I’ve been very impatiently waiting for a year to find out what happened after the cliffhanger that ended book 5 in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, so that means I was keeping my reading schedule clear to start Nightfall as soon as I could after it was released. It was definitely worth the wait.
If you are new to the series, you need to fix that today. This is a wonderful middle grade fantasy series. It stars Sophie Foster, an elf who was raised by humans until she was a teenager, at which point she learned why she never felt like she quite fit in with the humans around her. But that was just the beginning of her journey.
Before we go further, I need to issue a spoiler warning. Because of how this book starts, it will be impossible to discuss this book without spoiling the previous book in the series. I am NOT going to spoil anything in this book, however. Because this story is really one story broken down into books, you really need the read the previous books before you pick up this one anyway.
The book picks up exactly where the previous book ended – Sophie has just gone to check on her human family only to learn that they have been kidnapped by the Neverseen. Only her “sister” is still there. The only clue that Amy overheard when their parents were kidnapped is the name Nightfall.
Unfortunately, this clue leads Sophie and her friends straight to Lady Gisela, Keefe’s mother. She is obviously using this situation to manipulate Sophie. Can Sophie use Lady Gisela to learn where her parents are being held without giving Lady Gisela what she needs for her plans?
If all of this leaves you lost, then this book isn’t for you – yet. As I said before, these books build on each other. So all that means is, back up and begin with book one. Author Shannon Messenger does a good job of reintegrating us into Sophie’s world, but I’m sure the explanations would only go so far for someone who has never picked up a book in the series.
For fans of the series, this book will satisfy. There are plenty of the twists and close calls that we’ve come to expect in the series. I did feel that things slowed down a bit about two thirds of the way into the book as Sophie started hitting dead ends, but it wasn’t too long before we were ramping up for the climax.
Over the course of the series, Sophie has made a lot of friends, and there is room in this book for all of them to shine. Some get more page time than others, but they all get their moments and all get some development as characters. Fans of Keefe will be happy to learn he gets plenty of page time to make up for the previous book. Plus, we get a delightful new character here.
What I’ve been dancing around is the length of this book. It’s 800 pages. That’s daunting for sure, but I can’t point to anything I think should be cut out. The pages certainly do fly by, and I got lost in the story any time I sat down to read.
I’m not too surprised that we get a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of this book. It’s not nearly as bad as the last cliffhanger, but it is certainly enough to leave me wondering what happens next.
Seriously, this series is fabulous, and Nightfall is a great next chapter for Sophie and her friends. If you’ve been counting down like I have, your patience will be rewarded.