Review of Shannon Messenger’s KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES: LEGACY

Legacy by Shannon Messenger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Whenever I’m looking for an arm workout, I know it’s time to tackle one of Ms. Messenger’s books. Nothing like wrangling a two-pound book every night to get your wrists and forearms in peak condition! (So glad I don’t read in bed anymore, where having a book suddenly land on your face could result in significant ocular damage)

And while I’m not one to oppose a lengthy book, this one needed a few more trips through the editing department. There’s a balance between demonstrating a character’s emotional and mental conflicts and filling pages for the sake of creating a weighty tome. (Guess which side of the line this one falls on) I lost my sympathy for Sophie numerous times, wanting to skip through the pages to find where the plot felt like resuming. That ISN’T what you want from your readers. We get it: Difficult decisions, potential long-term ramifications, a tweenager on the cusp of emotional breakdown. Can we move on already? There’s no reason to aggravate a reader to the point of shouting, “Get on with it already!”

Along the same vein, is there anyone who isn’t siding with Ro on the romantic angle? I mean, I understand we’re in the Middle-Grade section here, but the pendulum swings (not to mention the flashing neon signs) Ms. Messenger’s using are enough for a petrified tree to comprehend what’s going on. Ro gets it and is fed up with the lollygagging; why can’t we move along already? It’s a weak sub-plot, at best. Shelve it for another volume or bring it out in the open and give it a spotlight. Dancing around in a (terrible) flirtatious appeal isn’t working.

As for the remainder of the tale, I’m not even sure what to say. Things felt tossed in at random and chaotic. Certain revelations worked and DID come as a surprise. Then others ended up disjointed. Probably because my brain zoned out so much on the lengthy angst.

I keep clinging to the hope that lies beneath, though, that I can’t help but continue with the series. Or maybe it’s the guarantee of that week-plus arm workout.

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