Horrors await poor Sophie Foster in 'Keeper of the Lost Cities: Legacy'

The latest in Shannon Messenger's Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Legacy is now available.

No one hates her protagonist as much as Shannon Messenger. I have enjoyed every moment of this series, watching Messenger find new ways to make poor Sophie Foster's life an absolute living hell.

While ostensibly these novels are about a group of teenaged Elves learning their magical elf powers and saving the world for elves, humans, trolls, gnomes and munchkins alike, the underlying and distinct themes be all kinds of weird.

I know parents let their kids read these books, I think they are better read as an adult dark comedy.

Early books in this series focus on subjecting Sophie to all sorts of ridiculous torture. She is abducted from her human family by 'elves' and informed her entire life was a lie. Sophie learns she is an elf hidden amongst humans for unknown nefarious purposes, and her human family must be killed to prevent anyone from discovering this fact. Thrown into a very catty school for gifted and talented 'elves,' life only gets worse. Her foster family are an emotional wreck and worsen her situation. Sophie is drugged, tortured and abandoned mid-way thru her adoption process. Sophie is also subject to casual sexual advances and innuendo from nearly all of her male friends; all apparently trying to manipulate her into various forms of codependent romantic relationships.

As you progress through the series Messenger starts showing the fairly disturbing pasts and present of Sophie's contemporaries, also making their lives tortuous. Read the rest

'Lodestar' is Shannon Messenger's fifth novel in the Keeper of Lost Cities series

I can not put down Shannon Messenger's Keeper of Lost Cities series. Lodestar continues Sophie Foster's waking nightmare.

Sophie Foster thought she was human pre-teen. Sophie loved her family and her pet cat. She had no idea that in reality she was a genetically tweaked elf with super super-powers! Ever since she found out things have been off the hook bad, but somehow she perseveres. No matter how bad it gets, Sophie rises to the occasion and then it gets worse.

After nearly destroying the Ogre capitol city in the last book,Lodestar picks up with one of Sophie's best friends, and budding love interests, betraying the cause and joining with the bad guys. He claims to be doing it for Sophie, and all living creates, but his Mom was the leader of the baddies and who knows what he is really up to!

Sophie makes ridiculous decisions about who to trust and why. Much like W, she goes with her gut.

Destroying the elf school where elf kids all learn their magical powers is just a start. Torture, immolation and wanton destruction follow as Lodestar leaves Sophie with little new information and several fewer people she can trust.

More parents and parental figures lie to Sophie than die on her in book 5, so there is that.

The novels are dancing towards Sophie picking a boyfriend! This seems to be momentous and cruel as elves apparently pick only once and are immortal. Big choice for a 12 or 13-year-old being constantly flirted with by every remotely age-appropriate boy. Read the rest

Shannon Messenger tortures her protagonist like no other in Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities Book 4)

In Neverseen Shannon Messenger continues to torture young Sophie Foster like I've never seen.

Sophie Foster is a very confused teen and some sort of Elven genetic experiment to create a Messiah gone-marginally awry, but maybe she is still the Messiah! Everything bad that can happy to Sophie does. The Elves who claim to be her family and biggest supporters are total sociopaths. Living lives of lies within lies, I am constantly entertained to see what horrible thing the author will do next.

Book Four does not disappoint!

Twice Sophie almost tells a boy she has romantic feelings for them inappropriate of a 12-year-old, and in both instances the boy nearly dies. Imagine having just stopped short of telling your big crush you like him, then watching a giant beetle pierce his heart with a horn?

That is Sophie's life.

Sophie copes with it while also stretching her rebellious wings and only sort of gets permission for some of her pre-teen schemes to save all life on Earth.

While coping with constant lies, deception, and betrayal Sophie does meet one person who both loves her and tells her the truth. That person is removed from her life by the end of the book.

I am already well into Book 5 and HOLY SMOKES does it start off with some baffling stuff!

Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities Book 4) Read the rest