Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Review of Keeper of the Lost Cities

Thought for the day:

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."
~ Scott Adams ~

A gift for my writer friends:

 Here are some links I think you will find valuable – three great ones this week.

For a query letter that worked with agent comments, click HERE.

For 7 Ways to Add Subplots to Your Nove,l click HERE.

For Writer’s Digest Most Popular Articles of 2012, click HERE.

For my fabulous giveaway, the winner is Margaret Duarte! (Cue the trumpets!) Margaret, I will be sending you a copy of After Eli. Margaret is also a writer, working in the genre of visionary fiction. You can check out her blog by clicking HERE. The book will be on its way soon. Enjoy! I have no giveaway for today because I just can’t give this one away! But I still hope you will leave comments, and make sure to come back next week when I will have a giveaway.

I want to start by saying I am not a big fan of fantasy. Now and then, I will pick up a fantasy and read it, but it’s not my favorite genre. I read the first Harry Potter book, but was never interested enough to read the rest. It’s just not my thing. So when I find one that holds my interest, it must be awfully good.

I’ve been following Shannon Messenger’s blog for a long time. She’s the founder of Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday, and over the past year or so, she has written about her debut novel, Keeper of the Lost Cities, and the process of bringing it to the market. I was intrigued to see the book after following her journey, so ordered it up recently even though it is a fantasy. I’m glad I did. This is a fun read, and I think a lot more than kid-readers-of-fantasy will like this wonderful story. I sure did.

When we meet Sophie, she is a pretty normal twelve-year-old girl. Well, except for that “hearing voices” thing she has going on. She is inundated with the thoughts of others – a veritable storm of thoughts crashing into her mind. This had been going on since she fell and hit her head when she was five. While on a school field trip to the museum (she’s pretty bright, already in high school), she meets a cute guy, Fitz, who seems to know an awful lot about her. He takes her (traveling by light, of course) to meet his father, Alden, in an entirely different world. Sophie had never felt as if she fit in – not at school and not even at home. Now she knows why. She isn’t human. She is an elf. Not the helping-Santa or Keebler-cookie kind, but a highly evolved society in the new world she’s been taken to. Maybe this is where she belongs.

Shannon Whitney Messenger
Sophie soon learns it’s no easier fitting in at school in the new place, especially when you’re smart and mysterious. There are still mean girls and jealousies and cliques. But Sophie has to keep some of her talents secret while trying to pass her classes and fit in with a new family. Sophie had been hidden among the humans, but by whom and for what reason? And there are other problems in this new world, and there are real enemies trying to do her great harm. Someone has been setting fires in the human world and Sophie’s human family is in danger. When Sophie tries to investigate, she runs into one obstacle after another. Along the way, she has to break a lot of the rules of her new society, some unwittingly, and finds herself in all kinds of trouble. She faces grave danger and even drags one of her best friends into that danger as well. Her enemies are powerful, but Sophie’s talents and special abilities are also great.

Keeper of the Lost Cities is a real page turner. Shannon Messenger manages to endear Sophie to her readers in the first few pages, then takes us on a fantastical journey with her. This is the first book in a series, and I can’t wait for the next installment. There was just enough left unfinished to whet my appetite for a little more fantasy. I recommend this book highly and, sorry, folks, I just can’t bring myself to give it away.

Don’t forget to stop by Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog for more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday links. Click HERE to find it.

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