Friday, November 7, 2008

Warriors of Atlantis, by Alyssa Day, Series Review

I’m really enjoying this series. It’s a work in progress, so it’s yet another one of those series where I need to write down the date of the next publication and dial back my impatience. Not until June. Arggh. Happily though, books 6 and 7 are out within a couple of months of that, so this time next year I should be gorged and sated on Day’s gorgeous defenders of civilization as we know it.

I hinted earlier that there was a comparison to be made with the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Another cadre of warriors, yadda yadda. When I say that they compare favorably, one of the things I mean is that this is not a copycat series. At stake is THE FUTURE OF MANKIND. Compared to the BDB, where it’s the fate of this small, mostly unknown population of vampires, and you’d think that the Poseidon adventures would feel darker and heavier, but no. I’m not sure why, but for me at least, the BDB books are still more immersive and resonant.

I’d say Day’s style is closer to Kresley Cole’s with the plethora of different magics and the mythological mash-up. Roman gods, vampires, were-creatures, witches, empaths, and who knows what else on the horizon, share Day’s universe. I never really lose sight of the notion that this is a work of fiction, so the scary stuff doesn’t haunt me the way it does with the BDB.

Now, this is not to say that Day’s books are inferior to Ward’s – they’re just different. They’re quicker, less dense reads. The warriors are less entangled in each others’ lives. The books so far have little or no set up for the follow-ons, so in that respect they are more stand-alone – we just get little hints as to some of the warriors’ individual burdens without going into too much foreshadowing. I’m also really adoring Day’s heroine’s; they are enormously powerful in their own right and thus worthy partners to the hunky heroes.

I also love authors that can lace their characters with a right touch of humor. In Day’s case, the humor isn’t as constant of a factor, like you might find with Jennifer Crusie or Loretta Chase, or even Kresley Cole, but little touches are deftly applied at perfect moments:

From Shifter’s Lady, a male human/jaguar, internal narrative:


Pleasant dinner.

No pouncing on the Atlantean.

Marie glanced back over her shoulder and smiled at him, and he stumbled, his inherent feline grace deserting him. Screw that. There was definitely going to be pouncing.

And from Atlantis Awakening-- paraphrased, because my books are temporarily misplaced (children!—grrrr!)-- there is a scene where Erin (the heroine) meets Quinn and Jack. When Ven (the hero) and Jack start a macho conversation about Erin’s mated status, she knocks them both on their asses with a little burst of power. Their response (and Quinn’s: “I think I’m going to like you!”) are really entertaining.

OK then, without further ado, allow me to present the next installment in my spreadsheet series:

Item Warriors of Poseidon Black Dagger Brotherhood
Premise Elite band of warriors tasked with protecting humans from vampires and shapeshifters Elite band of warriors tasked with protecting their own race from specific enemies of the race.
Sponsoring Deity Poseidon, duh The Scribe Virgin
The Big Bad Anubisa, daughter of Chaos, goddess of death, immortal, evil, vampirish. Has a particular vendetta against the royal family of Atlantis. Super creepy. The Omega, apparently a sibling of some sort to the Scribe Virgin. Unredeemedly evil, he uses humans in his war against vampires by excising the individual's heart, soul, and blood, and replacing it with some essence of himself. This seems to be a singularly unpleasant process, details of which are thankfully left largely to the reader's imagination
Mating Stuff Beginning with Conlan, the warriors begin finding their soul-mates, the only person in the world with whom a soul-meld is possible. The soul-meld enables one partner to read every significant event in the other's life. The soul meld has been the stuff of legends until now. Bonded mates very nearly cannot survive the death of the mate, and males are fiercely territorial. No indication that the individuals are pre-ordained, or that only one mating is possible, but the males typically recognize their mate on some level instantly. Can be married without being bonded.
What do they eat? Normal stuff. Require the blood of an opposite-sex vampire (not human) for sustenance and strength. Will die without it, but may survive on human or animal blood for a time. Also regular food, and for the warriors, enormous quantities of it.
Special Powers Can manipulate water, ice, etc. Can travel at high speed in mist form (with limited ability to carry stuff). Some can manipulate other elements, such as wind. Atlanteans are forbidden to call Fire. Some individuals have additional magic, mostly exhibited as sort of lightning bolts lobbed at the enemy. Can dematerialize from one place to another. In short hops, this kind of looks like flying. Super-rapid healing. Can manipulate human minds, wipe memories, etc. Strongest vampires can also probe other vampires' minds. Vishous has additional powers as a result of his maternal line.
Kryptonite Not really, but if sufficiently shielded from water sources, cannot use their power. Sunlight & salt water. Cannot dematerialize through steel.
What about the women? Riley, Quinn and Erin, in different ways, have extremely rare and impressive powers that have not been seen by Atlanteans in 2000 years. Their appearance now seems to signal a prophecy involving rising again, IKYWIM.* Meh.**
Does anyone go off to die alone in a cave? So far, so good, but it ain't over yet Yes.

*No, Betsy, the answer is NOT "The South."

**OK, the "meh" isn't really fair, but really, the heroines are nothing special in the BDB. I like that Day's are more equal in powers and partnership.

That's it. Go read 'em. Good, clean fun.

Series Reading Order:
1. Atlantis Rising
2. Wild Thing (anthology/short: Wild Hearts in Atlantis -- re-issue in mass market (ie, cheaper) format in Jan 2009)
3. Atlantis Awakening
4. Shifter (anthology/short: Shifter's Lady)
5. Atlantis Unleashed (due June 2009)
6. Atlantis Unmasked (due July 2009)
7. Atlantis Redeemed (due fall 2009)



Anonymous said...

You know, every time I read one of your reviews I am reminded that 1) I don't read enough romance 2) I miss reading more romance


Nicola O. said...

Well heck, girl, it's not like a)there aren't enough good romance books in the world and b)you have a problem with reading lots of books... so.... I'd say the solution is well within your grasp. ;)

Carolyn Crane said...

Hey, great spreadsheet! I love it. I have never read this series, but it sounds cool, and I'm very happy to see that the women are more like peers.

Have you read Lara Adrians series? It's like the BDB, but the heroines start out really promising, but then, poof, they're just as meh as BDB heroines, and just as cloistered.

That excerpt does sound like Kresely. I love here, too!

Nicola O. said...

Carolyn, yep, I did a spreadsheet on Lara Adrian, too. LOL. Click on the "spreadsheet" tag in this post to find it, or if you look at my (way too long) list of tags, Lara Adrian is in there somewhere.

JenB said...

I own Atlantis Rising! It's somewhere on the Shelf of Doom.

Ok, definitely moving this one up a few hundred notches. Maybe even my next read!

Betsy O'Donovan said...

> Their appearance now seems to signal a prophecy involving rising again, IKYWIM.*

You know you can't post this without making me giggle at the double entendre.

Nicola O. said...

And again, and again...


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