Sunday, December 28, 2014

Book Review: Everblaze by Shannon Messenger (Keeper of the Lost Cities #3)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Amazing character growth in a page turning story
Cons: Could do a bit more to reorient us to Sophie’s world at the beginning.
The Bottom Line:
Danger and intrigue
Fantasy world that seems real
Super strong characters




More Trouble is Blazing Toward Sophie

I had hoped to make it to Everblaze, the third book about the adventures of Sophie Foster, much closer to when it came out in November.  I’ve already enjoyed the first two in the series and was looking forward to reading the next chapter.  However, maybe it was a good thing that I waited because now that I’ve finished, I have a shorter wait for the sequel.

If you’ve missed the first two books, don’t start here.  You really need the background.  See, Sophie lives in a world that is in the hidden parts of our Earth and ruled by Elves.  Sophie was raised by humans but she is really an elf herself.  However, there is so much more to the story than that, one you need to experience for yourself.

Sophie Foster’s life just never slows down.  Silveny, the alicorn, has just been relocated to the Sanctuary when she and Keefer get a call for help.  It seems the other alicorn has started attacking Silveny, and they need these two to come find out why.

However, what the two learn when they arrive is a shocking secret that involves Ogres.  Supposedly, there is a peace treaty between the Elves and the Ogres, but the peace is fragile at best.  The Council isn’t interested in what Sophie has learned, they have a job for her – something so controversial that it will leave the population divided.  Should Sophie go through with it?  What will happen next?

Honestly, my only complaint with this book is the same one I had with the second in the series.  It assumes we remember all the details of the previous book.  I might have to reread the last couple of chapters of this one before moving on just so I remember all that has happened and all that we have learned.  The book just jumps in, and I felt that year between books because I was fuzzy on some of the details.  But as I keep reading, I got more in tune with Sophie’s world, and I once again got caught up in the story.

And what a story it was.  For a seemingly simple set up comes all kinds of twists and suspense.  The book is around 600 pages, and I didn’t feel like any of it was padding.  Not only that, but things got so interesting, I read the second half in a day while finishing getting ready for Christmas and working my full time job.  Yes, that’s how badly I wanted to know how things would turn out for all the characters.  I saw a couple of the twists of the story coming, but several of them caught me off guard.  And I might have even been guilty of gasping a couple of times and cheering another couple.  (However, I’m not confessing to tearing up at all.  Nope, didn’t happen.  Not in the slightest.)  We even get a few answers to some of the bigger mysteries in Sophie’s world.  Not all of them, but some.

The characters are the strongest they’ve been in the series, too.  They have grown in the course of all three books, and I just love seeing how they’ve advanced for the better here.  I can think of a couple who have changed the most, and I like the direction they are heading.  Not that I liked all of the characters all the time, but when they did something I didn’t like, I still understood the reason behind it.  One scene in particular truly showed me Sophie’s backbone, and it was amazing.  (This was one of the scenes where I wasn’t crying.  Honest.  It was a trick of the light.)

Since the book is aimed at Middle Graders, I found it a slightly faster read than the books I normally pick up.  Even so, the 600 pages was a little intimidating.  But it was completely worth it.  Kids will be delighted to plunge themselves into this fantasy world, and adults who go along on the ride will be rewarded as well.

Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about Everblaze.  The characters and story are progressing so well and are so real I’m going to have a hard time waiting to see where Sophie’s journey takes her next.

This book is part of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday hosted by…Shannon Messenger.  Not that this is influencing my review of the book in the slightest.  It really is this awesome and you really do need to read it.

To fully get into the world that Shannon has created, it's best to read the Keeper of the Lost Cities in order.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review. This definitely sounds like something I would enjoy reading. I tried to find out how many books in the series but couldn't find that information. I'm going to wait till all the books are out and then read the series. This way it's easier for me to keep track of the action. I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for all the info!

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    1. I know book 4 is being written right now, but I'm not sure how many there will be in total. In fact, the author still hasn't figured that out yet. But I will be along for the ride no matter how long it is.

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  2. I loved the first in the series and now I'm into the second. Nice to know things are progressing in fine fashion. I'm looking forward to diving into this one in 2015. Thanks for your enthusiastic review to keep this on the top of my TBR list.

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    1. I hope you enjoy as much as I did when you get there. Isn't it a shame we can't read all the books we want to read right away? It's hard to wait to read some of them.

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  3. I loved this book when I read it! It was an agonizing, exciting, and a little heartbreaking. I literally could not put it down!!

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    1. Agonizing, exciting, and a little heartbreaking. I wish I'd thought of that for my review because that is a perfect description of the book.

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