Christina (Ensconced in Lit)'s Reviews > Atlantean

Atlantean by E.N. Watkins
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Mar 11, 2012

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bookshelves: first-reads
Read from March 27 to 29, 2012

I won this book from First Reads giveaways from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

Atlantean is a book about Amadeus Angel and his journey to find out his true heritage. His parents are physically and emotionally abusive, but one day that all changes when he is invited to the Seraph mansion and takes his place at Eden Prep. From there, more mysteries pile up and he meets several fascinating girls who have strange powers that he cannot explain.

There is a lot of material here, and a lot of it is interesting. The backstory of Amadeus Angel's true heritage is vast and imaginative. I loved the character Nyssa and was glad to see that she was given more of a role as I got further in the book. *MINOR SPOILER* We quickly discover that Amadeus is more than just human and that the Bible gives us a framework for what really happened in the past. I was impressed by how Watkins explains a lot of the people and events in the Bible in the world that is created. It will be interesting to see the reception of this novel; because it deals with rewriting the Bible in fantastical ways, I am sure people will find ways to ban it.

However, that was not my issue with this book. My biggest issue was that while very creative and imaginative, it read like more of a history book that I had to study for school. The backstory was very dense and I had to reread passages to make sure I kept everything straight. I understand the necessity of explaining the history and background of the mythology of the overall book, but this was the entire book. The action could have been condensed to one small chapter. Furthermore, the only interesting character to me was Nyssa. Amadeus was not a very likeable character, which is unfortunate since the story is told from his point of view. I was ready to feel empathetic to him for his difficult past, but instead he, like most of the other characters, acts like an elite member of society who basically lives for pleasure and indulging himself. *MORE SPOILERS* Amadeus even gets 7 girls to himself. We are told that the reason this is okay is because everyone is "enlightened." But everyone else sticks to just one soulmate and Amadeus is the only one with multiple partners. The other characters in the book especially Eli and his soulmate, Diana, are very know it all, and I started to tire of the amount of times they "scoffed" at what another character did, or how many times the word "smug" was associated with one of them. They really enjoyed knowing more information than Amadeus and the other characters and made it a point to rub it in their and the readers' faces. Also, I felt very unsatisfied by his interactions from his "false parents." I felt like he learned nothing from his experiences and that this part of the story could have been integral to his characters growth. I instead felt like Amadeus pretty much stayed the same throughout the book. He learned about his past, but he didn't really evolve/grow from it; he was excited to know he could be with all the girls he loved and hated his false parents and were glad they were going to die. Finally, the book needs a good editor. Punctuation, mispellings, and mistakes such as "your" for "you're" or "their" for they're" are rampant. It distracts from the rest of the book.

Overall, while many times creative, the mythological back story is dense and the story sinks from the weight. The characters are mostly flat and two dimensional. However, with more work, this story has potential.
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03/28/2012 page 6
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