Jan 3, 2012

Review: Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer

Title: Arcadia Awakens
Author: Kai Meyer
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 2.14.12
Pages: 464
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Yes (Arkadien #1)
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: B-

Summary (from Goodreads):
To 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 her life in Brooklyn begins to fall apart, she must travel there, to her family’s ancestral home, where centuries of family secrets await her.

Once there, Rosa falls head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose handsome looks and savage grace both fascinate 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.

Hidden caves, dangerous beasts roaming the hills, and a history of familial bloodlust mean that Rosa can’t trust anyone. Torn between loyalty to her family and love for their 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.

I had honestly never heard of this book before it was sent to me, but one look at that shiver-inducing cover and I was game. I mean, combine that with mafia, Italy, and a romance? It had all the makings of something I would love forever. Unfortunately, the story fell kind of flat for me.

The first problem I had was Rosa. Right off the bat this girl irritated me with her snarkiness (bordering on bitchy) and the way she casually stole random things. Thankfully she got progressively better, but I felt it started the book on a sour note and I don’t know that I ever fully embraced Rosa. Alessandro was better: I enjoyed reading about him and the way he interacted with Rosa is what made me warm up to her. He was definitely the highlight of this book for me, but even still there were moments in their relationship that had me shaking my head.  

The book started off slow, but thankfully picked up speed by the mid-way point and I was glad I stuck with it. It did get better, but there was this constant start-stall that bogged down the story. Some parts were exciting and thrilling, but then the next chapter lagged in momentum. There was a lot of cover in this debut book of the series, so I felt that Kai Meyer should be cut some slack for that.

There really is a good story buried in here. I just takes a little digging to find it. Hopefully book 2 is better.

Buy: Amazon


  1. Maybe i'll go to the library for this one first.

  2. Hmm...I was a bit curious about this one when I first saw it on Goodreads. Mafia + shapeshifter(s) is an interesting combo. However, characters (especially the main protagonists) make or break a book for me and it sounds like Rosa would grate on my nerves. Maybe I'll check this out if I see it at my local library. Thanks for the review.

  3. Thanks for the review! The concept though still sounds interesting Paranormal mafia:)

  4. Oh man, flat stories are not good. I have been obsessed with this book for a while because of the cover and premise, but I haven't read it yet.

  5. I'm glad to see that Arcadia Awakens got better in the middle. I'm not sure what to make of Rosa. If I don't like the lead I may not want to finish the book.
    I've seen this book around and I heard it was different so I think if I get the chance I'll give it a try. Thanks for the review.

  6. It made me incredibly happy to see a review of Arcadia Awakens, and a good one at that! Like you, for me it was a little slow starting but then it took off and I fell in love. I really did love this one, and though I would give it an A-, I did agree on some of your points. Thanks for your review!

  7. I have had a copy of this one sitting on my shelf for quite awhile. It's unfortunate about the start and stalling. That bothers me too. Thank you for an honest review! I am really curious to how I'll find this one. :)

  8. Hmmm...I really wanted to read this one. Wasn't sure, but now I'm really on the fence. I hate picking up books that I can't get into.


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