Keeper of the Lost Cities
By: Shannon Messenger
My Rating: Three out of Five Stars
Best For: All readers who can handle 500 pages
Here’s a fun middle grade series…especially if you’re an actual middle-grader. Just look at all those 5-star ratings on Goodreads!
The grown-up me was put off by a few (mostly) forgivable things the target audience gleefully ignores.
Sophie can hear others’ voices in her head, but she doesn’t know why. No one else in her family is special, so why is she? The answer comes when she meets Fitz, a strange boy whose mind she can’t hear. Fitz was sent to find Sophie and bring her back to her true home…the hidden kingdom of elves.
Turns out, Sophie’s an elf who was hidden in the human world. Most elves have special powers, but her powers are more special than most. So Sophie goes to elf-power school where she learns elf things, makes friends with nice elves, becomes enemies with bad elves, and eventually saves the day.
There are mysteries to solve, hints of an elf rebellion coming up in future books, plenty of creative world building, and fun powers to learn about. There are good friends, tough choices, and hard lessons.
I was frustrated that every problem had an ultra-simplistic solution, the explanation given for every question didn’t actually explain anything, and every character was lifted and shifted from the standard book of characters, version 1: no dimension, no flaws, no growth. This story is as basic as can be, and I suspect it works for middle-graders. For this grown-up, it didn’t. I’m not interested in reading the book, but if my kiddo’s like it I’ll be happy to join them in reading the rest of the series.
Content appropriate for all ages, but it is 497 pages. Might be too long for some readers.