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Book Review: Shadows of Atlantis by Mara Powers

It's Book Review Wednesday, and I'm finally back with a new book review (I've been reading much more slowly these days). This week, we'll look at a high fantasy novel set in a fascinating version of Atlantis…

Shadows of Atlantis

Atlantis is an idyllic paradise where citizens are meant to live in alignment with nature and reach their highest potential. They have thrived for thousands of years, powering their cities by feeding mindlight donations to the Crystal Grid, which connects the people psychically. But the Grid has been infiltrated by shadows-terrifying parasite creatures that stimulate and feed off the negative emotions of humans. They have caused an epidemic called the madness. Shadows-of-Atlantis-ecover There are those, however, who have been born with a gene, that when awakened, have been able to unlock mystical powers once believed to be the birthright of all humans. D'Vinid, a dejected musician, has better things to think about, and yet he is accused of being one of them. When he meets Brigitte, who has come to Atlantis from the dreamclans, a chain of events is set in motion that reveals he has a much larger role to play. He is soon forced to face his own awakening with the shocking realization that Atlantis could be experiencing the end of its days.

My Review: 4 Stars

I LOVED this version of Atlantis. It's definitely a very high fantasy concept, with its futuristic technology that goes far beyond basic medieval devices. The "hoverboard-like" devices in this story immediately brought to mind Back to the Future, but with a touch of Tony Hawk thrown in. A whole lot of fun! The character of D'Vinid was well-written, as were most of the supporting characters. I found Brigitte to be just a tad too "feminine" (the clichéd femininity, rather than a real human woman) for my tastes. While she never actually simpered or fluttered her eyelashes, it came close. I also HATED the "lovers destined to be reunited despite forbidden love" concept, but that's just me. I tend to take a much more pragmatic view toward romance and love. The world in which the story is set was highly detailed and vivid, and I could see most of Atlantis in my mind's eye as I read. Well done to the author for painting a graphic picture of this fantastical world. There were a lot of complex elements, some of which bordered on over-complicated. The "grids" and "crystals" were interesting, but there was a lot of over-explaining of some elements and not enough detail on others. I had to drop a star mainly because of this. The book's ending had no climax to it. I was waiting for a big build-up and dramatic scene at the end, but it just sort of slipped into the end with more of a whimper than a bang. However, all in all, the book was a work of art, one definitely worth reading! If you want a fresh take on the Atlantis myth, this is a solid choice.

Here's a Taste:

Music began. Atlantean classical music was designed to weave the delicate harmonies of nature and emulate frequencies from the universal spheres. It had evolved in modern times to a more primal reminder of human existence, with multi-layered rhythmic pulses as its basis. It had become popular at revelries to feature the dark, grooving textures of percussive instruments run through resonance amplifiers. The dance style to this tribal heartbeat music was an individualized expression of character and personal power. D’Vinid, like all dabrina players, studied classical music. His unique musical contribution in his day was to run his instrument through the same resonance amplifiers to modulate universal frequencies. The ensuing melodic textures created a juxtaposition over the fierce pulsing rhythms. His legendary ingenuity had started a trend, and he was well known as the inventor of the fusion. He struggled with his vow to avoid the Watchers as he fiddled with the dabrina peg he now wore around his neck. They knew him all too well. His thirst to play for the gathering courtiers tugged at his every step. But if he played, he would willingly offer himself to Pan’s plan. The last thing he wanted was to be in King Kyliron’s sights. His desire for this not to occur far outshone his desire to play music. The garden had been set up with swirling lights and long, draping streamers to disorient revelers and give the feeling of walking in dreamsight. Revelries were a cultural mainstay all through Atlantean history. They believed it to be their birthright as humans to enjoy the pleasures of sensory perception, while reaching for the bliss of higher consciousness. They had found the best way to do this was through revelries. D’Vinid wandered aimlessly, pacing through the gardens in unsettled thought. He lowered his head to avoid laughing courtiers as they chased through the garden pathways. He thought perhaps an elixir would soothe his torment. Just as he had the thought, the path emptied into a small patio where a mixologist had set up a portable case of tiny glass vials. Some of the courtiers were relaxing on cushions around the woman’s tiny costumed form. She had a painted face which glowed in the twinkling lights, and an intricate, feathered head-dress. Her eyes landed directly on D’Vinid as he appeared on the patio. She gestured a delicate hand toward an empty cushion. The other courtiers gazed up at him with eager eyes and mimicked her gesture, urging him to join in their intoxication. “What is your pleasure?” she asked in a sing-song voice. “Are you sad and lonely?” She waved her hand over the vials, pushing their tops gently to make a fragile chiming sound as their various glass shapes clinked together. “Do you need me to slip you a feeling of sexual arousal? Are you longing to see the other side? Or perhaps you need some excitement and adrenalin!” D’Vinid carefully thought of his answer. Pan had the best elixir mixologists, and any feeling he wished to have, she would deliver. “I need to not care.” Her expression darkened. “This is a specific feeling you ask for. You have many things haunting your thoughts. Do you wish to forget? I can give you temporary amnesia.” One of the courtesans rubbed his thigh and leaned in to whisper in his ear. “Go for arousal. I will help you forget.” She giggled and fell back, landing in the arms of the man behind her, who caught her up in a greedy kiss.

About the Author:

MARA POWERS is an American Gen X’er who discovered the mystery of Atlantis at sixteen, and has researched it avidly ever since. Hailing from a literary family, she has always been a free spirit, living a life of adventure in pursuit of her many creative talents. Her travels have enhanced her love of words, and gifted her with experiences, life observations and characters to weave into her stories. She regularly migrates between Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, Northern Colorado, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Austin, Texas. Find the book on Amazon: Watch the YouTube Video Trailer: Check out her Author Page: Connect with her on Facebook: Tweet at her: Check out her Instagram: Google+