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Review: Shadow of Atlantis by Mara Powers

About the Book

Atlantis is an idyllic paradise where citizens are meant to live in alignment with nature and reach their highest potential. For thousands of years, they have powered their cities with a Crystal Grid fed by psychic mindlight. But the Grid has been infiltrated by parasitic shadows that feed off the negative emotions of humans – an epidemic called “the madness.”
 
D’Vinid, a dejected musician, is consumed by his personal problems. But when he meets Brigitte, who has arrived in Atlantis from the dreamclans, a chain of events is set in motion, showing D’Vinid he has an important role to play. He is among those born with a gene, that can unlock the mystical powers once believed to be the birthright of all humans. Soon he is faced with his own awakening, and the shocking realization that Atlantis could be experiencing the end of its days.

Review

I hadn't picked up a high fantasy book in a long time, and as someone who loves world-building and learning about new, fictional societies and cultures, that was a shame. Fortunately, this book did an excellent job in reinvigorating my interest in high fantasy, and it did it in such an interesting way.

The two main characters, with very different backgrounds, lead us through Poseidia, the capital city of Atlantis, a city that exists in peace due to a psychically charged grid system, that suddenly seems to be tearing at the seams. These two have separate, but connected fates that are divine in nature.

The use of multiple perspectives keeps the reader interested in this complicated, intertwining tale of magic, fate, and an underground resistance. We have Brigette and D'Vinid, whose voices are distinct and characters unique, and they do an excellent job in keeping the reader sympathetic and interested with this wildly high-stakes scenario.

For someone who wants to read a novel with all sorts of interesting background and world-building, this book is excellent. The author does an excellent job with pacing and keeping the reader from getting distracted or bored. The diction and descriptions of this beautiful environment are especially intriguing and really help to submerge the reader in a foreign land.

I especially enjoyed all of the names from different mythologies mixed into the book. It added an especially mystical element to the book that I'd never come across in any other novel. Also, the fact that one of the high mythological figures is named Belial and is a good character was really interesting. (For those of you who don't know, Belial is the name of a demon in popular Christian mythology.) She really turned all of the readers expectations on their heads (other than maybe for Pan who was as wily as he was in Greek mythos.)

If you are a lover of high fantasy, this is absolutely a book you should pick up and try out. The stakes are of biblical proportions and characters unique and intriguing. This book is not a waste of time.

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