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!
Who’s up for another middle grade Quick Read? Well too bad, because we’re doing one.
This time our subject is James R. Hannibal’s The Lost Property Office, book one of the Section 13 series, which is being hyped up as potentially The Next Big Thing in middle grade fiction, by which I mean The Next Harry Potter.
I always feel kind of bad for authors who get slapped with that designation, since none of them ever seem to come anywhere close to living up to it, either in terms of sales numbers or popularity. The thing everyone seems to forget is that Harry Potter itself was never expected to be the next big anything; if something ever does come along to knock it off the top spot, it will probably be a total surprise.
But regardless, let’s start by looking at the cover.
Back when we were exploring Red Queen, I commented that a plot point about girls competing for the chance to marry a prince seemed remarkably similar to the plot of a different YA novel. That novel is The Selection by Kiera Cass, which I know basically nothing about except that it seems like an attempt to push The Hunger Games’ vague reality TV theme in another direction.