Review: Neverseen by Shannon Messenger

Review: Neverseen by Shannon MessengerNeverseen by Shannon Messenger
Series: Keeper of the Lost Cities #4
Published by Aladdin on November 3, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Pages: 688
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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three-stars

Sophie is ready to uncover the truth behind her telepathy in this adventure-filled fourth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series.
Sophie Foster is on the run—but at least she's not alone.

Her closest friends from the Lost Cities have gone with her to join the Black Swan. They still have doubts about the shadowy organization, but the only way to find answers is to start working with them. And as they settle into their new lives, they uncover secrets far bigger than anything they’d imagined.

But their enemies are far from done, and unleash a terrifying plague that threatens the safety of an entire species. Sophie and her friends fight with everything they have—with new allies joining them—but every choice has consequences. And trusting the wrong person could prove deadly.

In this game-changing fourth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must question everything to find a truth that will either save her world—or shatter it.

In general, I don’t really believe in guilty pleasure books. I mean, how fucked up is it to feel guilty about things that are harmless and bring your pleasure. Still, I have to admit that I have them, and this series would top the list. Well, actually not even the whole series. At some point, I was most definitely one hundred percent hate reading. Then, at another point that changed. Neverseen is the point where I am completely fully embarrassed to admit that, as much as I know it’s completely terrible objectively, I’m also a complete emotional wreck in the scary shipping place. This, my friends, is a guilty pleasure, so much so that I binge read in a couple of days even though I was busy and it’s unreasonably massive.

It is really hard to be completely logical about this series because it is so absurdly ridiculously weird and silly. As Gillian said (we read it together), we would definitely have loved this to pieces if we were wee children. TBH, we love it now but also we hate ourselves for it and that’s the difference. There’s this phrase over and over in Anne Bishop’s Others series that really applies to Keeper of the Lost Cities: both wondrous and terrible. I mean, quality-wise most of it is dreck, but there are these flashes of brilliance and oh my god the feels.

Basically, it all comes down to one character: KEEFE. Somehow, in the midst of obnoxious, flat, boring characters, Keefe was born. He’s hilarious, sarcastic, clever, and basically a lost Weasley twin who somehow ended up in this book. He’s completely unlike all the rest of Messenger’s characters in either series (though the YA one does have a pale imitation). Keefe makes everyone and everything better. Like, you know how Major Lilywhite on iZombie is boring as fuck but then the moment he hangs out with Ravi he’s totally okay? Keefe is like that. Every single character is improved by Keefe being nearby, most especially Sophie. But even Dex is tolerable in this book because he and Keefe bond together to make fun of Fitzphie and basically Keefe is the best ever.

What is not the best ever is stuff like the plot. The five kids (Sophie, Keefe, Fitz, Biana, and Dex) have been expelled from their fancy elf school so they run off to Black Swan to avoid punishment by the Council for their shenanigans in book three. Black Swan is like “okay, kids, you need to study for a couple of weeks and then we’ll take you on a mission” and the kids are like “WHAT DO YOU MEAN STUDY MISSIONS NOW.” Meanwhile, I’m like “um, you’re five, so you should go on no missions.” Like, I actually totally support the studying and safety plan for the children which basically means I’m a boring adult now.

However, these adults are total idiots. Fitz and Biana’s mom and the leaders of the Black Swan Collective agree to the dumbest shit. Their actual plan for the mission is just the worst. Literally, they’re like “kids, you do all the work. We’ll come along for moral support and to be the distraction so you can escape if things go wrong, which we’ll do by wiping our memories and thus leaving the movement for good we are leading. And for some reason all four of us need to go because reasons.” Is it any wonder the forces of evil are winning? Absolutely not, given how good these guys are at noticing suspicious behavior that is foreshadowed with all the subtlety of a hammer to the eyeball.

Then there are the kids’ plans which tbh are slightly better but still terrible. When the kids tell the adults, the adults are like “oh okay, yeah, why don’t you do that? but we couldn’t let you go into enemy territory alone!” At which point you’re all “YES DO NOT LET THEM.” And then the adults are like “make sure you take these two children who are not part of our organization with you.” Like, how the hell is Della not stopping this shit or at least going along to protect them? The adults in this series could not be more useless, I swear. I mean, they didn’t even hug Keefe.

Then there’s the straight up whacked out nonsense, like how all of these young teens have stuffed animals with cutesy names they cannot bear to be without. Or the fact that Biana randomly adopts Iggy in the middle for no reason. Why is Iggy even still here? But anyway. How about the scene where one of the members of Black Swan basically disguises himself as Grover from Sesame Street? Or the fact that another one is disguised as The Thing from Fantastic 4 and goes by Granite? The weirdest shit though was the two plus pages about alicorn sex. I am not making this shit up, I swear.

The plot and world building is like .5 stars but the feels are like a million stars, and I just refuse to rate this higher than three stars but my god I was mess reading this book. Shannon Messenger is SO FUCKING MEAN to Keefe in this book. I cannot even. No one else really has character development but Keefe’s arc is so well done albeit cruelly. I really do not get how he appeared in this book and is such perfection at all times.

I do not have the ability to explain the amount that I am invested in this ship and this character and the amount that I was completely wrecked by the events of this book. Sophie and Keefe are so perfect and clearly IN LOVE but she doesn’t know and Shannon Messenger spends the WHOLE BOOK taunting both Fitzphie and Team Foster Keefe shippers, but come on Sophie and Keefe hold hands like three million times SURELY IT MUST BE CANON. But also I do not trust Messenger to make the right choices with the romance here and I am fucking terrified of book five for so many reasons.

I preordered this book in hardcover and paid actual money for it and I’m going to do the same with book five. This has been an exercise in self-loathing, desperation, and the scary place. You should all join me here because misery really loves company it’s great.

Favorite Quote:

“The three of you training together and working with emotions? I don’t see how anything could go wrong there.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif lotr whether by will or not, there is no ship now that can bear me hence

3 responses to “Review: Neverseen by Shannon Messenger”

  1. Gillian says:

    “I’m also a complete emotional wreck in the scary shipping place.”

    TAKE COMFORT IN THE FACT THAT YOU ARE NOT THERE ALONE

    “However, these adults are total idiots.” crying

    KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEFE IM A FUCKING MESS JUST REMEMBERING WHY IS SHE SO MEAN TO HIM AND TO US AND SJDFHLSDUISDS WHYYYYYYYY

    “I do not have the ability to explain the amount that I am invested in this ship and this character and the amount that I was completely wrecked by the events of this book.”
    INFINITY BILLION PERCENT

    I HATE MYSELF TOO
    I’M SORRY FOR DOING THIS TO YOU
    TEAM FOSTER-KEEFE FOREVER
    Gillian recently posted…Review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn BennettMy Profile

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