Review of Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost Cities: Nightfall

Nightfall by Shannon Messenger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m of two minds about this installment in the Keeper series. On the one hand, I applaud Ms. Messenger for tearing down more of the Elvin world’s utopian image. The cracks that made their appearances in the previous five volumes have continued to widen, making the “superior” race more approachable and understandable. At the same time, she decreased the original polarization created with King Dimitar and his population. (On a personal note, Ro needed to be in every other book – she’s one of the best characters to emerge yet; mostly because she calls out the unnecessary need for all of the “glitter and sparkles”) And the unraveling mystery of Nightfall? That kept the pace moving at a clipper pace – even with a paperback that weighed close to 1.5 pounds. (Yes, I weighed it – mostly due to a sprained shoulder and the need to find ways to prop up the book and ease the pressure on the joint)

But on the other hand? I have to wonder whether Ms. Messenger regretted her decision to off Mr. Forkle in the previous book or intended her “take-back” the entire time. That part of this volume fell flat. It’s possible to see where she intended the issue to feed into the plotline, but it felt flimsy, at best. Instead, it seemed like regret. (“Oops! I’m so sorry I killed a primary character! I’ll fix it!”) I don’t have anything against Mr. Forkle, but the handling of the situation didn’t work for me. It’s too seamless of a reintroduction. For the life she described? There needs to be a gap or a lack, and that’s missing (no pun intended). It just seemed like Ms. Messenger could have done a bit more to pull off the same trick.

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