Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book Review - Heart of the Dragon by Gena Showalter

Heart of the Dragon (Atlantis, #1)
By Gena Showalter
Published 2005
384 Pages

Before Gena Showalter’s hit series, Lords of the Underworld, there was Atlantis: a series about an undersea world inhabited by immortal creatures, including dragons, nymphs, shape shifters, and more!

This first installment introduces us to the shape-shifting guardian of the gates of Atlantis, Darius en Kragin. Vowed for centuries to protect his dragon kin, and Atlantis itself, Darius has seen his fair share of wa
yward humans, lost in the jungle’s mist, slip through the gates of his hidden world. And it is his job to see that their discovery ends at the gates through which they have entered. 

But when a human girl, with hair the color of fire, falls at his feet Darius becomes frozen in fear. Before this human girl, it had been centuries since Darius experienced color, and the sensation is overwhelming. Sensing a more profound meaning to the mystery, Darius sweeps her up, and steals her away to his private lair, keeping her arrival a secret. 

Grace Carlysle’s brother had been missing for a few weeks when, out of frustration, Grace decided to take matters into her own hands. She was thirsty and exhausted when her guide stole her belongings, leaving her alone in the jungle to fend for herself, with nothing but the clothes on her back and the unusual charm necklace from her brother. Unsure as to whether or not she was hallucinating, Grace became disoriented in a cloud of mist and slipped into a great cavern, revealing on the other side a fearsome man with crystal eyes, wielding a sword, and studying her every move. 

Now, in his secret lair, with vast walls of water through which dreamlike creatures appear, Grace becomes acutely aware that this is definitely not a dream. She plots to escape, but not before meeting with the great Darius, face to face. And when she unwittingly calls upon the mysterious forces of the charm, she makes her escape. 

Realizing the seriousness of his errs in judgment, Darius follows Grace to her home in New York City. Putting his life and all of Atlantis at risk, Darius must navigate his way in a new land where his powers are limited and his sacrifices great, in order to ensure that Grace never reveals what she has witnessed. It is an enormous task, particularly when Darius begins to develop feelings for Grace, but one he has vowed to uphold. 

When world’s collide, things shift, and Grace begins to understand the meaning behind her brother’s disappearance. Likewise, Darius discovers the hidden meaning of his quest, and the true dangers he must face. Does he save Atlantis, or does he risk it all for the woman he loves?

The characters were well developed, and the plot had some nice twists and turns. However, throughout the book I found myself longing for more Atlantis—such a great world to play in! But it was such a small part of the story. I would have easily given it 4 stars, had the story included more of this awesome underwater world. Still, I will continue reading the series, in hopes of finding more adventures in this unique world Gena Showalter has created. 

Reviewed by Stephanie