Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review: Exile by Shannon Messenger

Review: Exile by Shannon Messenger
Release date: October 8th, 2013
Publisher: Aladdin (Simon & Schuster)
Series: #2 in the Keeper of the Lost Cities
Source: purchased
Rating: You're hot and you're cold, you're yes and you're no. BOOK, WHY DO I LIKE YOU SO MUCH? Because ships, that's why.


Sophie Foster thought she was safe. Settled into her home at Havenfield, surrounded by friends, and using her unique telepathic abilities to train Silveny--the first female alicorn ever seen in the Lost Cities--her life finally seems to be coming together.

But Sophie's kidnappers are still out there. And when Sophie discovers new messages and clues from the mysterious Black Swan group, she’s forced to take a terrifying risk—one that puts everyone in incredible danger.

As long buried secrets rise to the surface, it’s once again up to Sophie to uncover hidden memories—before someone close to her is lost forever.

In this second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must journey to the darkest corners of her luminous world in a sequel that will leave you breathless for more.

My review of book one, Keeper of the Lost Cities, aka a guided tour though my insanity with Legolas the elf

Legolas? Where are you, boyfriend? We can't do this without you.

There are elves in this book. It makes sense.

NO, handsome, we're here for the book. Exile. We return once more to the story of Sophie Foster, the magical thirteen-year-old elf with three boyfriends and four thousand super special abilities. By the end of this book, she will have four thousand and twelve! Still three boyfriends, though. This little girl is doing life right.

Seriously, this series stresses me out because I don't know which ship will win. Why do you have so many boyfriends, Sophie, you greedy little pre-pubescent? I would tell you to share, but jail bait elf boys are not exactly my type. I usually have a really good nose for sniffing out the Chosen Ship, but this is too much for me. (Keefe (Boyfriend #1). BE KEEFE. Please be Keefe? Team Keefe.)


So, Exile picks up a few weeks after the events of Keeper, in which Sophie and her BFF Dex (Boyfriend #2) were kidnapped by EVIL PEOPLE doing EVIL DEEDS. Most of this wretchedly overlong book focuses on Sophie coming to grasps with the fact that the whole elf world thought she was dead and now fears her, unraveling the mysteries of the EVIL DOERS and the mysterious society, the Black Swan, and starting her second year at Hogwarts Mozilla Firefox Foxfire Academy. Sophie also visits the enormously creepy Exile with Alden, the father of swoony Fitz (Boyfriend #3). I really liked Exile. It's this creeptastic underground prison full of criminals with BROKEN MINDS. Their minds have been broken. With MAGIC. That stuff, and watching Sophie try to navigate these dangerous, jagged minds that are like quicksand, was fascinating and quite cool.

This book still has moments of ridiculousness. There is a whole fleet of superfluous characters with silly names, an endless number of fart and poop jokes (a quarter of which are legitimately funny, because I am a child), and silly world-building. Let's not even discuss the time all the little elf children have to dress up like furry elephants and do a dance. I'm expunging it from the memory banks.

Legolas! Don't make fun of the furry elephant children! Even YOU would look bad in that outfit.
Okay, no, you wouldn't.

The eye rolls, they happened. The groaning, it occurred. The threats of DNFing, they were made. And then this book did exactly what the first book did! IT WON ME OVER WITH ITS WICKED ELFCRAFT! Or, mostly, its Keefe-craft. He's by far the most engaging, funny, and even heartwarming character in the book. *builds a ship* *sets it upon the high seas* SAIL, BABY MIDDLE GRADE SHIP! SAIL!

The good stuff in this book just sneaks up on you. It's weird. Like, you suddenly become engrossed without realizing it.

"Sneaky like this? By sneaky, do you mean sexy?"

With you, I always mean sexy, Legolas.

Also, there's a pretty, shiny, friendly unicorn with wings and she's cute and yesss, animal sidekicks. of course, only SPECIAL SOPHIEFLAKE can tame her (PLUS KEEFE BECAUSE KEEFE RULES), but yayyy, pretty horse. Exile has an inglorious number of gloopy, soppy, saccharine scenes, but damn if my icy heart didn't thaw. This book has quite a lot of feels, which rescues it from the occasionally absurd world-building. Sophie suffers, and it hurts. (Also Keefe suffers and that REALLY HURTS BECAUSE KEEFE.) Okay, so she'll probably "end up" (she's thirteen, no need to marry her off) with Fitz, but whatever. There are totally feels between Keefe and Sophie. Let a creepy human adult reader dream.

Honestly. I don't know what's wrong with me. Silly book, I must have your sequel! I must captain my ship to shore! I must know the mysteries! Okay, no, I mostly want to sail my ship. That's okay, right? I start off these books going, "No, nooo, ugh noooo," and I finish them totally in love and eager for the next. Bizarre.


Yes, fine. You win again, Legolas. You always do. Stop gloating.


  1. YAY. I live for these moments.

    Lol, this is off to a great start. OH, fun fact: when I was younger, I would make up stories to fall asleep at night, inevitably someone hot falling in love with me, and in one I was totally an elf and Legolas was all OH HEY. You needed to know that.

    "Why do you have so many boyfriends, Sophie, you greedy little pre-pubescent? I would tell you to share, but jail bait elf boys are not exactly my type." Bahahahahaha, Gillian, I am dying. NEED OXYGEN IN LUNGS. MUST. STOP. LAUGHING.

    LOL, Legolas is sassing you and your pain.

    The black swan? Natalie Portman's in this one?

    And endless number of fart and poop jokes? Blergh. FURRY ELEPHANTS? WHAT WHAT WHAT THE FUCK?

    Bahaha, I love the dialog between you and Lego more than is perhaps healthy.



    "Let a creepy human adult reader dream." Why do I find your MG ships so hilarious? WHY?

  2. Omg this review brought back all my memories of watching FotR WAY TOO MUCH! ;-)

  3. I'm laughing SO hard right now my sides are aching. You made me want to watch FotR again. Damn you Gillian.

    "Why do you have so many boyfriends, Sophie, you greedy little pre-pubescent? I would tell you to share, but jail bait elf boys are not exactly my type."

    Okay now THAT just made me laugh so hard I was crying.

  4. Hehehehe, I love your review!! I'm getting this one for Xmas for the bf's elder niece. She's 9 turning 10 but she's a total Potter fan and has read the full series, so I'm sure she can handle three potential boyfriends! ;)

    Also, ALL THE LEGOLAS GIFs!!!! *sigh* I love me some Legolas!

  5. SNEAKY LEGOLAS IS THE BEST! Excellent use of Legolas, there was much LOLing on my end.

    Seriously, this series stresses me out because I don't know which ship will win.Seriously, this series stresses me out because I don't know which ship will win. <----THIS. This nicely sums up most of why I hate multiple love interests.

    This book sounds like one of those why-do-I-like-this-oh-but-I-dooo things (*cough* CW shows *cough*) that can be quite delightful in the right frame of mind. And captaining ships is a perfectly legit reason to read a book.

  6. Hih, we talked about this on twitter. <3 But anyway. I ADORE your review. It's awesome. And, sigh, Legolas. <3 love him so much. Cannot wait for book three :D w


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