This is not the worst book I’ve ever read. But it was the review book that took the longest amount of time, bored me the most, and just about ruined all other reading for me. I couldn’t wait till it was done and yet adversely, couldn’t force myself to finish it. I had to assign pages to myself every night and then cut that page count – if I couldn’t read 50 pages, could I manage 25? It is with great relief that I set it down at last to write this review.
Elena Carter is an underwater archaeologist. She lost her father, also an archaeologist, to madness and water; he drowned while searching for Atlantis. She is far more practical, and doesn’t believe in anything she can’t see or touch or prove through science. Right now what she is seeing and touching is an ancient sunken ship. While surveying the sight – alone, in storm conditions – she sees a man apparently drowning. She races out to save him and thus seals her fate. For Orion is not just any man but a Prince of Atlantis. And he is enchanted by the fair Elena.
Orion is fighting slashers when Elena saves him. He spins an elaborate illusion so she does not know who – or what – he is, steals several kisses and sends her on her way with an ancient ring as a token of his esteem. But his gift is not the only one Elena has pulled from the sea. She has taken a gold coin from her expedition site. The sunken ship she is exploring was a tribute vessel for the god Melqart, a cruel and vengeful deity who does not take kindly to theft. He wants Elena to pay,and it is up to Orion and the Atlanteans to protect her – and the rest of the human race – from annihilation by flood. But is there any way for him to use this ruse as a way to bring Elena back to Atlantis with him forever?
I’d speak more here about the plot but why put you through that? It really didn’t make any sense. I’ll give some examples: Elena’s boss wishes to marry her. Why? Well, not for love. His parents are ready for him to settle down so he figures he can marry Elena, have a few brats and go on globe trotting while she is home with the kids. It made no sense to me since Elena is clearly married to her career (which requires extensive travel), and since his Catholic parents want him married to a Catholic girl. Does this man know so little about his own family that when he does something just to please them he can’t get it right? Moreover, this guy is rich and powerful and yet barely stirs when someone pulls a scam on him later. He just stands there stupidly and takes it. Emasculating powerful people seems to be a theme of the book. Melqart is shown to be a formidable god – from the point of view of the Atlanteans – on a regular basis. Yet Elena in the end defeats him so simply that it made the Atlanteans look like fools. It was the equivalent of having a native people fear a forest fire and having a European come up, sprinkle some water on it and poof! Problem solved. The same goes with a powerful witch who had the rest of Atlantis shaking in their boots – Elena’s “super power” enabled her to see the witch as a pathetic old women and be immune to the spells that had harmed so many.
It wasn’t just the plotting that was poor. The characterizations were pretty bad,too. Elena’s personality seems to rest on her career and her competence to face any situation. Yet her competence requires others to be complete fools and her career is made up of being excited about finding things like Arthur’s tomb and the buriel place of the great Alexander. Well, shoot, I’m no archeoligist but I’d be excited about finding those things too. Orion is presented as this near god like being – powerful, gorgeous, terrific lover and champion of all that is good. But that is not a personality – that’s just window dressing for what should be underneath. Which in this case appears to be family loyalty and an ability to fall in love with the biggest twit he has ever met.
What kept the book from being an F was the originality of the premise. We don’t get many books on Atlantis or sea dwellers and Ms. Irons at least didn’t burden us with yet another vampire or werewolf tale. Kudos to her for trying something different.
But that fact isn’t enough to make this book worth recommending. I’m afraid I have to suggest giving it a miss.