Review: Heart of Atlantis by Alyssa Day

Posted December 4, 2012 by Jen in 3 stars, Paranormal Romance, Rating B, Reviews Tags: , , ,

Heart of Atlantis
Author: Alyssa Day 
Release Date: Dec. 4, 2012
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
ISBN: #978-0425245774
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher

About the book:

Alaric, Poseidon’s High Priest, has made a vow to Quinn, the woman he loves and the leader of the Resistance: to save her friend Jack before his last bit of humanity has been drained. Should Alaric succeed, there’s one danger-he may lose Quinn to the love of the man whose life he saved…

What Im talking about:

I have been waiting for this story since the very first Warriors of Poseidon book, Atlantis Rising. Ms. Day has been building the case for our heroes, Alaric and Quinn, from the very start. They’ve had a lot to overcome, including the long-held belief that the High Priest of Atlantis must remain celibate, a war between vampires and human kind, and Quinn’s near-death experiences. I mention all of this to you because my expectations ran high going into this story! Not to mention, Heart of Atlantis is the final book in Ms. Day’s series about the hardened warriors of Atlantis. If you are like me, you always hate to see a series you love end, but sometimes, it needs to happen.

*NOTE* This review contains spoilers from the first seven books in this series.

The book begins with a prologue that relives some of the final moments in the previous book, Vampire In Atlantis, where in the heat of battle, Quinn’s most trusted advisor and closest friend, Jack (a tiger shifter), is killed. His human side was lost, but his tiger side remained. Quinn won’t leave Jack’s side and Alaric vowed never to leave Quinn’s side.

The trio journeyed to Mt. Fuji, Japan, to a quiet, hidden retreat. There they encountered a woman who claimed to be the spirit of the portal (the portal is the “gate” the Atlanteans can call up and use to move from place to place.) Alaric renounced his duties to Atlantis and Poseidon, the sea god himself. After six weeks of “recovering,” the group was attacked by flying monkey shifters. They also discovered that there was a pretender-to-the-throne, Ptolemy Reborn, who has the final jewel needed to raise Atlantis from the deep. He also appeared on national television, outing Quinn as the leader of the human resistance group, therefore putting her existing in peril. Knowing that they had to give up their seclusion, Quinn and Alaric made their way/s back into the world to protect the human race.

I hate to start my reviews on a negative note, but I feel I need to just put it out there… I was disappointed with Heart of Atlantis. The book itself is good; however, the Alaric/Quinn story line just didn’t have the emotional punch I anticipated and hoped for. One of the problems I had is that this book jumps right into the middle of the pre-existing storyline, so much so, that Heart of Atlantis felt like a continuation of Vampire in Atlantis and not its own book. There was no “set up,” or “getting to know you” phase at the beginning of the book. And since it’s been 1.5 years since that last story, I had forgotten much of what I read. Maybe if I’d reread Vampire in Atlantis, I’d have enjoyed this one more.

With that on the table, I will say that there were a lot of good parts in Heart of Atlantis. Alaric and Quinn do FINALLY give into their long-burning desires. Although the pair didn’t have the emotional intensity of earlier books, they shared passionate kisses and tender moments. I loved the scene when Alaric tells Quinn that he is the monster she should be afraid of – his confession of his need and desire for her is intense. As the story progresses, they open to each other more and more until they can reach the point to attempt the soul-meld, which is one of my favorite scenes in the book.

However, throughout most of the story Alaric really rubbed me the wrong way. He was too harsh and completely uncaring about anything but Quinn. And even in his passion for her, he came across too angry and possessive to actually love her. It was more like an unhealthy obsession. The perfect example was when he saved Quinn and they go to an artist’s loft to recover. Quinn saw hope and beauty in the artwork. Alaric wanted to blast the paintings. He couldn’t even rid himself of anger, hate and warring long enough to just enjoy Quinn and that moment.

While the romance was underwhelming for much of the book, the storyline with Ptolemy Reborn and the warriors, long-time nemesis, the vampire queen Anubisa was entertaining. The mysterious Ptolemy had nefarious plans and seemed pretty unstoppable, which kept my heart racing. I enjoyed watching the plot unfold and trying to figure out what was going on. The final battle between good and evil was also well played and exciting.

There were other small things, that as a long-time reader of the series, bothered me. One involved a scene with Poseidon and Alaric where Poseidon actually explains himself to Alaric. I felt this was completely out of character for the sea god. Another was the lack of discussion about the fact that Quinn is tied to a vampire via a blood bond. This is something fairly important, and unless I missed it, it wasn’t brought up at all. I went back and reread some of the second book (when this happened) to help me recall the details, but it would have been useful to have that briefly explained in this book. Also, the whole spirit of the portal storyline just didn’t work for me.

What I did like, and what I felt was the most emotionally intense part of the book was the interaction and goodbye between Jack and Quinn near the conclusion of the story. It was short and painful, but in a good way.

Finally, there were some lovely reunion scenes throughout the story, and primarily at the end of the book. It was a nice was to bring closure to the series. Although some of it was a little bit hokey, it was mostly sweet and satisfying for long-time readers. I also enjoyed the way in which Ms. Day ended the book.

Overall I feel let down by Heart of Atlantis. I think because I had built it up so much in my mind, it just couldn’t meet my expectations. The emotional component of what made Quinn and Alaric so explosive in the preceding books was missing in this, their story. The book began in the midst of intense actions without giving the reader any buildup. I wanted and needed more time with Quinn and Alaric when they weren’t already in the midst of war and experiencing such strong emotions.

With that said, there were some positive pieces, and it was satisfying to see everyone safe and sound and together. I really enjoyed the final battle scene and a couple other pieces I’m not going to mention because of spoilers. I also enjoyed the interactions between Quinn and Poseidon. Once again, the goodbye scene with Jack was difficult and sad, as it should have been.

In the end, Heart of Atlantis is a MUST read for fans of Ms. Day’s wonderful series. Hopefully you will find what you are looking for in this, the final tale from Atlantis.

My Rating:
Liked it, but I had some issues – recommend (B)

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One response to “Review: Heart of Atlantis by Alyssa Day

  1. Don’t you just hate it when you have enjoyed a series and you end up with let down later in the series? I will definitely have to give the series a try. It sounds like you have had a good time with it thus far, hence the expectations. I appreciate the spoiler warning too. I skimmed your review and picked out your overall opinion.