Sunday, November 13, 2016

Book Review: Lodestar by Shannon Messenger (Keeper of the Lost Cities #5)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters; fast moving and fun plot
Cons: I have to wait how long to find out what happens next?
The Bottom Line:
Searching for Lodestar
Keeps Sophie and friends busy
As we turn pages

Can Sophie Solve the Mystery of the Lodestar?

A chance meeting five years ago led me to discover the books of Shannon Messenger, and I am so thankful.  I am completely hooked on her Keeper of the Lost Cities series.  They may be fantasy books aimed at kids, but they are outstanding for any age.  Lodestar just came out, and I bumped it to the top of my to be read pile because I absolutely had to know what happened next.

Now if you have not yet met Sophie Foster and her family and friends, DON’T START HERE.  Seriously, I can’t emphasize that enough.  I am going to attempt to write my review in such a way that it doesn’t spoil not only this book but also the previous books, and considering the cliffhanger the last book left us with, that’s going to be hard.  Plus, you won’t truly appreciate all that happens here if you jump in with book five of the series.  Trust me, you won’t be sorry you headed back to the beginning.

The series is set in a world parallel to ours that contain all those creatures you thought were mythical.  They just withdrew from our world.  Sophie Foster, a young teen elf, is our main character.  She’s found herself caught up in the changes happening to her world, including a fight with a group who call themselves Neverseen and are out to gain power for themselves.

This book opens just a few weeks after the previous book ended.  Sophie and her friends have returned to school in time for mid-terms, but as the break starts, the Neverseen make a move that shocks everyone.  Sophie isn’t content to remain on the sidelines and begins to press for things she thinks will help figure out the Neverseen’s next move so they can be stopped.  This especially hits home when Sophie gets a warning that her family might be a target for the group.

But through all their efforts, Sophie and her friends keep finding a symbol and a reference to the Lodestar Initiative.  What does the symbol mean?  And what is Lodestar?  Can Sophie find a way to stop the Neverseen’s latest plan?

Phew, avoiding spoilers of previous books was harder than I thought.  Hopefully, this still gives you a feel for the plot because once again it is a wonderful ride.  The book is 676 pages, but it never feels like it is dragging.  There is always something happening to advance the story.  Granted, it helps that the story is advancing on several different fronts, but each piece of the puzzle leads us somewhere interesting.  And watching how everything comes together at the end was wonderful.

Meanwhile, the characters are just as strong as ever.  All the regulars are back, and they all get a chance to show some growth.  (Yes, even that character.  Fans of the series will know who I mean.)  I love these characters, and it is always fantastic to spend time with them, and this book was no exception.

As I mentioned, the last book ended with a cliffhanger, but I wasn’t that concerned about what would happen next.  This book has a cliffhanger as well.  I was shocked by it, and I am definitely anxious to find out what happens next.  I’m starting the countdown to the release date for book six even though we don’t have a release date for the book yet.  That’s how anxious I am.

As much as I’d love to reread the books in the series before starting the new one, I don’t have that kind of time.  I appreciated the little hints and reminders of earlier events that the author included in this book to jog my memory about things that happened previously.  I still don’t recommend jumping into the series here.  Sophie’s adventures and the characters are too good to do that to yourself.

So if you have already met Sophie, don’t hesitate to pick up Lodestar.  You’ll love it every bit as much as the previous books in the series.  And if you haven’t started yet, fix that today.

If you need to meet Sophie or catch up on her adventures, here are the Keeper of the Lost Cities books in order.

This review is part of this week's Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays.


  1. I'm glad you had that chance meeting, because we have you to thank for introducing us to Keeper of the Lost Cities. It's the first series with a girl as a main character that my ten year old boy wanted to read. He's now read it three times (he reread in anticipation of the last two books).

    1. Wow, Amy. Thanks for telling me that. I always love it when people find good books view my recommendations and reviews. That's why I do this after all.

  2. Thanks Mark. Enjoyed your review. Am glad you didn't give anything away. I am about half way through LODESTAR and am not disappointed. Reread NEVERSEEN in October because so much happened in that book and I didn't want to forget anything. Also, I reread the first three books before NEVERSEEN was released and it was amazing how much I forgot and clues that I missed. I love this series as much as I love Harry Potter. And give it to many middle graders.

  3. I haven't heard of this series but it sounds really fun! Thanks for the heads up on starting at the beginning. I'll definitely have to look for the first book in the series!

  4. Thanks. Yet another reminder that I'd better get this series for Christmas. I can't wait much longer!