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Arcadia Awakens (Arkadien #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  3,667 Ratings  ·  379 Reviews
To New Yorker Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Mafia families and its reputation for murder and intrigue, is just that—exotic, and wholly unknown. But when tragedy strikes, she must travel there, to her family’s ancestral home, where her sister and aunt have built their lives and where centuries of family secrets await her. Once there, Rosa w ...more
Hardcover, 451 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Balzer + Bray (first published November 1st 2009)
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Oct 02, 2016 Kai rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Laini Taylor, Patrick Ness,Andrea Cremer, Stephenie Meyer and Sophie Jordan
Shelves: owned, underrated
“One day," she said, "I'll catch dreams like butterflies."
"And then what?" he asked.
"Then I'll put them between the pages of big, fat books and press them until they're words."

Arcadia Awakens is a series very close to my heart. There's so many things I love about it.
Imagine the most sarcastic female protagonist arriving in Sicily, her family deeply involved in mafia affairs and hiding darker secrets than she could imagine, all the while trying not to get killed or to fall in love with the enemy'
Emily May
Mar 30, 2012 Emily May rated it it was ok

This book managed to tick all of the boxes for the first few chapters (actually quite a few chapters because they're only short) and I was pleasantly surprised to find a young adult author that: a) doesn't think it's okay to be condescending when the audience is younger, and b) creates an atypical heroine who isn't all about drooling after her inevitable one true love. As a matter of fact, the author attempts to write quite prettily and sets the scene in the Sicilian countryside very well, you
Jessy MelodyofBooks
Hier geht's zu meiner Rezension:
the golden witch.
You know, you’d never think that, when putting together a story using the Italian Mafia and mythology would mix. Kai Meyer’s “Arcadia Awakens” not only makes it totally work, but literally casts a spell over his readers. This book is gorgeously written, with no stone left unturned, and makes for a very good first book in a trilogy. If you like your heroines awesome with a side of gumption, you definitely need to read “Arcadia Awakens”, ASAP.

For a first book, this part of the Arkadien trilogy is
Dec 17, 2011 Tatiana marked it as abandoned
Shelves: ya, urban-fantasy
As much as I want to know more about the difficult main character (she lies, steals and is fond of acting all emo), as much I like a good mafia story and as much as I adore an exotic locale (Sicily!), the writing (or the translation) is just not good enough. The sentences are choppy and don't flow together, the observations are often trite or unnecessary, the narrative is dull, distant and lifeless.

This might be the case of writing style incompatibility though.
Aug 25, 2016 Marya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-worlds

Prepare yourselves. A rant is coming.

Arkadien erwacht had a really good start, I mean, it quoted something from the Tintenwelt-trilogy, what's not to love about that? Plus the first chapter of the book was just so beautifully written, it hooked me right in. But from there, the book simply spiraled down. The writing style is plain and simple, and reminded me a lot of Twilight (which I just despise), and even though the book was written in German, the characters sometimes swear in English..and swe
Nj Sun
3,5 Sterne
Gestaltwandler und Mafia...Interessante Kombi.
Das Buch fand ich ganz nett, Teil 2 wird auf jeden Fall gelesen.
Oct 30, 2010 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kai Meyer Fans, Fantasy Liebhaber, junge Liebe, Gestaltwandler
It sounds like a mixture of „Romeo and Juliet“, „The Godfather“ and „Twilight“. A cheesy romance between two young people from families that are enemies for centuries now and all of that is overshadowed by a dark mysterious secret.

But “Arkadien erwacht” (Arkadien awakes) is more than you would expect first. While using old and known elements from familiar stories Kai Meyer manages successfully to create a new and thrilling world that the reader can fully sink in and let us fight along with the c
Feb 02, 2015 Katherine rated it really liked it
" And they both dove into the deep blue sea at the same time."

Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
Unlike most other readers, the premise of this book did nothing for me, simply because I've never had any sort of interest in the mafia which is a big theme in this book. I was a little unsure about the shapeshifter element, another big theme, as I've not yet read any books about shapeshifters that I've really enjoyed. Why did I read this then? I'm not all that sure - I guess I just wanted to see if this was any different to other young adult books at the moment and I'd read some great reviews. ...more
Dec 11, 2015 Antonia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
eher 3,5? keine Ahnung, ich bin hin und her gerissen... ich meine kai meyer hat schon deutlich bessere Bücher geschrieben (wolkenvolktrilogie!!!). das Konzept war (wie von ihm gewohnt) genial (ich meine hallo, griechische Mythologie und italienische mafia, da muss man erstmal drauf kommen) und insgesamt hat mir das Buch auch gut gefallen, aber es gab so ein paat Sachen, die mich echt gestört haben. ich hatte irgendwie echt Probleme mit Iole (schreibt man die so?), ich fand es wurde nur sehr ober ...more
Kim Lovee
Jan 21, 2015 Kim Lovee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"'Eines Tages', sagte sie, 'fange ich Träume ein wie Schmetterlinge.'
'Und dann?', fragte er.
'Lege ich sie zwischen die Seiten dicker Bücher und presse sie zu Worten.'
'Was, wenn jemand immer nur von dir träumt?'
'Dann sind wir beide vielleicht schon Worte in einem Buch. Zwei Namen zwischen all den anderen.'"
(Seite 11 )

Schon bei ihrer Ankunft auf Sizilien fuhlt sich Rosa wie in einem alten Film – der Chauffeur am Flughafen, der heruntergekommene Palazzo ihrer Tante und dann die Ger
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
2.5 stars.

This was...yeah. It hurt my brain trying to understand what the hell was going on here. I picked this up predominantly because the cover is GORGEOUS. Then I read the blurb, and was like "Mafia + shapeshifters? Uh, AWESOME." I was even more on board when I found out that this was originally written in German and translated to English a couple of years later, because I'm trying to read more translated works this year.

But this really didn't live up to my expectations. At the end of the d
May 25, 2012 Sylvia rated it it was ok
Ok this book seemed to have promise but I really don't know what happened to be honest. It took me forever to read, even though I was reading it a couple of chapters are day for a challenge, but in all honesty it really wasn't that captivating. I think it's because it has been translated form German to English and somewhere along the lines it lost soul. I really didn't feel connected to the characters and couldn't care less what happened to them. Then about 85% in there was finally some action a ...more
Aug 16, 2010 Janina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, fantasy
Don't think I'm going to pick this up again.

I so wanted to like the book and have been waiting eagerly for quite a while to read it, but neither the story nor the characters drew me in.
I'm glad I got it from the library and therefore didn't spend any money on it.

Kai Meyer can definitely do better, as he has already proven with The Water Mirror and Pirate Curse for example.

I only made it 50 pages into Kai Meyer's Arcadia Awakens. There is something off about the translation to me. Many of the phrases seem stilted and blunt. I have not read Meyer before; perhaps this is owing to style more than translation.

Still, I never got into the story or wrapped my head around the characters and, at this point, I don't need to. I have too much to read without devoting time to books that do nothing for me.

1 out of 5 stars.

- Review courtesy of
Jun 12, 2015 (ha)Ley marked it as never-finished
DNF at page 141.

Because I have too many others books to read and I can't connect with any of the characters. It's boring and I have no more patience.
Jan 30, 2012 Jenny rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 3.5/5

Arcadia Awakens is an unusual story, one where the strangeness of it is both a positive in that it stands out amidst the masses of paranormal young adult fiction, and a negative in that it leaves us a bit unsure as to exactly how we feel about what we’ve read. On the plus side we have the richly atmospheric setting of Sicily, a place where light and dark exist in equal measures and where the beauty of the landscape is in contrast with the nefarious deeds committed
Mar 09, 2012 Sharon rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
More of my reviews @

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Rosa Alcantara has left her home in NY to head to Sicily, Italy to be with her Mafia boss Aunt Florinda and Sister Zoe; it has been a tough year emotionally for her which has seen her withdraw from everything and everyone around her. All she yearns for is a bit of peace and quiet but what she ends up involved with goes beyond her wildest dreams.

Alessandro Carnevare is the son of a powerful Sicilian Mafia family

Ha! Endlich einmal sind wir Deutschen diejenigen, die ein tolles Buch hervorgebracht haben! Allerdings habe ich das Gefühl, dass die Amerikaner sehr viel besser darin sind Buchtitel zu übersetzen und Buchcover zu finden, die gut zum Buch passen. Arcadia Awakens klingt genauso toll wie Arkadien erwacht. Und ich bin zwar noch immer der Meinung, dass das deutsche Cover von nichts getoppt werden kann, aber das amerikanische Cover finde ich doch auch sehr gelungen. Hut ab also!


Am Anfang dachte ich echt, es sei ein Fehlkauf gewesen. Während der ersten Seiten hab ich mich einfach nur gefragt, warum der Autor (ein Mann!) aus der Sicht eines TeenagerMÄDCHENS schreibt.. ich fand es zu Beginn sehr gewollt böse. Oh oh oh Rosa ist so böse, sie klaut Schokoriegel.

Aber ganz egal, denn nach den ersten ca. 70 Seiten wurde es richtig gut. Rosa hat sich eingekriegt und die Machenschaften der Familien wurden spannend und verworren.
Tiger und Löwen tauchen plötzlich auf... naja, ich w
Joanne♥~Bookworm Extraordinaire
The book was great. It was a great mix of paranormal shape-shifters, greek mythology and mafia all rolled into one book. A lot of deaths tho and that suprised me. There's usually not a lot of violence in teen books but I guess there has to be in this book since the mafia plays a heavy part in it.

The book as a little slow at first but since its the beginning a trilogy, it gave a lot of background. There was some decent action as well.

I didn't really like the character of Rosa tho. She seemed too
Miss Bookiverse
Toll gelesen wie zu erwarten von Andreas Fröhlich.

Die Charaktere sind interessant, gerade Rosa, weil sie so anders ist als ihr Name erwarten lässt. Alessandro fand ich nach einer Weile auch interessant und attraktiv.

Es ist immer wieder beeindruckend, dass Kai Meyer sich einfach ein neues Gebiet sucht und darauf seine ganze eigene originell Welt aufbaut.

Der Schreibstil war atemberaubend, sehr dicht und atmosphärisch.

Irgendwie hat es für mich aber an der Story gehapert. Gerade im ersten Teil zieht
Jun 26, 2016 Kleinerrotfuchs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wieder ein toller Auftackt von Kai Meyer.
Kai hat hier eine wunderbare Mischung aus Mafia-Thriller und einem Gestaltwandler-Fantasy-Roman erschaffen. Außerdem ist Rosa eine unglaublich tolle Protagonistin. Sie ist stark durch ihre Vergangenheit und definitiv kein kleines Bitte-rette mich-Mädchen.
Weiterhin konnte ich das Ende definitiv nicht vorhersehen.
Ich gebe "nur" 4/5 Sternen, da ich mir noch Luft nach oben lassen möchte :)

Und was befindet sich eigentlich in den Lücken von Menschenmengen?
Jun 18, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-sterne
Ich finde dieses Buch toll. Es ist so schön beschrieben wie es in Sizilien aussieht und obwohl ich dort noch nicht war, ist es nun für mich wie als wäre ich schon mal da gewesen. Alles in allem ein gutes Buch mit einer richtig guten Protagonisten, die ganz nach meinem Geschmack ist. Ich hoffe ich habe jetzt nicht zu große Erwartungen an den zweiten Band.
Moendchens Lesewelt
Apr 04, 2015 Moendchens Lesewelt rated it it was amazing
Ein supertoller und rasanter Auftakt der Arkadien-Trilogie. Dieses Buch hat mich von der ersten Seite an mitgenommen und hat mich richtig gepackt und ich möchte ganz schnell den zweiten Band lesen. ...more
Hrůza... -.-"
Oct 22, 2011 sabisteb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Die Siebzehnjährige New Yorkerin Rosa Alcantara reist nach Sizilien zu ihrer Großmutter, um einen Neuanfang zu machen. Vor einem Jahr passierte etwas, was ihr Leben veränderte, und nun will sie nur noch eines: vergessen, ein neues Leben anfangen, ein neuer Mensch werden.
Sizilien ist dafür jedoch der denkbar schlechteste Ort, denn auch wenn Rosa nie mit den Geschäften ihrer Familie zu tun hatte, und in sehr bescheidenen Verhältnissen in der Bronx aufwuchs, ist sie auf Sizilien die Enkelin des Cap
Kelly (Belle of the Literati)
Jan 28, 2013 Kelly (Belle of the Literati) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: italy, paranormal
It's officially decided. I will make it to Sicily this year. Review to come shortly.

'One day,' she said, 'I'll catch dreams like butterflies.'

'And then what?' he asked.

'Then I'll put them between the pages of big, fat books and press
them until they're words.'

'Suppose there's someone who never dreams of anything but you?'

'Maybe then we're both words in a book. Two names among all the others.'"
--Kai Meyer, Arcadia Awakens

Wow. I am so in love with this book. I have never been more excited to wri
Ravenous Biblioworm
Apr 04, 2012 Ravenous Biblioworm rated it liked it
Rating: 3/5

Greek/Mediterranean myths are interwoven with the intrigue of the mafia in this novel from Meyer. Sounds awesome, right? Yeah, I thought it was. The lore, the plot was super interesting. It was creative, different, and new to my experiences in reading YA genre. The protagonist, Rosa, had an interesting background as did the rest of the characters. They were connected to the mob families… it’s like having The Sopranos or The Godfather with a magical, mystic powers instead of machine gu
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With millions of books sold worldwide, Kai Meyer is one of Germany's most successful authors. His novels have been translated into 27 languages including English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Chinese.

Kai Meyer was born in 1969 in northern Germany. He began college at the University of Bochum, Germany, where he studied film, theatre, and philosophy. After a year, he dropped out t
More about Kai Meyer...

Other Books in the Series

Arkadien (3 books)
  • Arcadia Burns (Arcadia, #2)
  • Arkadien fällt (Arkadien, #3)

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“»Eines Tages«, sagte sie, »fange ich Träume ein wie Schmetterlinge.«
»Und dann?«, fragte er.
»Lege ich sie zwischen die Seiten dicker Bücher und presse sie zu Worten.«
»Was, wenn jemand immer nur von dir träumt?«
»Dann sind wir beide vielleicht schon Worte in einem Buch. Zwei Namen zwischen all den anderen.«”
“One day," she said, "I'll catch dreams like butterflies."
"And then what?" he asked.
"Then I'll put them between the pages of big, fat books and press them until they're words."
"Suppose there's someone who never dreams of anything but you?"
"Maybe then we're both words in a book. Two names among all the others.”
More quotes…