Emily May's Reviews > Arcadia Awakens

Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Nov 02, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: arc, young-adult, paranormal-uf, 2011

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 can practically hear the waves of the Mediterranean sloshing against the shore.

The protagonist - Rosa - immediately stands out against countless other young adult urban fantasy heroines. She's introduced as something of a kleptomaniac, she's snarky and upon meeting the novel's obvious love interest, rather than seeing cupids flying and hearing someone playing a violin, she turns away with a good dose of sarcasm as a goodbye present. It's no secret that they will clearly meet again and gradually Rosa's attitude towards him will change, but I was thankful for the lack of insta-love and sappy heroines.

So, I had the protagonist I've always longed for, the setting out of my wildest dreams... what was the problem? The lack of story. Or, at least, the lack of an engaging story. I kept reading and waiting for the moment when the author would use her heroine and her setting to create a novel that would blow my mind but it just never delivered. The big mystery of the book was easy to guess, even the author realised this and revealed it all pretty early on... but after that the story consisted of a lot of info-dumping about Greek mythology and the Italian mafia and the legendary island of Arcadia. I felt that the author set the kind of scene that had me anticipating something awesome but it was highly anticlimatic in the end.

I do wonder if this was done intentionally, because this book is the start of a trilogy and perhaps the author wanted to place emphasis on the setting and characters in book one so that you would actually care about them when the real story gets going in book two. It's possible but it isn't enough, if you're writing the first book in a series it's so important to make sure the readers are going to want to continue. I finished this book feeling like I had nothing to look forward to in the sequels.

Many thanks to the publisher for kindly providing an arc of this for review
34 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Arcadia Awakens.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

November 2, 2011 – Shelved
November 3, 2011 – Started Reading
November 5, 2011 –
page 53
11.75% "This is unusual... a UF heroine who's a kleptomaniac."
November 8, 2011 –
page 169
November 9, 2011 –
page 169
37.47% "A beautiful setting, an interesting and unconventional protagonist... but it needs more story! Something happen, I'm bored :("
November 11, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Libbie Hawker (new)

Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside) Very insightful review! I feel tempted to read this one myself in spite of the fact that you didn't ultimately love it.

Emily May Thank you :) Hopefully you'll enjoy it more than I did!

message 3: by Tatiana (new) - added it

Tatiana Bummer (or bollocks?)! I just got a copy of this. Guess will have to brace myself for another disappointment:(

Emily May Bollocks definitely :D I really hope you like it more than I did anyway!! :(

message 5: by Maya (new)

Maya I think I see where you're coming from. For now I only read Meyer's Dark Reflection series, and it sounds kind of similar (info-dumping and lack of engaging story). I was actually hoping for Arcadia to be better ^^; I'll still give it a try, but ... it seems that Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red is really the best German fantasy can manage for me right now O_o

message 6: by Gerald (new)

Gerald Griffin Emily, sorry for your disappointment in this book.

Tis the season and maybe you need some jolly good cheer, a holiday chuckle. For that, click http://geraldggriffin.blogspot.com/ and you'll immediately be greeted by an amusing chat with Santa. I think you'll get a cheerful kick out of it!


message 7: by Marisa (new) - added it

Marisa ok so i dont know what books you have been reading but that "dream heroine" of yours is in practically every YA book on the shelves now.

Emily May Actually I've read a lot of YA paranormal books, and in nearly every one the heroine becomes immediately obsessed with a guy and has no personality herself: Twilight, Hush, Hush, Fallen, A Need So Beautiful, Die for Me, Hereafter... need I go on?

message 9: by Gerald (new)

Gerald Griffin Emily wrote: "Actually I've read a lot of YA paranormal books, and in nearly every one the heroine becomes immediately obsessed with a guy and has no personality herself: Twilight, [book:Hush, Hush|..."

If you're into paranormal, try my novel for a most welcome change in this overdone routine.

Ravenous Biblioworm I felt the exact same... and Marisa... Rosa is quite different from these girls...steals just because she can, confrontational, rude (with an appropriate reason) but the delivery was lack luster as a whole and thus she fails along with the book, though not completely...

Abi (dragonbookreviews.weebly.com) I really like this book as I thought that it was a refreshing take on a series similar to Twilight. However, Marisa, I noticed that you put 'her' a few times in your review when referring to to the author, when Kai Meyer is actually male. I've done that loads of times before :)

message 12: by Elle (new) - added it

Elle Thanks for another informative Goodreads review! I always find them most helpful. Say, would you kindly consider updating to reflect that Kai Meyer's gender is male? I'd sure appreciate it! ツ

back to top