"Atlantis Unleashed," Alyssa Day

Pros: Interesting take on the world—unusual approach to the Atlantis myth
Cons: Make sure you read the whole series in order; some seemingly inconsistent behavior
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Review book courtesy of Penguin Group.

 

Alyssa Day’s Atlantis Unleashed is book three of her Warriors of Poseidon series. I ended up reading it first because, well, that happens when you’re a reviewer (and it works out fine for some series). However, I highly recommend reading this series in order. There’s a lot going on, and it’s tough to get your bearings if you don’t have the background from the other books. In particular, in part Atlantis Unleashed feels a bit like a bait-and-switch if you aren’t accustomed to paying attention to all of the characters at once—early on it introduces a major development for Brennan, one of Poseidon’s warriors, but then he’s out of the picture for the rest of the book, presumably waiting his turn for his own installment. Since I’d just been introduced to him, it was jarring to have his story vanish in the middle like that.

But, as often happens, I’m getting ahead of myself! First, the concept:

Eleven thousand years ago, Poseidon’s warriors swore an oath to protect humanity from those who stalked the night. Now those powerful forces are uniting. So are two souls who are all that stand between justice and eternal darkness…

Vampires & werewolves have come out of the darkness and are taking control of various parts of the world. Plenty of them don’t have humanity’s best interests at heart, and the Atlantean warriors are determined to protect humans. Each warrior, however, appears to have a destined soulmate—a human woman with unusual psychic abilities that haven’t been seen since ages past. For Justice, a warrior who has spent months in the mind-shattering company of the vampire goddess Anubisa, that woman is Keely—an archaeologist who can read objects by touch. Little does she know that she wears one of his very own carvings around his neck, and she can see his face when she touches it.

Together, the two of them must find the fabled lost star of Artemis and restore Justice’s fragile sanity. Unfortunately, there’s a jungle full of vampires between them and what they seek…

 

It isn’t Alyssa Day’s fault that I’m getting a bit tired of two current romance novel tropes, but well, I am: vamps & werewolves coming out of the closet in droves, and the instant-one-true-mate phenomenon. I don’t think she brings anything stunningly new to these two plots, but neither are they just the same as every other writer’s take on things. Certainly if you aren’t tired of the general concept yet, I think you’ll find her version interesting.

The concept of warriors of Atlantis protecting humans, however, is a bit different, particularly since their god Poseidon isn’t just a silent figurehead: he’s a literal force and power in their lives. Although he sometimes comes across as a bit of a deus ex machina, as well—although I guess that’s an inherent danger in including the gods themselves in a story!

Although Justice had an explanation for why the men of Atlantis are sometimes-casual in their speech and manner and sometimes-formal, it ended up feeling a bit inconsistent instead.

All of that said, the most important thing is that Keely and Justice are interesting, strong characters with plenty of chemistry. Keely’s ability to read objects is a bit unusual in how it operates, and Justice is starting to discover new abilities related to his own Nereid heritage. While the world concept didn’t immediately grab me, the characters did, and more than made up for it. I definitely wanted to read on to find out what happened to them, how Justice regained his sanity, and how hot the sex would be between them!

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