I reviewed this book on Reedsy first.
tl;dr: Shadow of Atlantis is a engrossing tale that deftly weaves unique world-building with interesting characters.
Shadow of Atlantis is an alternate history story where Atlantis exists, is technologically far superior to other nations on Earth and whose motives are unclear.
I have to admit that while I am a fan of alternate history books, this is the first one that I am reading which stars Atlantis in a prominent position. While this premise is interesting enough, what really held my attention is the intricate world that Josh Killen builds as the book progresses. Details are provided as needed and this adds to the need to learn more about the alternate world and its history. I was looking forward to getting to learn more and more about the various nations, their cultures and conflicts and the mysterious Atlantis itself. The science fiction elements – the unique abilities, the powers that be, the tech etc also stand out. This book provided some information on the Americas and Europe and I am curious to know what exists/happens in the rest of the globe. Hopefully, we will get to discover this in the forthcoming books.
Josh Killen also reveals the backstories of the main characters in the same way – just enough to keep you sated while making you want to discover more. There is a lot of depth to the backstories, especially the protagonist Stevens Craig. This depth extends to the interactions between the characters too which makes them enjoyable to read too. I loved the scenes between Craig and Viv. Generally speaking, Craig’s interactions with other characters are richer than between the non-Craig ones. There is a decent character arc for most of the main characters and I found that they all acted true to their nature rather than randomly.
The book is reasonably paced and manages to come up with a good mix of action and character scenes which never palls. I never once felt bored reading it.
What Could be Improved?
Not all is perfect though. The book could have spent a bit more time on developing the side characters as well as giving us more detail on the world as such. It took me a while to understand the various actors in play and I think Josh Killen could have made it easier on us. I think this is the first book that I wish came with a map. It would have added to the overall ambience and made following the story easier.
Overall, Shadow of Atlantis is an excellent start to a unique science fiction series and I will be eagerly awaiting the next book from the author.
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