Heart of Atlantis

Alyssa Day
December 2012, Paranormal Romance
Berkley, $7.99, 336 pages, Amazon ASIN 0425245772
Part of a series

Grade: D
Sensuality: Warm

Warning: There are series and mild book spoilers in the review.

I am starting to get a little tired of series that start out strong but fizzle their way down to a finale. For me, the Warriors of Poseidon started with a lot of good potential, but this series finale was almost insulting.

I am a sucker for a good angst story. The longer a couple has denied their feelings for one another, the better I usually like it! So Alaric, the celibate high priest of Atlantis, and Quinn, the human leader of the resistance, who have been in love since book one of the series but have been forced apart by their situations, were right up my alley! Alaric knows that Quinn is his destined mate, but how can a celibate priest have a mate? After years of trying to deny his feelings and keep away from Quinn, the danger surrounding her mounts to an unsurpassed level. The new bad guy has splashed Quinn’s face around the globe as the leader of the resistance and every vampire and baddie in the world now knows who it is they are aiming for. The danger that Quinn is in gives Alaric the excuse he needs to make a promise. He will not leave her side for her own protection. And if the magnetic pull of the soul meld takes them over, so be it.

When Quinn is still kidnapped, at least twice, while under Alaric’s protection, and the dome protecting Atlantis begins to crack, Alaric is pulled in two directions: Save the woman he loves but can never have, or lose his home, his family, and all his people. This choice leads Alaric to take an unprecedented step. He soul melds with Quinn in order to gain a power boost, but remains celibate so as not to lose his power and doom Atlantis. With danger and enemies popping up everywhere, Quinn and Alaric are pulled together again and again. Only once the world is safe can they be together. But the way things are going, that will never happen.

The love story between Quinn and Alaric was fine, but I think the author used up too much of their “story” in previous books and was left with too little of them for this one. As a result, the rest of the plot was a mish mosh of bad horror movie clichés and climatic battle after climactic battle. When the big baddie of the story was revealed, and their specific circumstances, I couldn’t believe the author was really trying to sell it. As if that weren’t enough, the portal the warriors had used for the entire series begins to go haywire through the world kidnapping all the former heroes and heroines of the series and depositing them in the doomed Atlantis. What, so they can all be together when the dome cracks and they all die? It even “changed its mind” at one point. It takes the Queen and heir to the throne to safety, then a few chapters later spits them back out in Atlantis after a brief stay at a beach in Hawaii. I really couldn’t tell if the author was trying to be serious or funny, but neither was working for me.

At one point midway through the book, the villain gets killed off. That was ok, there was another villain throughout the series that was left as a loose end, and Atlantis was still falling apart, so there was still tension left. But after the big climactic battle, the author still needed to fill a good thirty pages to make this a full book, so she felt the need to reincarnate the previously dead villain and have yet another climactic battle. Just when I thought the bad plot twists were over and we were going to get a nice extended happily ever after for all the Atlantean warriors I had grown to care for, she threw in this extra plot twist and got me to the point that I just wanted the story to end already.

And her final plot twist on how Alaric got out of his vow of celibacy and became a human lightbulb – which no one seemed to notice - was the topper for me. It was too simple and lacked any real explanation or emotion. The author would have been better off leaving out any one of the two or three “final” battles and delving into that more – the crunch of why Quinn and Alaric hadn’t been together for 8 books – so as to give meaning to the angst that the characters had endured.

To say I was disappointed in this final installment is an understatement. The author was sure to leave a minor character with a little bit of torment so as to be the starting point of a second series, but for me, that won’t be one I will take a chance on.

-- Louise VanderVliet

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