book Review

keepero f the lost citiesSummary:

Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She’s skipped multiple grades and doesn’t really connect with the older kids at school, but she’s not comfortable with her family either. The reason? Sophie’s a Telepath, someone who can read minds. No one knows her secret—at least, that’s what she thinks…

But the day Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns she’s not alone. He’s a Telepath too, and it turns out the reason she has never felt at home is that, well…she isn’t. Fitz opens Sophie’s eyes to a shocking truth, and she is forced to leave behind her family for a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known. But Sophie still has secrets, and they’re buried deep in her memory for good reason: The answers are dangerous and in high-demand.

What is her true identity and why was she hidden among humans? The truth could mean life or death—and time is running out.

What I liked about this Book:

  • Keeper of the Lost Cities has a wonderful story world. It flies off the page, so to speak. The fantasy world is composed of 7 distinct cities, has laws and secrets like any country and has a fully developed magic system. It isn’t teleporting, it is light-leaping. Since this is a MG fantasy novel, much of light-leaping relies on magic concepts but is more scientific than mysterious.
  • The characters are three dimensional. My original opinion of a character (as seen through the protagonist’s world view) can vastly differ from how I will see a character later on in the novel, when someone else observes that character. Just like in real life, there are people who dislike you for your bad side. But there are also people who admire you for you good deeds. For example, at the start, Fitz the boy sent to find Sophie on Earth and bring her to the Lost Cities. At this point in the novel, we admire Fitz for his kindness and bravery. Several chapter later however, we see Fitz at Foxfire (the magic school for nobles) and Sophie’s friend Dex points out how snobby Fitz is, just because his father has a prominent job. After seeing two characters observe Fitz for his good and bad sides, he seems like more of a multi-dimensional character.
  • This novel has plenty of clichés: the magic school, the elderly mentor, the royal council, ect… I wouldn’t say that the author turns them on their heads (cliché!) but she certainly twists them. For example, the royal council. Its members aren’t all wise, elderly councillors. Some are grumpy and biased (Bronte) while hers are moony and lovesick (Kendric). They are a diverse bunch.

What could have been better:

  • This novel has a preface. I personally despise prefaces. Ugh. Yes, it is a thrilling scene taken from later in the book and yes, it probably is to make the beginning more exciting. It didn’t work for me. The first chapter was already well-written and intriguing. I didn’t need a later excerpt to tide me over until the real action begins.

In Conclusion:

  • I really did enjoy reading this novel and I think it is a wonderful example of middle grade fantasy. I would rate it a 4.13 Stars. Also, this novel would be a great read for fans of Jacqueline West (the Elsewhere series) or for fans of Jennifer Allison (Gilda Joyce).

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