Today I’ll be reviewing Katherine Irons’ three books focused on the Atlanteans. These are fantasy romance stories centered on the crown prince and his brothers but also gives some insight into the life and enemies of the people of Atlantis.
Claire Bishop was a wealthy athletic and beautiful young woman whose life was changed forever when a drunken boater crashed into her and her friends. She has spent the last two years wheelchair bound and wallowing in serious pain and self pity and has managed to escape her controlling father to Seaborne, the seaside Maine home her grandmother left her when she died. She meets Morgan, crown prince of Atlantis, on the beach one day and it’s love at first sight. Morgan is already in trouble with the High Council for violating one of the cardinal rules of the land, make no contact with humans. Having already gotten off for rescuing a drowning boy in a storm, it is absolutely vital that Morgan keep his strong attraction to Claire a secret. He knows he should avoid her at all costs but her pull is just too strong. On top of everything else Morgan and his brothers, Alexandros and Orion, also have to deal with one of their father’s concubines and mother to their half brother, Caddoc, both of which want to kill the immediate family and take their places as rulers of Atlantis.
This story starts out a bit slow but really picks up steam and you can’t help but fall in love with Morgan. Claire can be a bit annoying but when you figure everything she’d been through and having absolutely no support network, except for people who insist on treating the 29 year old like a child because of her injuries as well as a husband who screwed around on her and now wants her for her vast settlement from the accident, you can kind of begrudge her a little self pity and low self esteem. Thanks to her interactions with Morgan however, Claire develops the strength she needs to fight back when she’s hospitalized against her will and tells her greedy murderous ex-husband to take a hike. I especially love the villainous shades that the Atlanteans battle and how Irons incorporates the old mermaid stories and mythical elements to her world.
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and dove (heh) straight into the others.
Elena Carter is an underwater archeologist on a mission. With her father disgraced in the field, she aims to prove herself by excavating an ancient Phoenician ship sunk off the coast of Greece. Unfortunately for her, Melqart, Phoenician god of war and ruler of the shades, doesn’t take kindly to a bunch of humans crawling around a ship loaded with his tributes and so Orion finds himself constantly coming to the aid of the beautiful woman who rescued him.
Unfortunately, this book didn’t thrill me like the first one did and I had to struggle to finish it. There were just way too many things wrong for me to enjoy the story and it just went from bad to worst!
First of all, why would Poseidon not only forgive the son who was involved in a plot to kill him and take the throne but allow him to return to Atlantis to do still more damage? He also has a nasty habit of believing every accusation that flies out of the schmuck’s mouth despite the fact that he oh y’know TRIED TO HAVE HIM KILLED AND USURP HIS THRONE!
We’re treated to more displays of Halimeda’s wrath and pension for octopi as her being rescued by Melqart and being in league with him seems to consist of her throwing fits because her servants are undead monsters and her being unable to eat anything even though she doesn’t actually need to anymore. To me, the sorceress seems less like a powerful witch to be feared and more like a spoiled bitch who needs to lose some teeth.
Then there’s Elena who aggravates the hell out of me. First of all, this chick is just out of college and yet her entire career rides on an excavation that’s being interrupted by weather all because her father was a nutjob who claimed to have discovered Atlantis but later couldn’t provide proof before he disappeared? Really? Also, she’s the ultimate damsel in distress whose only reaction to frightening things is to panic and run or scream, freeze and close her eyes waiting for imminent death or to be rescued. Frankly I can’t imagine how she managed to get this far in her career without being eaten by a shark! And don’t even get me started on that time traveling BS where things happened one way and then suddenly everything changed or changed back or whatever. This was the third time this book flew out of my hand. Yet for the sake of this review I persevered.
Another thing that bothered me was how friggin easy it was to kill Melqart! The insipid Elena, who seemed to grow more childlike and brainless as the story went on, stands there in the temple and actually LAUGHS and makes fun of the big scary hulking roaring beast that just finished bursting out of his own statue and pulls a maneuver straight out of Peter Pan which results in Melqart doing an impression of the Wicked Witch of the West!
He dissolves into a steaming puddle of goo and turns to dust out of which appears “a warty toad.” Seriously, these are the words a grown woman uses to describe the animal later on, and hops into a fiery chasm.
Finally, Orion isn’t nearly as interesting as his brother Morgan but then you kinda saw that in the first book. I’m actually looking more forward to picking up the next one as Alex always struck me as the most interesting of the three.
Ree O’Connor is a trained assassin with special abilities such as clairvoyance and setting things on fire. While targeting a rich Russian bastard who makes his money causing destruction both above and below the surface of the ocean, something goes wrong and she’s nearly killed. Luckily for her Prince Alexandros is onboard, also tasked with a mission to kill the rich Russian bastard and he takes her under the water and saves her.
Alex meanwhile is having serious issues clashing with the queen of the Lemorians who, in an attempt to sire a princess to sit on the throne after her, is banging Prince Caddoc like a screen door in a hurricane. Caddoc meanwhile is tired of his mother’s abuse so when the Lemorian queen declares their goddess needs a sacrifice he offers her up in his place to fling into an underwater volcano.
Alex also can’t understand why, despite his own aversion to humans that led him to lecture his brothers against taking human mates in the first two books, he can’t suppress the urge to plow Ree. There’s more trouble in store for poor Alex because while he’s fighting along side Ree to kill the rich Russian bastard, who apparently has a fleet of helicopters to rush him to safety at any given time, his brothers are playing hot potato with the crown. It seems nobody wants to be Poseidon since daddy bought it in book 2.
Sadly, this series started out promising but just ended in colossal disappointment. The sex scenes actually become fairly dull especially in Waterborne and just happen way too often. In fact, you kind of get the feeling that even Irons starts getting bored with them because she stops giving details, which is a shame since there really isn’t much variation to the scenes she does describe in the whole series. I also don’t get why Irons insists on giving her heroines boyfriends when none of them actually become important characters. The only reason I could think of is the only way she could convey the sex appeal of her heroines is to saddle them with a boyfriend, fiance or husband which is pretty damn sad if it is true.
One thing I did take away from reading this series is writing style and plot devices NOT to use. I don’t mean this to be harsh or insulting, I’m actually serious. As I write my own series and books I will be keeping in mind not to have easily killable enemies, tedious sex scenes and secondary characters the plot could do without. I’m honestly hoping Katherine Irons’ writing improves with time because she’s incredibly imaginative and I do like her use of myths. I would actually prefer to read something that was an absolute train wreck from page one than descend into a spiral of dismay as I witness the demise of a promising storyline.