Keeper of the Lost Cities

I apologize for not posting last week. Projects were due and my attention had to be diverted. Classes are nearly done for the semester so I should be back to posting regularly with few hiccups.

Onto the review!

Keeper of the Lost Cities is a middle grade novel by Shannon Messenger. Sophie Foster is a 12 year old prodigy. She is a senior in high school and, like most child prodigy’s, she doesn’t get along with her classmates. But it is not only her mental abilities and age that separates her; Sophie is also a telepath. She can hear the thoughts of everyone around her, and no one is aware of her abilities. Sophie keeps her abilities to herself as she is unsure how she will be received by family and acquaintances.

One day, while on a field trip to the museum, Sophie meets a young man named Fitz. Only a few years older than her, Fitz seems unusually interested in Sophie. She thinks it is just teenaged attraction – until she accidentally discovers that Fitz can also read minds. Sophie soon learns that her mental abilities are not human, that she isn’t the human she thought she was. Sophie is actually an elf from a parallel world, where nearly everyone has some sort of magical ability. But Sophie seems to be a rare case as all elves possess blue eyes; Sophie, however, has always had brown eyes.

In an effort to better control her telepathic abilities and discover more about herself, Sophie leaves her human family and attends Foxfire Academy to study. There she must unlearn everything she knows as magic doesn’t follow the laws of human nature. Once a prodigy who didn’t have to struggle with her grades, Sophie now finds herself just above average – and even struggles in some of her subjects.

All too soon, Sophie learns that there are far greater secrets about her than just her unusual origins. Who were her elven parents? Why are her eyes brown? What else, other than telepathy, can Sophie do? And, most importantly, who is behind it all?

I came across Keeper of the Lost Cities while visiting the children’s section of my local Barnes and Noble. For a reader who often buys books because of their covers, Keeper is definitely one of those. But it is currently a five book series so I wasn’t sure how I would like it. I decided to check it out on Overdrive from my local library. I find it an intriguing read. For a middle grade novel, it is rich and imaginative. Having Sophie raised as a human lends some weight to her narrative. The reader feels like they are experiencing all the newness of being an elf right alongside her.

I really enjoyed this novel, but am holding off on continuing to see how many more installments there are. While there are lingering questions, the first volume doesn’t end on a huge cliffhanger so I feel it is a good place to pause for the moment. I do highly recommend it for those interested in reading middle grade.

My rating: 3.75/5


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