Julianna Helms's Reviews > Keeper of the Lost Cities

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
Rate this book
Clear rating


Quick Reaction: This book is far from perfect. Some of the dialogue felt misplaced. Some things were portrayed more stereotypically than realistically. And oftentimes the voice was excessively passive.

And I. Don't. Freaking. Care.


You know, the funny thing is that I read Shannon's YA book LET THE SKY FALL last year as an ARC, around the time Keeper came out. It feels right that I've finished Keeper in the month LtSF released. But man do I understand the crazy praises people sang for this.

Sophie- Oh Sophie. Poor darling. T.T She reminded me so much of my favorite Disney character: Dumbo, of course. Not because Sophie's dumb, but because she's always stuck out (and in a different way than the cliché--though not unrealistic--portrayal). There's this one scene in Dumbo--and I don't know if you remember this, and it's been such a long time since I saw the movie on an airplane flight to China that I might even be remembering the movie name wrong--but anyways, Dumbo finally finds his mother and she's in this jail-like containment, so she can only push her trunk out between the window bars and there Dumbo cuddled while she swayed him gently back and forth, and it was night and Dumbo finally found his mother and you sob because it's heartbreaking and because Dumbo's bliss in finding that home is so freaking terrible because it makes you feel all the feels.

That scene, I think, is a metaphorical theme for this book. Sophie is lost and has to find her home, but there is so many things--the window bars, per se--that rob her of that child life and it's beautiful to see her undergo this transformation, to see her become so strong and fierce and brave but at the same time everything she's had to go through is horrific and yeah, I cried.

So I wish that a little more time was spent on detailing Sophie's feelings a bit more during certain... I'm not going to say spoilers, but certain very very very traumatic events. Not because I enjoy pain, mind you. My head was ringing from all the mental screaming I was doing to just somehow help this beautiful and so impossibly trapped girl. But I feel like that part was skimmed over a bit too quickly. Though obviously Sophie wasn't conscious enough to remember a lot of it, and I would've been too heartbroken to write anymore on the subject if I were Shannon Messenger. Thus this is really not a complaint, but my own illogical opinion.

Alrighty, so this is not really a quick reaction anymore. I think I'll just use this as my actual review. After I tidy it up a bit, of course. But that's for later.

Right now I want to talk about Keefe and Dex and Fitz and Biana and Marella and all those other characters. Shannon Messenger is- stunning. The characters can often be attributed as stereotypical, but their actions eventually deepen them into someone else, someone whose lives I can imagine, whose personality is alive and well. And the worldbuilding is fantastic, too. Though things may often seem a bit idealistic, it is but a facade, and it makes sense. It honestly is too much to ask for an author to convince the reader of every minute detail regarding their world, but Shannon was well on her way there. She suspended my disbelief, and I could clearly sense and understand the motivation behind each setting or character.

Overall, I loved this book. It certainly has its flaws, but the sometimes stereotypically-attributed characters are more than made up for by the unique and fantastic premise and the absolutely illuminating (heh... puns... you'll see) feelings I suffered/triumphed because of this wonderful, wonderful novel. I truly cannot wait for EXILE.

(P.S. If you like my reviews, please check out my blog!, if you don't mind. Thanks!)

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Keeper of the Lost Cities.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.