23 August 2013

{Book Review} Atlantis Rising

By: Me My Shelf And I | 23 August 2013 at 12:01 AM | | | | | | | |

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Atlantis Rising
Author: T.A. Barron
Pages: 384
Publisher: Philomel
Release Date: September 26, 2013
Rating: 3 Birds

From T.A. Barron, the New York Times bestselling author of the Merlin Saga, comes a new fantasy world about the origins of Atlantis, perfect for fans of The Lord of the Rings, Eragon, The Beyonders and Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
In a magical land called Ellegandia, a young boy named Promi scrapes by, stealing pies, cakes and sweets to survive. But little does he know that his country is a pawn in an ages-old war between good and evil, battled both in the spirit realm and in the human world. Harboring secrets of his own, Promi teams up with a courageous girl named Atlanta and the two vow to save their land—and each other—no matter the cost. But their vow has greater repercussions than they ever could imagine—in fact, it may just bring about the creation of Atlantis, an island cut off from the rest of the world, where magic reigns supreme.
With his trademark action, adventure, and poignancy,master of fantasy, T.A. Barron explores a new mythology—the origin of the legendary isle of Atlantis. This book is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan, Brandon Mull, Christopher Paolini and, of course, T. A. Barron’s Merlin Saga.

A cute novel for middle grade lovers and children. Atlantis Rising was a cute novel, yet highly predictable. I found it to be a mix of Disney's Aladdin and a new, inventive take on the legend of Atlantis. It had some thoughtful morals woven through the story, as well. Younger audiences will find Atlantis Rising appealing, especially those who enjoy fantasy of a old myth and comical bickering characters.

The world that the story revolves around is a strange little place on the coast of Africa called Ellegandia. There the land is ruled by a Divine Monk, a relentless High Priestess, and a Deputy High Priest, whose eyes are filled with dark plans for power. The forest is in danger along with the creatures that inhabit them. And the precious life source, the starstone, is in danger when it falls into the wrong hands. I know it sounds like Atlantis doesn't have anything to do with the story, but it does. It's a building factor. But the title is one of the things that makes the novel predictable towards the middle to the end of the book.

Right off the bat, the novel introduces Promi, the pastry thief whose knife never misses its target. If there is only one thing that you will remember after finishing the novel, it is that Promi loves sweets more than anything. It is the only thing the boy lives on. Chapter headers are devoted to his love of sweets, stealing sweets, how they are made. The novel makes a huge focus on it as well, and sugarcoats the details. The point is clear as day and gets a little silly how much the reoccurring reminder of Promi's undying love for cakes and pastries is a large focus of the story. Atlanta, the girl who fights to protect the forest, and Promi's partner in crime. Together, they keep each other alive. And then there is the comedic and snarky little kermuncle named Kermi. The back and forth banter between him and Promi were my favorite parts of the book.

I did happen to enjoy the mystery female journal entries before some chapters began. Though the story arc can be very predictable, the mystery of this unknown female, who I thought was Atlanta for the longest time, was one of the few story elements that kept Atlantis Rising interesting.

The world-building was fun, and the map in front of the book is enjoyable to look at the further you read. SUPER FOREWARNED SPOILER ALERT for anyone wanting to read the book when it comes out -- don't spoil it by looking at the map in the back!!!!!! There's magic and mythical creatures that roam the forest, a spirit realm, and some funky names and holidays in this story. Definitely fun for younger audiences, especially when you factor in some of the cheesy parts.

Though the novel is almost 400 pages, Atlantis Rising does move at a fast pace. Middle grade readers will enjoy the world that T. A. Barron has put together, and even find his twist on the Atlantis myth invigorating.

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Courtney

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