lost Cities' literally had a little of everything-- awesome characters, a well paced plot, inklings of future romance, a very cool world and an addicting writing style.

The plot's pacing was perfect. I've found since starting this blog that one of my biggest pet peeves is when the plot is uneven (fast here, slow here, etc), but 'Keeper of the Lost Cities' was perfectly paced.

Another great thing about pacing? There is a complete story told in 'Keeper of the Lost Cities', even though it is the first of three novels. While there are still unanswered questions and there is clearly something happening in Sophie's new world we don't know about, there are other ideas and themes that do come full circle within the 500 pages of this debut novel.

The characters? Love them. Sophie was a 12 year old lead with a voice that was completely readable to readers of all ages. The secondary characters are equally as fantatic as Sophie. Fitz and Keefe, two of the three guys who may or may not find love in future volumes, made my favorite characters list almost instantly after they were introduced. And the good doctor (whose name I am forgetting at the moment)? I found myself looking forward to Sophie getting hurt just so we could have some of that quick witted dialogue between her and him. He might just be one of my favorite adult characters in a juvi novel!

I have no complaints about 'Keeper of the Lost Cities'. It deserves high honors.  I guarantee you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll fall in love, and you'll have a blast while reading.  It's a fantastic read!

'Keeper of the Lost Cities' gets five stars from me (surprise, surprise!).  If you like contemporary fantasy tales with heartfelt characters and great plots, you need to add 'Keeper of the Lost Cities' to your 'to read' list. You won't regret it!