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!FREE EBOOK ♴ Arkadien erwacht ♹ To New Yorker 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 Tragedy Strikes, She Must Travel There, To Her Family S Ancestral Home, Where Her Sister And Aunt Have Built Their Lives And Where Centuries Of Family Secrets Await Her Once There, Rosa Wastes No Time Falling Head Over Heels For Alessandro Carnevare, The Son Of A Sicilian Mafia Family, Whose Handsome Looks And Savage Grace Both Intrigue 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 SeemAncient Myths Brought To Life In The Sicilian Countryside, Dangerous Beasts Roaming The Hills, And A Long History Of Familial Bloodlust Prove To Rosa That She Can T Trust Anyone Not Even Her Own Family Torn Between Loyalty To Her Aunt And Love For Her Family S 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 This book was a very solid 3.5 stars and I feel like if I knew German and read a non translated version I d rate it even higher But as it stands you have some heros that are very anti hero in all ways, you have multiple mysteries to unravel, and a lot of intrigue If you need to love your heros this might not be the book for you but if your ok with morally grey sometimes unreliable narrators then I say buckle up. As much as I want to know about the difficult main character she lies, steals and is fond of acting all emo , as much I like a good mafia story and as much as I adore an exotic locale Sicily , the writing or the translation is just not good enough The sentences are choppy and don t flow together, the observations are often trite or unnecessary, the narrative is dull, distant and lifeless This might be the case of writing style incompatibility though. You know, you d never think that, when putting together a story using the Italian Mafia and mythology would mix Kai Meyer s Arcadia Awakens not only makes it totally work, but literally casts a spell over his readers This book is gorgeously written, with no stone left unturned, and makes for a very good first book in a trilogy If you like your heroines awesome with a side of gumption, you definitely need to read Arcadia Awakens , ASAP.For a first book, this part of the Arkadien trilogy is surprisingly full bodied Had I not already known that this had been published as a trilogy in Germany, I would have thought it a standalone It reads like a standalone, and yet leaves lots of room for expansion into this world of snakes, tigers, myths, and the mob Meyer covers all of his bases so thoroughly that I was quite impressed and just a taste speechless by the end of the book The characters feel fully rounded and totally 3D hell, I kind of wish I were in the Alacantara household even if dangerous, it never seems dull , the sensory language positively electric All of the arcs and the sub arcs were executed or less flawlessly, without leaving me scratching my head in confusion or worse, throwing the book across the room in rage at lack of that sense of completion we as the reading audience look for when reading.More impressive, Meyer has conquered cross gender narration This book is mainly written in 3rd close, so we get to be in Rosa s head without her actually telling the story herself 3rd close, if used correctly, can be completely gender neutral, or shapeshift to fit the gender of the character it follows Meyer does that here so well that I was completely convinced that this had been written by a woman It s very difficult to write characters that are not of the same gender as the writer, I ve figured out, especially when there might be romance involved, and still manage to make it realistic But Meyer is one of the few male writers I ve seen in YA that s managed to create a completely believable YA heroine and not what just might be a male mental facsimile of one Hey, ladies, we tend to do the mental male facsimile thing, too especially when it comes to creating convincing realistic guys in romantic situations so don t think it s just a problem that the guys have when creating female protagonists I bring this up because it s a simple problem that comes up a lot when you try to write a differently gendered protagonist, regardless of the author s gender Redundant Maybe But it needed to be said That being said, I think that this will be one of the few YA books with a female protagonist that will be easily relatable to both genders as an audience It has something for everyone, whether you re a boy, girl, or somewhere in between, and that s hard to do, especially in YA.But what really knocked my socks off was the part about a obscure bit of Greek mythology King Lycaon and Arcadia I won t spoil the story, but I ll just say this the way that Meyer rebuilt this mythology to fit his own was incredibly awesome, and I want to know , now Hell, I want the last two books now since, unfortunately, I can t speak, read, nor write in German He gives us just enough to fill in the blanks, and doesn t quite leave us on a cliffhanger, but doesn t get anywhere close to answering the rest of our questions how this Greek version of utopia migrated to the Italian Mafia, for instance , either But as I said before, this reads as a standalone, and the way that all of these questions and answers were plugged into the main arc and sub arcs, I m totally cool with how the information was dealt out, both in amount and in method.Also, my hat s off to the translator you did a fantastic job This reads smoothly with no translatese issues that translated works so often have.I think that this book is going to be a hit when it gets published on Valentine s Day the most appropriate release date for this story, to be perfectly honest here in the States, and I sincerely hope it gets the attention and adoration it deserves This definitely is within my top ten of 2012 so far, so you guys really have to give it a read Arcadia Awakens will definitely make you want to fly off to rural Italy, stalk the mob, and hunt for tigers and snakes in the night Highly recommended posted to goodreads, librarything, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com Unlike most other readers, the premise of this book did nothing for me, simply because I ve never had any sort of interest in the mafia which is a big theme in this book I was a little unsure about the shapeshifter element, another big theme, as I ve not yet read any books about shapeshifters that I ve really enjoyed Why did I read this then I m not all that sure I guess I just wanted to see if this was any different to other young adult books at the moment and I d read some great reviews I m very glad that I did decide to read this one as it was a surprisingly engrossing read I ll start with the main thing that bugged me and that was the writing style This book was actually written in German, so I m not sure what was lost in translation and I can t blame the author for that I just felt as though a lot of the sentences didn t flow well note that I did read an ARC of this book though, so this may be slightly different in the final version Apart from the sometimes awkward writing, I found Arcadia Awakens to be a very enthralling read This is a quite loosely based modern day Romeo and Juliet, set on the alluring island of Sicily, Italy The backdrop to the story wasn t overly described but Meyer gave us a very good sense of the setting Our two main characters, Rosa Alcantara and Alessandro Carnevare, are from opposing sides of the Sicilian mafia and they form a forbidden bond, falling in love with each other Thankfully the love wasn t instant and instead, they gradually grew to trust each other I actually did find myself wishing that there was slightly chemistry between them, but I think that it was enjoyable enough as it was it felt natural and unforced There was potential for conflict between them and I thought that could ve been explored especially because of the feud between the two families Of course, there is certainly room for a lot exploration in the next books in the series I really did begin to care for both Rosa and Alessandro, they were both very likeable and strong characters I thought that Rosa was particularly fascinating From the beginning, we see that she is quite head strong and confident however, she does have a somewhat fragile layer underneath which we can see from her recollections of what s happened to her in the past Rosa clearly has a history outside Italy and the Mafia, which I would love to learn about I think that Alessandro and the mafia history were equally as interesting something that I never thought I d say I did find it slightly confusing at points as parts of the clans, the history and hierarchy were explained but it wasn t overly heavy or difficult which I was thankful for I am glad that it was explained to help me understand the story as it was quite intricate Arcadia is a part of Greek mythology and it was interesting to see how this was interwoven into the clans lives.As well as unexpectedly enjoying the mafia aspect of the story, I also really liked reading about the shape shifters The Carnevares turn into different species of big cats i.e tigers, lions and panthers and the Alacantaras morph into snakes I thought that the transformation was very well described and I didn t find it creepy like I have in other novels although it s fantasy, it didn t actually seem that bizarre, it was almost mesmerising to see how the humans changed and how their animal sides acted I thoroughly enjoyed Arcadia Awakens and would love to see how the rest of the trilogy turns out It s quite a unique, complex story which certainly brings something original to the young adult genre I d recommend this to anyone who simply wants a different fantasy read If you re a little apprehensive of the subject matter like I was, I d also urge you to give it a go you ll probably be very pleasantly surprised Prepare yourselves A rant is coming Arkadien erwacht had a really good start, I mean, it quoted something from the Tintenwelt trilogy, what s not to love about that Plus the first chapter of the book was just so beautifully written, it hooked me right in But from there, the book simply spiraled down The writing style is plain and simple, and reminded me a lot of Twilight which I just despise , and even though the book was written in German, the characters sometimes swear in English..and swear a lot I like neither of that And of course, the instalove Oh, I m so fed up with instalove D uh.Moreover, he brought in lesbian characters, just to kill them off he plainly used them for shock And then killed them off because he didn t really need them anyway Why Oh, if he could have just not DONE THIS Arkadien erwacht got compared to Twilight, but I thought it couldn t be that bad Turns out, it is I should have taken the hint and not read it It also got compared to Romeo and Juliet but the only thing they have in common is the instalove and the only thing it has in common withThe Godfather is the mafia story.So if you re looking for something like Twilight, read this.If you re looking for something as beautifully written and well honed as Romeo and Juliet, don t read this.If you re into stories about mafia clans and don t mind all I mentioned before, you might try this, too. 2.5 stars This wasyeah It hurt my brain trying to understand what the hell was going on here I picked this up predominantly because the cover is GORGEOUS Then I read the blurb, and was like Mafia shapeshifters Uh, AWESOME I was even on board when I found out that this was originally written in German and translated to English a couple of years later, because I m trying to read translated works this year.But this really didn t live up to my expectations At the end of the day, I came out of it enormously confused Because there s a LOT going on in this book Like, a lot a lot Let s do this in bullet points, shall we view spoiler 17 year old girl moves to Sicily to be with her older sister and extended family after being raped and having an abortion She meets a cute boy on the plane and everyone is disapproving Turns out, her family is a Mafia family and they make their money from installing useless wind turbines and getting government rebates for said wind turbines Also, cute boy s family are a rival Mafia family Oh, and BTW, they re all shapeshifters Except main character girl doesn t know this So suddenly there are tigers and lions all over the place And that s just his family Her family turn into snakes SNAKES And then somehow it ties back to Ancient Greece and Atlantis But basically it s a Mafia turf war with snakes and big cats And then people s heads start getting blown off Also she basically has a sex dream about cute boy in his panther form That s the point at which I just stared blankly out the bus window for like five minutes Because EW NO THANK YOU PLEASE Also apparently her sister was a lesbian Yes, WAS Her sister s girlfriend gets ripped apart by a lion And then her sister is killed by a dude who turns into a boar I think What the fuck hide spoiler It sounds like a mixture of Romeo and Juliet , The Godfather and Twilight A cheesy romance between two young people from families that are enemies for centuries now and all of that is overshadowed by a dark mysterious secret.But Arkadien erwacht Arkadien awakes is than you would expect first While using old and known elements from familiar stories Kai Meyer manages successfully to create a new and thrilling world that the reader can fully sink in and let us fight along with the characters until the very last page.Who expects something similar to Meyer s other Child and Youth books will most likely be a bit disappointed Because from a sweet romance and the problems of a teenage girl the story leads us to a bloody power struggle and dark intrigues of the mafia and main character Rosa is always in the middle of it But Arkadien erwacht doesn t need bloomy paraphrases to capture the reader s interest, because this book scores with incomparable richness on details as well as a mixture of reality and fantasy that make this book to something special Arkadien erwacht is definitely an exciting Kick off for a breathtaking series and leaves the reader on the edge of their seat waiting for the sequels.I gave Arkadien erwacht 4 out of 5 stars because I know that the sequels will be even better. This book managed to tick all of the boxes for the first few chapters actually quite a few chapters because they re only short and I was pleasantly surprised to find a young adult author that a doesn t think it s okay to be condescending when the audience is younger, and b creates an atypical heroine who isn t all about drooling after her inevitable one true love As a matter of fact, the author attempts to write quite prettily and sets the scene in the Sicilian countryside very well, you can practically hear the waves of the Mediterranean sloshing against the shore.The protagonist Rosa immediately stands out against countless other young adult urban fantasy heroines She s introduced as something of a kleptomaniac, she s snarky and upon meeting the novel s obvious love interest, rather than seeing cupids flying and hearing someone playing a violin, she turns away with a good dose of sarcasm as a goodbye present It s no secret that they will clearly meet again and gradually Rosa s attitude towards him will change, but I was thankful for the lack of insta love and sappy heroines.So, I had the protagonist I ve always longed for, the setting out of my wildest dreams what was the problem The lack of story Or, at least, the lack of an engaging story I kept reading and waiting for the moment when the author would use her heroine and her setting to create a novel that would blow my mind but it just never delivered The big mystery of the book was easy to guess, even the author realised this and revealed it all pretty early on but after that the story consisted of a lot of info dumping about Greek mythology and the Italian mafia and the legendary island of Arcadia I felt that the author set the kind of scene that had me anticipating something awesome but it was highly anticlimatic in the end.I do wonder if this was done intentionally, because this book is the start of a trilogy and perhaps the author wanted to place emphasis on the setting and characters in book one so that you would actually care about them when the real story gets going in book two It s possible but it isn t enough, if you re writing the first book in a series it s so important to make sure the readers are going to want to continue I finished this book feeling like I had nothing to look forward to in the sequels Many thanks to the publisher for kindly providing an arc of this for review Ok this book seemed to have promise but I really don t know what happened to be honest It took me forever to read, even though I was reading it a couple of chapters are day for a challenge, but in all honesty it really wasn t that captivating I think it s because it has been translated form German to English and somewhere along the lines it lost soul I really didn t feel connected to the characters and couldn t care less what happened to them Then about 85% in there was finally some action and I felt a little riveted If only most of the book was like this The premise was unusual and unique but it was too weird for me I was asking questions about the story then getting the answers I needed to figure out what was going on I was left confused at times and I still am I really don t know what happened in this book LOL This book is the first in a trilogy and I m sorry to say I will not continue with it Just not my cup of teabut I m sure if I knew how to read German it would have been brilliant LOL.