22 June 2009

ARC Review: Alyssa Day - Atlantis Unmasked

~click on the cover to buy a copy~

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (July 7, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425223221
ISBN-13: 978-0425223222

Poseidon’s warriors swore an oath eleven thousand years ago to protect humanity from those who stalked the night. Yet when a woman with an ancient Gift dares to claim the heart of one of Poseidon’s fiercest warriors, the world teeters on the knife’s edge between desire and 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: to retrieve 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 shape-shifters 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 overrule, or will her aim still be true?

When two worlds collide…Atlantis is unmasked.

One morning, about six weeks ago, I opened my e-mail box and there I found a wonderful surprise. An e-mail from Alyssa Day, if I wanted to review Atlantis Unmasked. Well, I didn’t have to think twice about that question and I enthusiastically replied back that I was more than willing. So about ten days later I received a package with not only an ARC of Atlantis Unmasked but also a copy of Atlantis Unleashed and a bag, all signed! Now this maybe normal for everyone else but where I live it is a rare commodity to have a signed edition of a book on your shelves. I have been spending a lot of time in Atlantis the last few weeks, preparing myself for the latest edition in this series and then it became time I cracked the spine of Atlantis Unmasked…

With the events of Atlantis Unleashed still fresh in my memory I was swiftly emerged again in the ongoing plot of the series. The battle was increasing and more warriors were called to fight for their believes and alliances were forged between various groups. The Rebellion and their cause stepped in to the spotlight and it embarks the reader on a new adventure. Not only did the plot found a quick take off, there were also moments in Atlantis that went from petrifying to heart rendering and the romance, oh how Alexios and Grace endeared me to no end.

Grace Havilland is independent, possesses a keen intellect, is quick witted, a descendent from the Goddess Diana and a warrior woman to the core. Her tough attitude is born from loss and she gripped me in how she dealt with it all. Grace is the kind of woman who is part fighter, ready to carry her share in the war against the vampires but at the same time is still feminine enough to appreciate a male such as Alexios. Not only for his looks, she also sees beyond the beauty and scars to find a man that triggers all her personal buttons.

Alexios, how to explain Alexios? He is earnest and sincere but there lives a fear inside him that he is twisted, broken and wrong and it festers inside him like an infection. At first I thought his past would play an important function with many flashbacks, and while both his body and psyche are left scarred it is the here and now that is the most important. Alexios is a warrior to the bone, pure primitive male, deeply committed to protect others, secure in his own strength and never loses control. Yet confronted with Grace he can go from clumsy and charming to complete neanderthal in a heartbeat and in this he effortlessly wrapped me around his finger. The two extremities make him approachable and all I wanted was that happily ever after. That his life would hold something worth living for besides fighting for the human race.

In the early pages Grace was the classic example of the forbidden fruit for Alexios. Or was she really that forbidden? When they are placed together in a fort to train new soldiers there is no escape. Alexios made a vow yet he also had very much sex on the brain when it came to Grace. A ravenous sensuality is build between the love duo and it increased in to a tangible force as the story continued. A push-pull motion that nurtured a cadence which became a tantalizing rhythm. There is nothing more seductive to see a man in complete control over himself and to see him loose it and watch as he struggles how to deal with it all. It is like all of the senses are in a round-the-clock state of torturous pleasure and that single woman can bring relief as something eternal blossoms between the love-set pair.

Atlantis Unmasked is very much plot and character driven with the romance like a glowing thread throughout it all. The soul-meld gives the romance impact and depth between Alexios and Grace. They form the heart of this story while everything around them goes amiss. With the plot advancing not only do I get to meet up with previous characters, there are also a few new ones introduced. Like the Fae brothers of the High Seelie court, the go-to second in command of Grace named Sam and a mountainous man named Tiny. The cast gets expanded with intricate characters but never does Alyssa Day forget those who were there from day one. Especially Aleric and Quinn as secondary characters have an impact. Not that they are overly present in the story, but what was picked up by me made a lasting impression, and I wonder - keep waiting and devour every bit of information revealed.

The acerbic bantering is, as always, present between the warriors and after 5 novels it is as much a trademark of Alyssa Day as the wonderful world building. There is a rich display of emotional wrought scenes alternating with quirky humor and witty banter keeping it intense to read but at the same time the pages flew through my fingers. I mean, how does Alyssa Day come up with terms like “Undead People magazine” it just appeals to the humor reflexes! It is with comments like these she elevates sometimes precarious situations and has me laughing out loud.

There were tears, there was laughter, there were moments my heart soared and there were moments my heart feared for what was to come. There is much in store for the future of Atlantis, both good and bad but I know what I will be doing on the next release day of a Warriors Of Poseidon novel!

In Atlantis Unmasked Alyssa Day goes all out, steering this series to new possibilities, old fuses with the new and I had a blast reading it.

Quote Alexios:
“I know you’re my prince and all, but if you’re going to start reciting poetry about her eyes, I’m out of here,” Alexios said, pulling an exaggerated grimace. “There’s only so much a self-respecting warrior can take.”

Quote Grace:
“Can you read minds?”she blurted out. A slow sexy smile spread over his face and every nerve ending in her body wanted to sing and dance. Somehow, those sexy eyes and that sinful smile, combined with the sheer virile presence of the man, caused the scars to fade into insignificance.

Quote Alexios:
She laughed, and the sound rang in his ears like Atlantean shell chimes. Liquid, melodious, and so rich in tone that he wanted to instantly become a funnier man so he could make her laugh all the time.
He was in seriously deep trouble.

Quote Grace:
If a poem could dance off the pages of a book and wield daggers and a sword, the sight of it might come close to describing Alexios in motion.

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  1. I REALLY need to get this series!!!

  2. Hey Leontine! Lovely review. The story sounds good!

    BTW, you lucky girl! Getting your paws on all these awesome ARCs ;)

  3. Hi Mandi,
    With every book Alyssa takes you more into her world and some hawt hawt warriors...with the last one she introduced to Fae brothers and my tongue was lolling out of my mouth!

    Hi Barbara,
    I have a few ARC's to review for ROOB but I have received Alyssa Day and Judith James ARC via my blog. I love to ARC review but I also have my own TRP...I'm in the final pages of Patti O'Shea at the moment and then it is off to my Reading Challenge book for this month, bk 3 in Bar Cynster series by Stephanie Laurens and then...oh yesssss, then it concurring my book mountain :D

  4. Leontine! That was an absolutely stunning review. Wow!

    I am so seriously glad that purchased this series on your recommendation. It's guaranteed to not disappoint. I can't wait to dive into Atlantis.

    You lucky duck! Ms. Day chose very well when bestowing you with an ARC. ;)

    (((hugs))) VFG

  5. I have the first three books in this series, I better get started on them before I get to far behind the releases. Thanks for writing a review that reminded me to get my butt in gear!

  6. Hey VFG,
    Go in with a survival package containing plenty of munch food, fan, VFG approved stamp and something liquid...I promise you'll need them all.

    And yes, I was very lucky the day Alyssa Day strolled over my blog, she has a very warm and funny personality and I always love to talk to her on twitter :D

    Hi Donna,
    I had them on my shelves too for quite some time and I read them all these last 5 weeks or so. I just heard that Alyssa has a three book deal for her Warriors Of Poseidon series and a two book deal for a new UF series, So I think you've got a moment to catch up!

  7. Oooo thanks for the survival tips Leontine. I'll be sure to pack accordingly. *wink*

  8. Smokinhotbooks (K.C.)June 26, 2009 at 3:57 AM

    I am reading the second book and I don't know if it is just me, but I can't seem to get through it. Do the books get better? If I had to pick an Atlantis series I like Gena Showalter's.

    Awesome review!

  9. Hi K.C.
    For me the second book was the best one with Erin as the gem singer...loved that concept and what it brought to the story.

    The novels of Day have a wonderful consistency for me, a combination of the humor, characters and the world she is building from book one. The feel of Atlantis Unleashed is different then it predecessors because of Lord Justice but the basics of writing style, plot and character building along with the humor are still there. So K.C., I think that if the series is unable to capture you by the second book that the magic isn't going to happen with the third or fourth full length story ;S

    I have read The Nymph King of Gena Showalter and enjoyed it though I still have to read the other novels in this series… but what else is new *wink*


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