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Keeper of the Lost Cities Hardcover – October 2, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This debut novel is a powerful and appealing package of skillful world-building, fantasy, suspense, mystery, and middle-school relationships. Sophie Foster, a friendless 12-year-old high school senior with a photographic memory, is plagued by the hubbub of other people's thoughts in her brain. She has always known that she is different, but her life changes profoundly when she learns that she is an elf with telepathic and other magical abilities. She is transported away from her human family forever to the elvin world, where the Lost Cities (Atlantis, Shangri-la, etc.) exist and extinct animals are thriving. As Sophie starts at her new school, her concerns about friendships, midterms, crushes, and grades in subjects such as "the Universe," "elementalism," and "alchemy" will hook readers. While navigating her new life, Sophie must solve two mysteries: First, who is setting all those magical-seeming fires in the human world? And second, who could be leaving items in her locker that repeatedly put her in serious danger? The more she learns, the more her memories return, uncovering secrets about her past. The suspenseful climax leads to a satisfying resolution, although Messenger leaves just enough threads hanging for a possible sequel. A slew of interesting and well-drawn characters, careful plotting, and just plain good storytelling will have readers racing through the pages.-Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York Cityα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
After years of contending with unwanted telepathic powers and the feeling that she is not like everyone else, 12-year-old prodigy Sophie Foster discovers that there is a perfectly logical explanation: she is an elf. Moreover, she is an elf who has been hidden among humans, with secret elven information stored in her memory. An encounter with a mysterious boy named Fitz reveals Sophie’s true heritage, and she returns to the elf world, a network of “lost cities” assumed to be mythical by humans. This series opener spends a lot of time world building and establishing Sophie’s new life. Comparisons to Harry Potter are obvious, especially once Sophie starts studying at the exclusive Foxfire Academy to hone her elf abilities. Some mysteries, such as Sophie’s role as a Keeper and why she was embedded amongst humans, remain largely unanswered. A large and varied cast of supporting characters and an intriguing premise contribute to make this an exciting start to a promising series. Grades 4-7. --Kara Dean
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I can't say this was my favorite middle school series or anything but it I really think this series deserves some more publicity! Practically no one I know of has heard of it or read it but this series is just as good as the Percy Jackson series and everyone has read that! My 11-year-old brother actually says it is the best series he ever read!
I absolutely fell in love with all the characters (especially Keefe) and Shannon does a great job developing the characters throughout the series and as much as I am anticipating the 5th I don't think I could ever say good-bye to Sophie, Dex, Fitz and Biana. They are like my best friends!
Anyway, if you are looking for some decent middle school fantasy don't hesitate to purchase this book and spread the word!
Sophie Foster is a child genius who’s been avoiding unwanted attention her whole life. Then, suddenly, she’s whisked away to a new land of elves, to discover where she really belongs. The plot thickens as the mysterious, unidentifiable fires around San Francisco get bigger and worse. With her elvin school’s final exams approaching, Sophie turns to a new friend for help, but the pair are kidnapped. They must then find their way back to the Lost Cities on their own, but not without help. Even when they get back, Sophie still has to deal with the dangers of being special in a special world.
Keeper of the Lost Cities will keep you on your toes, your heart beating in anticipation to see what will be revealed next!
I really enjoyed the book. I love how suspenseful it is. I loved how all the elves had cool powers. At first, I thought the book wouldn't be very interesting at all. However, it turned out to be the best book I ever read!!!
Julia Roundtree wasn't one of the better narrators that I've listened to, and I would never purposely buy another Audible edition she narrated. I hate to be mean, because I don't read aloud terribly well myself (I am an excellent reader just not aloud, I trip over my tongue when I try)... But I just didn't enjoy her narration.
I picked up book two became I want to follow the story some more. The Audible edition of book two, _Exile_ has a different narrator and is in Audible's children's sale that ends on 11-27-17 for $3.95. Seems worth a try, although I notice books three through six don't have audio editions and text-to-speach is disabled in the Kindle editions (I just now noticed that), so that may be as far as I go. My vision isn't bad enough that I totally require text-to-speach, but shame on publishers--especially of youth-oriented books--that disable it. Text-to-speach on the Kindle Fires could open literary doors to worlds of wonder for so many, if the bigger publishing names would stop disabling the feature in Kindle books.
We are introduced to Sophie who is trying to fit into her school and her family. She doesn’t understand why it is so hard for her but she keeps trying to be what everyone thinks she should be. Then she meets a stranger and is swept into a new world. In this world she is an elf. She is enrolled in school for elves and she doesn’t fit into this world any better than she fit into the old one.
However, as the protagonist of this story, Sophie grabs our attention and our sympathy. She makes friends. She works hard. Everyone around her is keeping secrets. The action of the story grabs us. It is inventive and interesting. Sophie adventures are unpredictable and entertaining.
The dialogue is entertaining and realistic. The setting is well written and believable for the alternate universe. When I first picked up the novel, I thought elves, what a cliché, but the author was able to overcome my objections by drawing me into the story, creating well defined and interesting characters.
I give this story a five out of a possible five. I recommend it for all the readers looking for a strong heroine with lots of adventure.