Atlantis Rising by Alyssa Day

Atlantis Rising by Alyssa Day (Warriors of Poseidon, Book 1)
Atlantis Rising by Alyssa Day (Warriors of Poseidon, Book 1)

The heroine

Riley Dawson is a social worker with a special gift. She’s an empath, able to link minds with warriors who seem to have appeared out of the water.

The hero

Conlan, high prince of Atlantis, has spent the last seven years under hideous torture by Anubisa, daughter of Chaos and goddess of the vampires. When he returns home, he discovers that the Trident of Poseidon, the instrument of his ascension to the throne, has been stolen.

The setup

Conlan surfaces from the depths of Atlantis in search of the stolen Trident when he rescues Riley from danger … and realises that she’s an empath. Their mental and emotional connection is overwhelming, but Conlan knows that, when he ascends, his duty requires him to submit to an arranged marriage.

And other stuff

Seven–count them: seven–warriors, an Atlantean priest who’s having trouble with his vow of celibacy, blood and guts

Things that made me go, Mmm…

Did I mention seven warriors? The Seven are charged with keeping Conlan safe. It’s obvious that they’ll get their own stories, too. They’re also slated for arranged marriages, but what’s the bet that’ll all get thrown out the window? :-D

Riley has balls. And she’s shown as having courage right from the beginning when she intervenes in a violent domestic dispute. Even when she’s overwhelmed with her feelings for Conlan, she doesn’t magically lose her brains or her backbone. We need more heroines like her in romance.

“So, bring a lot of women here, do you?”

He stopped pacing and whirled around to face her. “What? What are you talking about? I haven’t been to this house in more than a decade. It belongs to my brother.”

She nodded. “It figures. Like brother, like brother, right? You’re just a couple of good old boys who kidnap women and drag them to your evil lair.”

“Are you on some sort of medication?”

*snort*

Things that made me go, Huh?

While I liked Riley’s character, she does one very stupid thing that leads to some pretty bad things. Of course, a safe house without a peep hole doesn’t exactly make sense, either.

The dialogue was hit and miss for me. The switching between old-fashioned, formal language and modern vernacular is mentioned a few times in the book, and there’s even a funny scene where one of the warriors is teased about his old-fashioned speech. But sometimes the switching doesn’t always come across smoothly. Also, the dialogue gets very wordy at times, too obviously acting as exposition.

Conlan supposedly endures seven years of unimaginable torment, but he’s very quick to respond emotionally and physically to Riley. I expected more angst, more pain, more … well, recovery. The snappy banter, while enjoyable, sometimes seems dissonant given the situation that the characters are in.

Things that made me go, Argh!

The resolution was a little too deus ex machina for me. I would have liked more foreshadowing.

I’m not too clear on the mythology. Some things are expounded on too much and others not enough. A lot of characters are introduced even though they only play a minor part in this story. I would have preferred that they were mentioned only peripherally.

Quinn, Riley’s sister, annoyed the bejeezus out of me, although she almost redeemed herself during her scene alone with Alaric. Almost.

The Verdict

This is an intriguing series with some dishy heroes and, so far, strong female characters. The action is well paced, and the villains are truly menacing. I’m not absolutely compelled to buy the next book, but I’m curious enough about how everyone turns out–particularly Alaric, the high priest–to put it in my TBR list. If you’re a fan of Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood (for example, this one or this one) or Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters, Atlantis Rising is worth a read.

This book is first in a continuing series. Click here for an excerpt (registration required).

Note: This post was originally published on October 16, 2007.

Where you can buy this book

AUSTRALIA: Dymocks | Ever After | Galaxy | Intrigue | Rendezvous | Romance Direct | Romantic Reflections | Siren | More (no online catalogue) Psst … where are these stores?
DIGITAL BOOKS: Dymocks | Amazon (Kindle)
WORLDWIDE: Amazon US | Amazon UK

What do you think?