Arcadia Awakens (Arkadien #1)

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4.7
 
4.3 (1)
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Arcadia Awakens (Arkadien #1)
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
February 14, 2012
ISBN
0062006061
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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 wastes no time falling head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose handsome looks and savage grace both intrigue and unsettle her. But their families are sworn enemies, and her aunt and sister believe Alessandro is only using Rosa to infiltrate the Alcantara clan. And when Rosa encounters a tiger one night—a tiger with very familiar eyes—she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem. Ancient myths brought to life in the Sicilian countryside, dangerous beasts roaming the hills, and a long history of familial bloodlust prove to Rosa that she can’t trust anyone—not even her own family. Torn between loyalty to her aunt and love for her family’s mortal enemy, Rosa must make the hardest decision of her life: stay in Sicily with her new love . . . or run as far and as fast as she can.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Compelling
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I went into this book with zero expectations. I'd heard nothing about it, and I'm not particularly drawn to the cover. So, I was completely surprised to become so quickly addicted to reading this story. Even more amazing to me is that Kai Meyer is a German writer, but this book is a beautiful read for the American reader.

Rosa is a complicated character, and I enjoyed getting to know her. I wasn't always comfortable with her (few people are!), but she is unique and strong. Though she's broken, she never stops seeking justice and following her heart, even when everyone around her is trying to make her doubt herself.

The setting is fabulous! We are treated to a Sicily rich in vivid detail and heritage. The Mafia's heritage is fascinating as well. I felt completely immersed in the world of the story.

The plot is twisty, though I sometimes felt like I didn't get quite enough information to help me connect all the dots. I chalk that up to the differences between a book originally written in German, and one written in English. Maybe a few details were lost in translation. It doesn't matter. The end result is a beautifully written book with a stunning setting, an unusual heroine, and a fascinating plot. I highly recommend this and will instantly snatch up the sequel.
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User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0  (1)
Characters 
 
4.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
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Welcome to the World of Mythology & Mafioso
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Let me start by saying that Rosa Alcantara is one of my favorite protagonists in YA. She is a strong-willed, stubborn, and feisty character who doesn’t take anyone’s crap and who has been through most of her personal tragedies alone. And let me tell you, she’s had to go through WAY more than any seventeen-year-old should. But her hardened exterior shields a very lost and fragile person. She, as well as the other characters, was in no way underdeveloped or one-dimensional.

Each character is layered with his or her own set of issues, values, and priorities, all of which added to the novel’s overall richness and complexity. And guess what? No instalove or messy triangles! The chemistry between Rosa and Alessandro forms slowly, which makes me so happy! It flowed smoothly from one stage to the next, and their connection grew stronger as they spent more time together. They didn’t have that “Oh my god I love you but no one knows why!” thing going.

The big mystery in this one is somewhat predictable, but learning the secrets of the Mafioso early on did not keep me from finishing the book with zeal. I stayed up all night finishing this one; I just couldn’t put it down. I love reading about mythology and crime, so naturally Arcadia Awakens was a good fit for me, especially with Kai Meyer’s writing. I hadn’t read a young adult book quite like this one before. Even though I wasn’t pulled in right off the bat, the way he wove the mythological elements into the Sicilian landscape and world of capos created a complex and dynamic story that kept me enthralled until its end.

Kai Meyer writes with impeccable style. It’s the kind of writing that takes you to wherever you are reading about. I could feel myself driving through the Italian coasts, searching through ancient ruins, sailing across various bodies of water. The vivid imagery and descriptions made it seem like I was right there with Rosa and Alessandro, feeling their pain, anger and love.

However, the descriptions sometimes took away from the plot. There were places where everything moved so quickly I got irritated because I wanted to know more about whatever was glossed over. And then there were parts that drug on and on and on, slowing down the pace of what should have been a high paced and high action scene. This is not a book for those who can’t follow a very complicated storyline with lots details to keep track of.
Good Points
-AMAZING writing
-vivid descriptions
-easy to connect to the characters
-strong and multidimensional characters
-different mythology featured
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