Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger: Review

 “Light leaping. We hitched a ride on a beam of light that was headed straight here.”
“That’s impossible.”
“Is it?”
“Yeah. You need infinite energy for light travel. Haven’t you heard of the theory of relativity?”
She thought she had him stumped with that one, but he just laughed again. “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Who came up with that?”
“Uh, Albert Einstein.”
“Huh. Never heard of him. But he was wrong.”

A few years ago, I went to Phoenix Comic Con where I discovered Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger. It immediately became one of my favorite series. With the fourth book, Neverseen, coming out in a few months, I thought I would review the first one and give other a chance to discover this series.

Sophie Foster has never been normal. At twelve years old, she’s a high school senior who has been offered a full scholarship to Yale, one which her parents won’t let her accept as they fear it would draw too much attention. The local paper even did a story on her, the child prodigy who turned down the Ivy league to attend a local college. For her part, Sophie just wants to fit in, a thing made even harder by the fact that she can read minds. Her entire life turns upside down when she’s on a field trip and encounters a mysterious stranger who says she’s not human. Her intelligence and her telepathy are part of her true heritage. Sophie is an elf.

Swept up into a strange and wondrous world, Sophie must adjust to her knew life, but even then, she doesn’t quite fit. Instead of being the twelve year old high school senior, she is the girl raised by humans. As she struggles to make friends and fit in, the same problems she’s always faced, she becomes tangled in a plot that seems centered on her and on the mysteries in her own past.

Shannon Messenger does a fantastic job of creating a vivid world full of wonder. She takes us to Shangri La, Atlantis, and even to the center of the earth. She shows us imps, gnomes, and dinosaurs, and there is a heart wrenching scene where Sophie must leave her old life. Keeper of the Lost Cities paints a wonderful picture and pulls you along as you read Sophie’s story. If you liked Harry Potter, read Keeper, and you won’t be disappointed.

GamaRayMartinez has slowly been developing a reputation for being able to take any concept and write a viable story out of it, most notably, there was a story about a potato unicorn that was published in the anthology One Horn to Rule Them All. He reads mainly fantasy as well as the occasional scifi with a preference toward middle grade and YA. He currently lives in Salt Lake City, UT. Unlike the other reviewers, he has no pets, and that makes him a little sad.

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