Keeper of the Lost Cities: Exile (Book 2) by Shannon Messenger
I previously reviewed Book 1 in this series HERE.
First disclaimer: I surprised myself with how excited I got when I saw this book on the shelf. I want to say probably because I had a wave of nostalgia over how the first one was just such a nice book.
Second disclaimer: I'm really surprised by how quickly the second one was released. For those playing at home, the first one came out on August 6, 2013, and this one came out on October 1, 2013. ....maybe there's some secret plot at foot. I don't know. However, I didn't notice any change in the writing and the content was of the same quality as the first book.
An amazon summary, "Sophie befriends the mythical Alicorn--and puts her mysterious powers to the test--in this enchanting sequel to Keeper of the Lost Cities.
Sophie is tasked with helping to train the magical creature so that the Alicorn can be revealed to the people of the lost cities as a sign of hope, and Sophie wants to believe that the recent drama and anguish is gone for good.
But the secrets buried deep in Sophie's memories remain, and before long she's back in incredible danger, risking everything to find the answers to questions that could save not only her life, but the life of someone close to her..." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
There was a lot of content to this book that I'm not going to get to in the interest of not wandering into spoiler land and in the interest of having a more concise post.
The book begins with Sophie running around the woods with Dex searching for 'big foot' when Sophie accidentally finds a VERY RARE female Alicorn (a unicorn with wings) and convinces it to go back to Havenfield with her. Sophie is also protected by Sandor due to her almost-kidnapping, who (slight spoiler) turns out to be a great ally in the companion sense. Sophie has a messed up break before school begins as she spends a lot of time trying to train Silveny (the Alicorn) to be integrated into the Sanctuary where the elves keep all their magical creatures. Sophie is very preoccupied with the Black Swan, her kidnappers, and what her purpose is.
...it also turns out that Sophie might be a little broken.
Sophie goes on a journey to Exile with Alden to do a mind break. Then more plot things happen. I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty of it because it winds smaller threads into the larger picture of the overall plot.
So my impression of the book was overall it was a nice book, there were moments that I thought were a little dragged out, but Sophie was still motivating enough to read so I finished the almost 600 page book. There were also frequent humorous moments sprinkled throughout the story as well as moments that make my emotions get all derpy with AWEEEE.
I'm a bit annoyed that the majority of the book stayed in elf world even though the title of the series is 'Keeper of the Lost Cities'. I want to see some more of the world.
I also want the 'evil organization that is not the Black Swan' to be named.
I think if the next book does not provide some vital explanations, it'll be a decider if I'll continue on with the series.
For now, I'd be delighted to pick up the third book.