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It's been a while since I have been completely swept away into the world of a book, but Shades of Atlantis carried me away and left me there. Author Carol Oates reawakened my creative spirit and desire to learn about Celtic myth and lore. With only a month left of 2010 and over 115 titles reviewed, her book easily slides onto my list of favorite reads this year.
The tale begins with main heroine, red haired Alitriona Pryor, a regular high school student growing up in Camden, Maine. Raised by her aunt and uncle after the tragic death of her parents, she and her brother Ben find themselves pitched into a battle involving family secrets and hidden destinies. Triona begins work at a local seaside restaurant where she meets her new boss Caleb Wallace and immediately they both feel an attraction that is magnetic. The chemistry between the two of them soon proves to be dangerous. Caleb believes in Platos' concept of soul mates, two halves that make a whole. Soon he starts to open up to Triona with tales of an ancient sword, magic, hidden civilizations and a gifted people. Are they all tales from his childhood or is there some truth to his stories?
Readers travel to the mountains of Maine, Clerkenwell London, Oxford, Dublin and ancient Tara, Ireland in search of the truth. Breathtaking scenery and local legend made the book vivid and alive. The author combines faery lore with Celtic history and adds a dash of Arthurian legend to Atlantis.
Her characters are all well developed and I dare say you will fall in love with both main heroes Caleb and John for the strengths they bring to Triona. Once you pick up Shades of Atlantis you'll want to carve out enough time to read it entirely because there is no turning back. I stayed up late into the night and woke up early the next morning entranced. My only reservation was that at times there are similarities to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, but with enough of a twist to make this book stand alone as unique and powerful. Even the Epilogue was amazing! Each page well crafted and important. Congratulations to Carol Oates for an incredible debut. Shades of Atlantis is mesmerizing and magical.
Readers may also enjoy The Mark by Marilyn Bunderson or The Books of Faeirie by Maggie Stiefvater. I would recommend this book for readers 16 and older as it does contain some sexual content and violence.