Review: Keeper of the Lost Cities

Keeper of the Lost Cities. By Shannon Messenger.

So I was sitting in a classroom doing an observation. It was a Maths class – and I look  over to check engagement and the girl sitting next to me was reading a book. The English teacher in me could not resist, and she gushed over how she was reading the sixth book in this series and she had had to wait a really long time for the book to become available through the library.

I will admit, I am someone who pretty much chooses what books I read based on the title. Sometimes the cover art, and sometimes the blurb. So I did a quick search and skimmed wikipedia and then bought the first copy of the book.

Well. This book took me totally by surprise, and totally blew me away! I had no real idea what it was about, which was actually nice, and I was instantly drawn in. I was drawn in in a way that I have not been in a long time. I read it over the course of a day, but wanted to savor it more than anything before – and was happy to put the book down and do something else because of the excitement of going back to it.

I finished the book and it took me a whole 30 seconds to buy number two, and as I write this (at work, because reading does not look as professional) I am 80% of the way through number two. If it was still the weekend I have no doubt, writing about the book could wait and I would be reading. (My class next period is going to do silent reading so I can finish the book!)

So what is it about this book that drew me in and grabbed me so thoroughly?  I think the first thing was that it was totally unexpected. I had assumed it would kind of me steam punkish and dystopian, and it was not. I loved the world of the Elves, but also their explanations about the Human World.

I loved Sophie, the reluctantness, yet genuineness of her character was really endearing. I liked too that we were able to see things through her eyes. The other characters, especially Keefe and Dex are awesome – I always love the trouble makers.

I have a long history of loving “school fiction” (As a teenager I loved Enid Blyton Mallory Towers, J K Rowling’s Harry Potter) and this has all the elements of school fiction that I love, coupled with exotic subjects, one on one mentors, exciting happenings, an accident prone main character.

But also the world they live in, their ideas about carefully balancing all the species, being able to travel on light, and the realness of things like the frustration with capes.

I  also feel like there is an aspect of it feels like every teenagers dream to realise that the things that make them different also make them special, while at the same time desperately wanting to blend in.

I love love loved this story. I will recommend it to everyone! While it could fit into a connections task, I will not be teaching it.

Mrs K

Genre: School story, Adolescent Fiction, Teenager fiction, Adventure, Speculative fiction.


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