Quick Read: Keeper of The Lost Cities

keeper-of-the-lost-cities

It’s time for another middle-grade Quick Read (it’s almost like I’m reading all these books to familiarize myself with the market), this time examining Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of The Lost Cities.

I had never actually heard of it or the currently five-book series it spawned before it randomly popped up in my Amazon recommendation list, but I decided to take a look at it due to the totally baller covers the books have and the assortment of… let’s say “colorful” negative reviews on Goodreads, as well as some positive opinions that seemed to suggest there might be something to the story. Let’s find out!

…but before that, I want to talk about the book’s back-cover synopsis, which intrigued me because it’s strategically vague on what the book is actually about.

Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She’s skipped multiple grades and doesn’t really connect with the older kids at school, but she’s not comfortable with her family, either. The reason? Sophie’s a Telepath, someone who can read minds. No one knows her secret—at least, that’s what she thinks . . .

 

But the day Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns she’s not alone. He’s a Telepath too, and it turns out the reason she has never felt at home is that, well . . . she isn’t. Fitz opens Sophie’s eyes to a shocking truth, and she is forced to leave behind her family for a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known.

 

But Sophie still has secrets, and they’re buried deep in her memory for good reason: The answers are dangerous and in high-demand. What is her true identity, and why was she hidden among humans? The truth could mean life or death—and time is running out.

I’ve recently been pootling around with potential agent query letters for my own project, and I kind of wonder if this synopsis was adapted from one of those. It’s exactly the right length, sets out the beginning of the story in the same way that query letters are supposed to and focuses more on plot than setting or other details.

Either way, it’s kind of strange that this description leaves out most of the book’s actual setup.

Preface

Do works of fiction have prefaces? Wouldn’t this be a prologue?

BLURRY, FRACTURED MEMORIES SWAM through Sophie’s mind, but she couldn’t piece them together.

Opening sentences are something that most writers seem to struggle mightily with–I know I have– and this one’s not great.

Next to characters waking up, about the worst thing you can give me at the start of your book is a whole lot of vague waffle about fragments of memories. It instantly makes the story feel confusing and un-grounded.

A wave of cold rushed through her as the horrifying realization dawned. She was a hostage.

In case you couldn’t tell, this is one of those things where the book opens with an exciting in medias res scene from way later in the story before going back to the beginning to show how the protagonist ended up there.

I’ve always hated this. Firstly because it’s confusing–I have no idea who this person is, what’s going on or why I should care–but mainly because it feels like the author isn’t confident enough that the actual opening chapters will grab the reader, so she has to stick something exciting at the beginning to convince them that if they keep reading they’ll eventually get to the good stuff. Even if that’s not true of this particular book (spoilers: it’s not), it’s not good to give me that impression.

Would the Black Swan really destroy their own creation?

I…don’t know?

What was the point of Project Moonlark, then?

I’m going to have to get back to you on that.

What was the point of the Everblaze?

Uh

What is the point of throwing all of these phrases at the reader on page two? I have no idea what any of this means.

The prologue ends on some portentous line about the “spark before the blaze” and okay, that was very dramatic, but let’s get to the actual story.

Chapter 1

That’s better.

The weird, unnecessary prologue is all the more baffling due to the fact that the actual story opens pretty strong:

MISS FOSTER!” MR. SWEENEY’S NASAL voice cut through Sophie’s blaring music as he yanked her earbuds out by the cords. “Have you decided that you’re too smart to pay attention to this information?”

Sophie forced her eyes open. She tried not to wince as the bright fluorescents reflected off the vivid blue walls of the museum, amplifying the throbbing headache she was hiding. “No, Mr. Sweeney,” she mumbled, shrinking under the glares of her now staring classmates.

And yes, the kid protagonist getting scolded for not paying attention at school is a pretty big cliche, but I think the book pulls it off by putting Sophie in an unusual pickle that immediately makes her a legitimate underdog, rather than presenting a totally bog-standard situation that absolutely everyone experienced growing up and expecting us to care about it.

Specifically, Sophie is a senior in high school despite only being twelve due to her prodigiously advanced scholastic abilities, which makes her an automatic outcast and a source of irritation to her peers. The fact that this is mostly being presented as a problem rather than a way to make the heroine look super special and awesome is a nice bonus.

Natural History Museum in Balboa Park, assuming his students would be excited about the all-day field trip. He didn’t seem to realize that unless the giant dinosaur replicas came to life and started eating people, no one cared.

I laughed out lout at this.

There was no way to make Mr. Sweeney understand why she needed the music to cancel the noise. He couldn’t even hear the noise.

The other strange thing about Sophie is that she can read people’s minds, less in a Professor X way and more in a “constant, unstoppable psychic assault” way, which is a lot less fun.

She finished her answer, and Mr. Sweeney grumbled something that sounded like “know-it-all” as he stalked off to the exhibit in the next room over. Sophie didn’t follow.

I’d like to say that no teacher could possibly act this way and keep their job, but unfortunately I know from personal experience that that isn’t true.

Sophie repressed a sigh as her mind flashed to an image of the information card in front of the display. She’d glanced at it when they entered the museum, and her photographic memory recorded every detail.

Oh, she…she has a photographic memory as well as being super smart and telepathic?

Well… I guess those three things can sort of go together.

“Nice job, superfreak,” Garwin Chang— a boy wearing a T-shirt that said BACK OFF! I’M GONNA FART— sneered as he shoved past her to join their classmates. “Maybe they’ll write another article about you. ‘Child Prodigy Teaches Class About the Lame-o-saurus.’”

Garwin was still bitter Yale had offered her a full scholarship. His rejection letter had arrived a few weeks before.

Okay, you’re pushing it now.

Sophie’s parents won’t let her go to Yale because it’s “too much attention, too much pressure, and she was too young”…but there are already tabloids writing intrusive stories about her, and they are letting her go to college, so what exactly about going to Yale is over the line?

In fact, if they’re so concerned with Sophie avoiding “unnecessary attention” then why did they let her jump four grades and go to high school? It’s not clear that she even wants to be there in the first place.

(I’m aware that there’s probably some more plot-relevant reason for trying to keep Sophie out of the public eye, but if so then they’ve royally screwed it up)

This would be way more interesting if the situation was flipped and her parents were actually trying to milk the “kid genius” angle for all it was worth, pushing her to rush through her academic progress and get as much exposure as she can. And I’m aware that saying “this book would be way better if it was about something completely different” isn’t exactly a useful criticism, but on the other hand if the book’s setup just makes me think of other stories I’d rather be reading, that’s kind of a problem.

Anyway, Sophie spots a mysterious Hot Dude and is instantly smitten by his aqualine orbs and fifteen year old dudeliness.

“Is this you?” he asked, pointing to the picture. Sophie nodded, feeling tongue-tied. He was probably fifteen, and by far the cutest boy she’d ever seen. So why was he talking to her?

“I thought so.” He squinted at the picture, then back at her. “I didn’t realize your eyes were brown.”

“Uh . . . yeah,” she said, not sure what to say. “Why?”

He shrugged. “No reason.”

That’s not really creepy or anything.

A bunch of kids run into the museum, and their annoying little kid thoughts overwhelm Sophie. But then she realizes that Hot Dude (his name is Fitz by the way) can hear them, but that she can’t hear his thoughts, which is very mysterious indeed.

He grabbed her arms to steady her. “It’s okay, Sophie. I’m here to help you. We’ve been looking for you for twelve years.”

He says this, and was clearly in the museum looking for Sophie, but he also seemed really surprised when he realized she could read minds. I guess maybe not all elves can do that?

OH WAIT SPOILERS LET’S MOVE ONTO THE NEXT CHAPTER DOOTLE DOOTLE DOOT DOOT

Two

Sophie runs out of the museum and onto a road and is nearly hit by a car, but busts out some telekinesis to save herself.

The way this scene is presented is really confusing. Sophie explicitly states that she didn’t know she was capable of doing this, had never done it before and doesn’t know how she does it, but this is how it’s described:

Her hand shot into the air, her mind pulling strength from somewhere deep in her gut and pushing it out through her fingertips. She felt the force collide with the falling lantern, gripping on like it was an extension of her arm.

Which makes it seem as if she knows exactly what she’s doing and is in conscious control of the process. If the idea was to portray this as a reflexive manifestation of hitherto unknown power, it would have worked better to just have her throw her hand out, and then the lamp-post moves seemingly for no reason. Maybe have her be a little woozy afterwards, which is the universal fiction shorthand for “this character just totally awakened their hella cool inner power that they didn’t know about.”

Fritz insists they skeddadle, and once they’re clear of the accident starts mumbling cryptic stuff until Sophie asks him to just explain what the hell is going on.

Three

…which he does in the next chapter!

SO . . . WHAT?” SOPHIE MANAGED TO SAY when she finally found her voice. “You’re saying I’m . . . an alien?”

She held her breath.

Fitz erupted into laugher.

Her cheeks grew hot, but she was also relieved. She didn’t want to be an alien.

That’s kind of cute. This book can spin a witty line, at the very least.

“No,” he said when he’d managed to compose himself. “I’m saying you’re an elf.”

I have very conflicted feelings about this.

On one hand, the idea of a parallel world of elves that exists alongside the normal world shouldn’t seem any more ridiculous or hard to take seriously than a secret world of vampires or wizards or the hundreds of other fantasy archetypes that have gotten the same treatment over the years…but for some reason it does.

I think part of the problem is that vampires(/wizards/werewolves/etc) have for a long time been positioned as mythological beings existing in our world, whereas in popular culture elves are specifically associated with secondary fantasy settings. Similarly, while vampires and wizards have become utterly generic fictional templates that aren’t specifically tied to any one property (Dracula doesn’t count, because Dracula as both a story and character created so much of the modern vampire image that it’s basically melted into it), when someone says “elf” 99% of people immediately think of Lord of The Rings. Even Sophie thinks of it right away.

I’m about to say something that sounds incredibly stupid, but stick with me for a second. The problem with elves is that they’re too fake.

What I mean by that is that most people think of them as having been created by a specific series of movies less than two decades ago (which is obviously not true, but it’s the common pop-culture perception), whereas vampires and werewolves have been in our pop-cultural consciousness for nearly 100 years, and most people are far more aware of their older folkloric roots than they are of the roots of elves. All of this means that things like vampires feel like they’ve been part of the world for much longer– they feel “real” in a way that elves don’t in the same way and for the same reasons that the Greek and Roman pantheons feel more “real” than Xenu. There’s a perception that they have some sort of objective existence outside of the specific stories that spawned them, whereas elves feel like something that someone just made up.

…all of which is my incredibly long-winded and over-complicated way of saying that this book being about elves feels silly, even though I recognize on a purely intellectual level that it probably shouldn’t. It would probably help if the story was set in a fictional world instead of San Diego.

Anyway so Fitz pulls out a thing that seems kind of like a wand which he insists isn’t a wand but actually a “pathfinder” (it doesn’t help that the narration itself calls it “a wand” when he takes it out) and offers to show her some Serious Shit.

She wanted to say no— he couldn’t actually prove anything. What was he going to do, whisk her away to some magic elf land?

LOLOLOLOL FORESHADOWING

But she bit her tongue and concentrated on holding his hand, ignoring her racing heart. Seriously— when did she become one of those silly girls?

It’s called puberty, Sophie. I thought you were meant to be a genius.

Fitz uses his not-wand to transport them both into Elfland, which is all totally rad and magical.

“Where are we?”

“Our capital. We call it Eternalia, but you might have heard it called Shangri-la before.”

“Shangri-la,” she repeated, shaking her head. “Shangri-la is real?”

“All of the Lost Cities are real— but not how you’d picture them, I’m sure.

This idea– that all of the fictional, magical cities of legend are actually real and part of a parallel universe– frankly seems like a way more interesting hook to hang a book series on than elves. You could make each book be about a different city, and the span of human mythology provides basically limitless potential material, especially if you also include non-city fabled locations like Tir na nOg or the Greek underworld.

By the end of the chapter Sophie has seemingly already started accepting that she’s an elf and distancing herself from humans, even though she found out about this less then an hour ago. I complained about this in my big Harry Potter post, and it’s just as irritating here. I really want some sort of hesitation in this scenario.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Quick Read: Keeper of The Lost Cities

  1. Mr Elbows

    this book could easily be redeemed by replacing every reference to “an elf” with “a elf” and printing a picture of the runescape elf with the dunce cap alongside it.

    Reply
  2. Elspeth Grey

    I read the e-book sample of this once, because man look at those covers! And “Shangri-La” is exactly where I gave up. It’s one thing to use a heavily Orientalized idea, it’s another to use that AND focus on how pure and wonderful these elves (who live there) are with their blond hair and blue eyes and white skin. It really skeeved me out, and a lot of it had me groaning already.

    (I wonder- would the “you’re an elf, Sophie” bit work better if Messenger had used the changeling concept? I think that’s a little more broadly known than the Fair Folk.)

    Reply
  3. neremworld

    You know, one of the things I liked about the fairly new PS4 game BLoodborne is that it basically was all about remaking the old victorian-era horror tropes into something fresh and scary. Vampires and werewolves being the most prominent.

    No elves though…

    Reply
  4. Signatus

    “Preface”

    Meyer also uses prefaces instead of prologues, which is oddly fitting considering both authors use the same technique of vaguely introducing some future event. Also, according to Wikipedia, THIS is a preface;

    “A preface (/ˈprɛfᵻs/) or proem (/ˈproʊɛm/) is an introduction to a book or other literary work written by the work’s author…..
    A preface generally covers the story of how the book came into being, or how the idea for the book was developed; this is often followed by thanks and acknowledgments to people who were helpful to the author during the time of writing.”

    So, yeah. That up there? That’s a prologue.

    The fact that authors might not have a huge understanding of the language is not what scares me. I am not a linguist myself but this is a topic that interests me, and I often have debates with my linguist brother since he is more versed in the grammar aspect and less in the stylistic aspect, so our conversations can be quiet productive.

    What truly bothers me is that this had to go through the hands of an editor before being published. An editor saw “preface” and not only he/she didn’t know what a preface was, but he read a prologue and thought “meh, it works for me”. I’ve seen mistranslations in several books. I’ve seen more typos than I care to consider (the Dresden books are PLAGUED with typos). But this? They’re paying this person to actually KNOW these things!

    As for the content of the prologue itself… honestly, I don’t give a shit. Harry Potter? That beginning was fantastic, straight to the point. It introduced several of the main characters, it introduced our protagonist and hinted at the situation of the story revealing enough to let us know what was going on while keeping the mystery. We ALL knew that Harry was a wizard while reading through the first part, and we were all rooting for him to get the letter and go to Hogwarts, but reading through his misadventures even while consciously knowing that he was a wizard was not less exciting. Sometimes it is good to let the reader know what’s going on, the reader wants to see how everything will unfold at the end.

    That was a very, very poor introduction, and it didn’t catch my attention in the least. Specially because I don’t know what is going on. It’s confusing and pointless, and instead of making me want to push on to understand what’s going on, it makes me want to put this thing down and go watch an episode of Haven.

    “He didn’t seem to realize that unless the giant dinosaur replicas came to life and started eating people, no one cared.”

    Ok, that was funny and sad at the same time. I still remember my cousin and her advices. If I didn’t want to be deemed the odd one, I had to stop talking about dinosaurs. I was strong on paleonthology when I was a kid and this interest moved me towards zoology, biology and eventually evolutionary science and genetics. So as you can see, my interest in science kept growing but I always kept it secret because people pointed at me. I remember a visit at a paleonthology museum where I knew every single thing the guide was explaining. She would ask questions and I kept silent.

    Right now I’m seeing a teenager thinking inside herself how fascinating all this is, and keeping it to herself so as not to be pointed by the rest of the class because apparently being an ignorant idiot with zero curiosity is the socially acceptable thing. Being interested in stuffs aside from boys and partying is not socially acceptable.

    “There was no way to make Mr. Sweeney understand why she needed the music to cancel the noise. He couldn’t even hear the noise.”

    I do like the fact that her telepathy is not treated as a gift but more as a curse.

    However, the author is making the same mistake every single people make. People believe getting into someone’s mind would be like listening to them speaking into your mind. Errr, I’m sure we all have a mind of our own and I don’t know how yours look, guys, but mine’s a frigging mess. As I’m writing this I’m already imagining the next thing I’m going to write. Images of ideas of what I’ll be talking about further down keep popping in my head, and there is that nagging thing behind telling me I’ve missed to address some point and to not forget to do it later. Then I’m checking on my dog, who has been sick, and I’m thinking about taking him down, feeding him, all mixed with images of him throwing up blood.

    And that’s happening all more or less at the same time.

    So getting into someone’s mind would be less like listening to them speak and more like being bombarded by a crazy number of images, sentences and stuff that have absolutely NO conexion between themselves, because they don’t. They work in a personal context, but if you looked into my mind for five minutes you wouldn’t know what the heck was going on.

    So using music would pretty much do shit to keep them out. Well, it might work, in a context where concentrating on the music helped her not pay attention to the images, but not to keep thoughts out because nobody is talking. Thinking is messy. It’s not as orderly as speaking.

    “Okay, you’re pushing it now.”

    A lot. Having one gift is one thing. Having three gifts? You’re getting into the realm of Sue very fast, and yes, an anti-sue is still a mary-sue, which seems to be what’s going on here. She’s supèr smart but her smartness is a curse, she can read minds but her gift is a curse because it overwhelms her. She has photographic memory, but that’s a curse too, I guess… err, right, I’m sure most of us would actually want to be dumb and forgetful.

    Adding to all this, she’s been pushed up 4 years? I don’t know how these things work, but I’m guessing it is not that easy. I’ve heard of bright kids moving up a year. Some of them were able to attend some university classes as listeners, but that’s about it. 4 years? Smarts without training are useless. Moving up a person 4 years means she has to learn everything throughout the four years. I don’t give a shit of how smart she is. Without some basic knowledge she’s not getting through subjects like maths or chemistry. Sure, she might figure it out by herself eventually… or not,

    What I mean to say is, how much time did she have to prepare FOUR years worth of classes? Months? Not happening. I don’t care how bright she is. It is not happening. And considering she’s showing ZERO interest in paleonthology and her gift pretty much incapacitates her, I’m getting a strong telling and not showing vibe. BTW, I don’t mean to say bright people have to love old fossils, but I do expect them to show, at least, a bit of interest in the topic.

    Anyways, not only is she this bright, talented, gifted girl with a photographic memory and who has been pushed 4 years in advance, but she has also received a full scholarship from YALE. From one of the most prestigious universities in the USA.

    She’s going full on Sue and she’s doing it fast. This is Qvothe, the youngest, most talented, blablabla. Come on! Do authors today have so many self estheem issues they have to rely on dressing their avatars with the things they wished they had? Your characters are already special because they are the protagonists. Why don’t you… I don’t know, make them NORMAL PEOPLE? Why does she have to be 12 instead of 17? Why not 24? Why not 40? Why does she have to be bright? Why not make her a typical high intellect person who actually struggles with it? because in real life most high IQ people are absolute failures who believe themselves to be stupid.

    “He was probably fifteen, and by far the cutest boy she’d ever seen. So why was he talking to her?”

    And this was the point I wanted to talk about.

    I’m not going to talk about her noticing that he’s cute because she’s 12. I mean, it fits her age. I’m a bit irked by the whole “ugly duckling” syndrome going on, which is prevalent in every YA book. I am aware that she’s the outcast (this is so cliché too), but still, I’ve seen this so many times it’s part of the YA lore. The pretty girl thinking herself ugly until the handsome boy proves her different. Yeah, whatever.

    But the real stuff I wanted to talk about what this;

    “But the day Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy,”

    From the back-cover. You’ve read me ranting about quota women many, many times. Women that exist solely to become the hero’s trophy, the supporting cast. Well, there is another thing that also goes on in many books is that, when the protagonist is a woman, she has a cast of men around her and usually the books derive into making the man the main protagonist and the female the supporting role. So we end up AGAIN with a quota woman.

    There was absolutely NO REASON for Sophie not to meet another girl, just like her, who would become the mentor and explain the world, and all that shit. But the author chose a boy. Because even today, in the XXI century, female lives orbit around the epicenter of a man. Even when they are the protagonists, or I’d daresay it is even WORSE when they are the protagonists (Katniss, Bella, etc), they eventually become overshadowed by the male’s role in the story, who is usually the proactive one.

    Also… adorable? I’m sensing romance going on here just because. Romantic love is nothing but over-glorified mating instinct, and I’m sick of books stuffing it down my throat as if there wasn’t another type of love at all. Today has been the first time in days I’ve managed to sleep more or less well. I’ve spent the past few days taking care of my sick dog who, I repeat, was throwing up blood. I was awake controlling his general state, his vitals, the way his gums looked, giving him liquids every half an hour-forty five minutes simply to keep him hydrated. I have been feeding him small bits every hour or two, and allowing myself to sleep no more than 20 minutes at a time. Do not fucking tell me that what I feel is less real just because I don’t have a romantic interest in my dog.

    “It’s okay, Sophie. I’m here to help you. We’ve been looking for you for twelve years.”

    And you send a… 15 year old boy. Right…

    Hogwarts sent Hagrid, a 50 years or so half giant groundkeeper to keep up Harry and take him to Hogwarts. They didn’t send Hermione, for example, just to make the whole guide figure-turned into romance easier. Again… why don’t you try to skip the whole romance shit and maybe your book will have a plausible, logical story, eh?

    “Her hand shot into the air, her mind pulling strength from somewhere deep in her gut…”

    O-M-G….

    This is getting more ridiculous by the minute. And wait… ELVES????? She’s a telekinetic, telepath, photographic memory, uber intelligent ELF?????????? What else can she do? Fart rainbows and sprout fairy wings???????

    Look, I’m all into urban fantasy, hidden world sort of shit. I write that shit, for goodness sake, and I don’t expect them to be the last hit in literature or a nobel prize. My main character is a weredog but asides from shapeshifting and the two perks that come with being a night predator, she’s a totally average NORMAL person without any special skills.

    “starts mumbling cryptic stuff ”

    Yeah, because saying; “hey, you’re an elf and I’m here to take you to your people” was too short to be in a book. They have to be cryptic and stuff because they get payed by the word. Just… get on with it, would you? It doesn’t make sense to delay things when it is obvious the big reveal is about to come. Conveying information at this point in order to forcefully maintain the mystery is absurd.

    “. . an alien?”

    An alien? I would have said you’re a mage, but all right.

    “I’m saying you’re an elf.”

    Ok, let me stop here for a second. I like it. Really, I do like that we’re not talking about mages, vampires or such. It’s refreshing and original, and in the hands of a better writer and focused towards a more mature audience this is the type of story I would have enjoyed, flaws and everything.

    But I have a huge issue with this elves, and it is how OVER THE TOP they are. Paolini’s Eragon elves were already ridiculously perfect, with their whole new age mixed with the wisdom of an ancient people and so on. Typical Tolkien elves only “better than you”. But this ones are just too much. If you tell me they are immortal beings, I think I’ll buy a copy of the book only to have the pleasure or burning it.

    “What was he going to do, whisk her away to some magic elf land?”

    This is turning scary. This reminds me to The Magicians by Levi Grossman, which must have been the worst book I’ve read in many, many years. In this book, the adults (because when they get spirited away they’re all 18 years old) get taken to magicland, and suddenly everything in the real world seemed pointless. You could have started the story right in magicland and it wouldn’t have made a change. With Rowling there wasn’t this feeling of detatchtment between Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, Diagon Allew or the Ministry. You always felt like these places could really exist in our reality, like, right now, and I can’t even say how she made it because we never really hear anything about our world once Harry is in the school. But I felt it there, somehow.

    I never got that feeling with the Magicians, and the more the book devolved into madness the more detached it became. I’m fearing this will go the same way, with our protagonist in Arcadia and our world completely forgotten.

    “All of the Lost Cities are real—”

    You would have caught my attention with this alone, really.

    Reply
  5. Andrea Harris

    Oh wow, you mean people now think of elves as the Hollywood creation and vampires and werewolves as the true mythic stuff? That’s exactly the opposite of how I felt about them in my kidhood. Since my main source of vampires and werewolves were cheesy movies, I could never take them seriously and in fact was surprised when I researched and found out they had a basis in European folklore. On the other hand, I grew up reading stuff like the Lang Fairy Tales (the same ones Tolkien read as a child–I had an oddly Victorian childhood) and other things like that, and got into Lord of the Rings when I was a teenager and there were only the books, and also in the 70s Celtic and Norse myths were big in fantasy fiction, so it was elves that seemed to have the more “serious” base. Barring the Tinkerbell type, which I rejected because ugh, so twee.

    Reply
    1. zephyrean

      This. Modern vampires and werewolves come from Universal horror films. Elves prominently feature in real-life religious beliefs and are successfully used to stop construction projects and such. Elves living in and guarding hidden mythical cities which had to move to a parallel plane once human technology and surveillance started threatening them sounds perfectly plausible.

      Reply

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