Arcadia Awakens – Kai Meyer

“’One day,’ She said, ‘I’ll catch dreams like butterflies.’
‘And then what?’ he asked.
‘Then I’ll put them between the pages of big fat books and press them until they’re words.’
‘Suppose there’s someone who never dreams of anything but you?’
‘Maybe then we’re both words in a book. Two names among all the others.’

Rose is trying to escape her past life. Being raised in Brooklyn wasn’t too bad but then her sister returned to the island of Sicily where they were both born from then on things started going wrong. Something happened that Rosa seriously wants to forget so she takes up Zoe’s offer of going to visit. Little does Rosa know that Zoe has more than just a holiday planned for her. Rosa arrives in Sicily and is instantly mixed up with generations of unrest between Mafia families on the island and with young handsome Alessandro. But how is he involved with the Mafia and what is this myth she’s hearing about the vanished empire of Arcadia and its people who can shape shift into human form. Can Rosa tame the beasts, reveal their secrets and live to tell the tale?

***

Well, Arcadia Awakens is going to be a really tough book for me to review and therefore I am going to split it up a bit. I was excited to read this one but when I heard that people weren’t enjoying it too much I got a bit worried and put it off, but now I’ve read it I can see where they were coming from and the second half of the book definitely makes up for the first!
The beginning:
I hated this book for the first 100 pages. Seriously. I wanted to give up, nothing was happening, I hated Rosa, I thought she was being pretentious by not explaining what happened a year previously and I couldn’t be doing with her woe is me kinda attitude. But I’m not for giving up on books and I wanted to get this book read, badly! So I soldiered on.
The Middle:
Well, well, well, things got interesting. We learn what happened to Rosa, why she went to Sicily and a bit of why she was how she was. I started enjoying the book a lot more once the paranormal aspect was fully brought in to play and I was glad that things started to come to light about the story and its backdrop.
The End:
It went by too quickly. I got confused as to who was on whose side and what people were doing. I think the ending went far too quick to get a brilliant response outta me but I really did enjoy it and I can’t wait to find out what comes next in the story, all based on the ending!
Rosa didn’t get much better for me throughout the book and I found the constant references to what she was wearing and how she looked really annoying and they put me off the story. Alessandro was also a bit annoying but I liked that there was more to his character than what first appeared. I liked the way both characters grew towards the end of the book but still didn’t love them. For me it was more the secondary characters that kept me going. This book has a lot of great supporting characters in Foundling and Iole, Cesare and Florinda, I was really intrigued by all of these characters and that’s what kept my interest up.
I’m not certain I’d recommend this book to many people to be honest. It’s slow to start with and if you can’t abide books where there’s nothing much interesting about the main character then it’s not for you but it setting and paranormal aspects are your thing then definitely go for it! I will definitely be checking out the rest of the series when it’s available, but more because I need to know where the story goes from here!!
Arcadia Awakens was published by Templar in hardback on March 1st; the paperback will be available in September. My copy was sent to me for review from the publisher; this has in no way affected my thoughts.
  • Wow. I just bought this, and I’m not sure what what to think now. I guess if the ending makes up for the slow beginning- but I hate it when things take forever to be explained. Love your review though!

  • I had my doubts about this one when I heard you all talking on Twitter. Might give it a wide berth.