Parents' Guide to

Flashback: Keeper of the Lost Cities, Book 7

By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Little is resolved in colossal teen-elf epic installment.

Flashback: Keeper of the Lost Cities, Book 7 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 13+

Fun, addictive, violent installment can be pretty slow at times

Flashback starts with a bang and ends with a BOOM, but the in-between can be super slow. For one thing, we get basically no answers about anything besides Silveny’s pregnancy and the fact that Fitz likes Sophie (ugh, Fitzphie is SO gross), so if you’re wondering if you can skip a book, this would be the book to skip, though I definitely don’t recommend doing that. Some stuff is really great, (Sophie and Keefe’s spirited, feisty banter and magnetic chemistry, anything with Ro, and the fact that Dex has finally gotten over Sophie) and other stuff is just meh. The writing is totally engrossing, Shannon Messenger has crafted a great style that sweeps you away and leaves you feeling like an emotional wreck after the book is over, so the hundreds of pages in the Healing Center were actually pretty interesting even though not much really happened. The fight that lands Sophie and Fitz in the Healing Center is pretty graphic, too. My thirteen year old self felt a little queasy reading it, and I have a super tough stomach when it comes to violence in books or movies. The crunching and shattering of bones, the shredding of muscle and nerve, the slicing and stabbing of said shattered bones and shredded muscle, it’s all pretty gory. Plus we also get Sophie’s agonized POV as this all happens to her and her friends, which adds an intriguing level of intensity to it all. But a thirteen year old could most likely handle it. And then the love triangle, let me just say, you will be So. Sick. Of. It. Because all those pages with Sophie and her duo add up to Sophie still not knowing who she really likes. (Is anybody really in doubt about who she’s going to choose? Because I’d bet quite a lot of money that it’s Keefe.) It gets tiring to read about pages upon pages of Keefe, Sophie, and Fitz navigating their complicated feelings, and by the end of it you have a big fat nothing. (By the way, you won’t get a semi-ending to the triangle until Stellarlune. Have fun waiting.) We also don’t see a lot of the side characters we’ve come to care about much, either. And Fitz becomes a total jerk by the end of the book. But, even with all that, Flashback is still entertaining. Yes, it’s a bit of a filler book. Yes, it can be hand-wringing inducing at times. But it’s also fun, engrossing, and has a signature edginess to it that’s great for teen readers, too. So should you read it? Yeah, even if you won’t feel totally satisfied by the end of it. But the story’s not over yet, so that’s only to be expected.
age 11+

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (37 ):

Elf teens face hardship and moral dilemmas en route to another cliffhanger in this series installment that's exciting but a bit frustrating. Hoping for a satisfying wrap-up of Shannon Messenger's elvin epic? You won't get it this time. But if you love the series for the sparkly world-building, the costume changes, the inner turmoil over romance and world-saving, and the likelihood that some previously unmentioned event or magical capability will emerge at just the right moment, you'll be happy with Flashback. If you love the interplay of dozens of intriguing but still largely undeveloped characters as they find themselves in challenging situations and squabble among themselves -- or work together to achieve some heroic, impossible goal -- ditto.

But if you're waiting for author Messenger to reveal, say, Sophie's biological parents (after a multi-volume tease), you'll be none the wiser after 848 pages. And that pesky love triangle? Still triangulating. If you're in this for something other than the immersion, you may be feeling a bit strung along and losing patience about now.

Book Details

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