Note: I have decided that while I will update my tumblr blog with more frequent updates (beesandbooks1.tumblr.com) for this blog I will post updates once I have reached quarter marks through the book before posting a final review of its entirety after I have finished.
So far, the plot is engaging, but that might have something to do with me personally. As a maritime archaeologist, I naturally find a book about the exciting discoveries of archaeologists stumbling upon the historical basis for Atlantis fascinating. There is a lot of technical jargon, some of which I don’t think is explained in layman’s terms well. Exposition is often given by one expert telling another expert about their portion of the discovery, which means academic terms are thrown about with little explanation.
The action scenes are a bit less interesting for me so far. There’s a clear conflict rising up between the archaeologists and a treasure hunter/gangster named Aslan. So far, this antagonist has not appeared in the book but it’s clear that he will continue to play some sort of role, considering that disputed territorial waters are frequently discussed.
There is a romance subplot that just as I finished up the latest chapter began to blossom. Not surprising, considering that a trope of this genre is commonly that the playboy protagonist happens to be working with an attractive woman with just enough knowledge to impress him, but not so much that exposition can’t be worked into their conversations. So far the romance isn’t strong, it’s just mild attraction culminating in a seemingly casual relationship, but we’ll see how that goes for the remainder of the novel.
In general, the characters aren’t given a whole lot of fleshing out. There’s been no extensive backstories, just enough information to tell you what accent to imagine them speaking with. Most of the characters are leading experts in their respective academic and archaeological fields, some of whom have a variety of surprising skills that are explained away by tiny kernels of backstory (Katya can handle a rifle, she explains that this is just an important skill for someone who grew up in the Soviet Union).
I think that the strongest point of this novel is the theory being put forth about the origins of Atlantis, though it is very heavy in archaeological theory and thought that most people outside of the archaeological academic world are unlikely to keep up with. If you find that thriller and adventure novels tend to dumb it down a bit too much and expect the readers to have absolutely zero subject matter knowledge, this book may be the extreme in the opposite direction. There are times when things are explained quite well, and other times when complex theories and thoughts are dropped into the conversation without subsequent description.
We’ll see how the plot develops through the rest of the novel, and I look forward to seeing how long we can avoid treasure hunter conflict!