Author: Shannon Messenger | Blog | Twitter Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Aladdin| Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery | Pages: 576

GAH! You guys. Exhile has been My. Most. Anticipated. Fall read for this year. My love of MG lit runs deep when I can say that I was looking forward to this book above all others (I mean–I’m extremely excited about LOTS of books but this one topped the list.) So, needless to say, when I came home one afternoon about a month ago to the surprise of this ARC, my year was made!

I was provided an ARC copy by the publisher, Simon & Schuster. I was not compensated in any way for my review (cross my heart) nor did I promise a good rating. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine.


Sophie Foster thought she was safe. Settled into her home at Havenfield, surrounded by friends, and using her unique telepathic abilities to train Silveny–the first female alicorn ever seen in the Lost Cities–her life finally seems to be coming together.

But Sophie’s kidnappers are still out there. And when Sophie discovers new messages and clues from the mysterious Black Swan group, she’s forced to take a terrifying risk—one that puts everyone in incredible danger.

As long buried secrets rise to the surface, it’s once again up to Sophie to uncover hidden memories—before someone close to her is lost forever. 

-via book jacket

5 Reasons Why These Books Are Marvelous!

  1. I don’t even know how to begin this review except by telling you that if I could fall in love with a book–this would be it. It has everything wonderfully fantastical in it. On that note–I guess I’ll start at the beginning. If you like–heck, LOVE–fantasy, then this is a MUST READ. Think alternate world fantasy though. It’s a series that takes place both in the modern world, and a made-up one. We don’t see Sophie visit our world much in this one, but there are fabulous elements of the fantastical world that had me giddy all over the place.
  2. Such as the Alicorn. The WHAT you ask? Well, I don’t want to spoil the beautiful discovery you will have–but if you’ve read the first story, you’ll understand when I say it fits in wonderfully at Grady and Edaline’s place.
    Not to mention the whole light-leaping is totally out-of-hand-cool in this book. Sophie travels to a few new places in this story, and I love how Messenger has created the concept of light leaping. It’s a way of travel that just seems perfect in Sophie’s world, like it couldn’t fit in anywhere else except this place. (On that note—don’t mind me while I try light leaping myself….)
  3. The plot thickens guys. Hardcore. I’m just going to tell you, this is a hefty book. As in 500+ pages. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book this thick (Harry Potter!) but NOTHING about this story made it feel like a burden to read. In fact, I was turning the pages as fast as I could, every chance I could just to figure out what happened next! Messenger has a way with storytelling in that she blends Sophie’s internal struggles well with the outside action all the while keeping me wondering and giddily anxious. And you know that whole second book syndrome thing? Yeah. NOT even close with this book. I love it when a second book keeps me on edge of the overarching trilogy plot while simultaneously introducing and intriguing me with it’s own conflicts.
  4. The best part of this story is that it isn’t over. There’s another one guys! Although, maybe that actually is a bad part to the story–because now I have to grumble and gripe and wait FOREVER until the next one comes out!
  5. Last week when I threw-back my thoughts about the first Keeper, I talked about the series’ originality that seemed steeped in fantastical influence.  I found so much of that carried over into Exhile, and one of my favorite parts was a quote from LOTR: “All those who wander are not lost.” You guys. This is one of those books that found me when I needed to be found. I lost my grandfather at the beginning of the month, and there is a theme of how humanity grieves that runs throughout this story. At one point, Sophie learns about being lost and broken–and how they aren’t always the same. This is just a powerful story that resonated not only with my heart and emotions, but with my soul.

must-readBook Talk: Have you ever read either of the Keeper books yet? What’s your favorite aspect of the series? What surprised you most in Exhile? 

Hopeful reading!