Atlantis Unmasked, by Alyssa Day

21 Jan

In compliance with FTC guidelines, be aware that I bought this book.

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Atlantis Unmasked, by Alyssa Day

The latest entry in Ms Day’s Warriors of Poseidon series, Atlantis Unmasked follows Atlantean warrior Alexios and rebel fighter Grace—who just happens to be a descendant of Diana the Greek goddess. If that seems a bit confusing, it’s because this is one of those series where reading previous installments is pretty much required—between recurring characters and on going story arcs, a newcomer to this universe would scratch her head a number of times while reading this one.

In other words: beware for series spoilage, ye Warriors of Poseidon virgins out there!

(For those readers out there who don’t mind jumping in the middle, you crazy people you, I’ll add a brief primer to the universe after the blurb, as well as linking to my reviews of the previous titles at the end of this one.)

Humdrum back cover blurb ahoy:

Poseidon’s warriors swore an oath eleven thousand years ago 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 the eternal darkness…

A warrior scarred…

Alexios survived two years of unspeakable torture at the hands of a vampire goddess. Now he’s been ordered to team up with a beautiful warrior and take on the most dangerous mission of his life: retrieving the Vampire’s Bane. Without it, Atlantis can’t ascend to the surface and take its rightful place in the world. But when evil threatens, will Alexios be led by duty—or his heart?

A descendant of Diana…

Grace is part of the rebellion against the vampires and shapeshifters trying to take over her world. She is deadly with her bow, because when she takes aim, she never misses her target. But suddenly she’s focused on a damaged Atlantean warrior who sees her as a weapon, not as a woman. When thousands of lives are on the line, will passion rule or will her aim still be true?

When two worlds collide… Atlantis is unmasked.

Quick and dirty set up for the world: Atlantis exists (duh, right?) but has remained hidden from the surface—and the humans who inhabit it. Until now, that is.

Ten years before the series starts, vampires and shapeshifters (who also have always existed, by the by) have finally made their presence known to the world, demanding protection as minorities in a world overpopulated by humans. Atlantis is not quite ready to make its existence known—partly because it’s not easy to prove your country exists when it’s hidden by magic, and talking prematurely may mean ending up in the funny farm. Or dead.

Fast-forward to the present. Now that some of the magical impossible beings are free to run around, they are aiming to—you guessed it—take over the world. Not that this is a new goal, you understand, only now they can pretty much go at it openly. The Atlanteans, though, continue to work behind the scenes (that funny farm thing) to keep humanity safe…

They are joined by a number of other elements that have similar goals, and find and join each other in a series of sorta-kinda alliances—specific shapeshifting groups (see “Wild Hearts in Atlantis” and “Shifter’s Lady”), covens of witches (see Atlantis Awakening) to psychics (okay, empaths—see Atlantis Rising). This conglomerate of disparate beings is loosely called “the rebel forces” in the series. Into this setup, Alexios and Grace are paired up by their respective PTB to jointly train a small cell of new recruits. Shenanigans, obviously, follow.

Things that bothered me:

a) Too many of the previous story lines are brought back. Sometimes this makes sense because one storyline advances the other, or a particular character’s development affects another character’s story arc, etc. Generally speaking, that is not the case for this novel. A number of secondary characters who make brief—or not-so-brief—appearances contribute very little to nothing to the action. They do provide reason for some truly great dialogue but the narrative…? Not so much.

b) Too many new storylines pop up. For example, suddenly the Fae—who, as far as I recall, hadn’t appeared before in the series—want their own piece of the action (or a piece of something, we are given but a glimpse). Then there is new/old rebel Sam and his so very resourceful friends—in fact I wondered how come none of them are already part of the rebel forces; we see them kick more ass with far less exertion than say, Grace, rebel force commander and protagonist of the story.

c) One of the few realistic bases for conflict between Grace and Alexios—namely, whether or not his psyche had been broken or twisted by his torture at Anubisa’s hands—is made much of for something like three fourths of the story and then…pooff! All gone.

What I liked:

Despite all my previous snark, there are several engaging characters in the novel, and a lot of the dialogue is simply hilarious. I kept reading, and laughing out loud at several of the exchanges, even as the critic in me kept tally of annoyances. That right there is some good and honest storytelling, as far as I’m concerned.

Atlantis Unmasked gets 6.75 out of 10, and I’m still in for the ride—I’ll be reading the next installment, Atlantis Redeemed when it comes out this March.

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Edited to add links in the body of the review and to clarify: this is the sixth installment, but only the fourth full-length novel. Reading order:

Atlantis Rising

“Wild Hearts in Atlantis” (Wild Thing anthology)

Atlantis Awakening

“Shifter’s Lady” (Shifter anthology)

Atlantis Unleashed (my review here)

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