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Book Review: Raising Atlantis by Thomas Greanias

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In Raising Atlantis, Thomas Greanias struggles to craft an original tale with a central idea and setting that have both been done before in a genre in which plots can tend to be cookie-cutter. It's difficult for Greanias to find his own voice and style.

The story opens with a military mission in Antarctica (reminiscent of Matt Reilly's Ice Station). We very quickly learn that the United States military has discovered Atlantis beneath the ice (think Clive Cussler's Atlantis Found). We then meet the hero, Conrad Yeats, who has read Chariots of the Gods one too many times. Conrad is hastily (as in a couple of pages) whisked away to the Antarctic at the behest of his cold (pun intended), distant father who never loved him and has unfinished business way down south.

The story then makes the obligatory Vatican connection with ex-nun/ex-Yeats crush Serena "Mother Earth" Serghetti. In true Da Vinci Code fashion, she is an expert on languages and will serve as the Robert Langdon of the story. It works out well for our heroes, as it turns out she is able to read Atlantean at first glance without any study whatsoever.

The plot doesn't get much more original from there. We have plenty of Tihuanaco references (think Link by Walt Becker) and discussions of continental shifts (along the lines of Polar Shift and Atlantis Found by Cussler). Also, there are three competing military factions (Ice Station) vying for the secret of Atlantis.

The exploration sets off a chain of odd decisions by the characters and inexplicable/illogical events. For example, a blast of heat melts a valley out of a two-mile-thick sheet of ice, but our heroes, who are sprinting away from the flames, escape unsinged. There is some good action in parts and Conrad becomes a badass just when he needs to, despite the fact that there was no indication up to that point that he might have it in him. Conrad's father has an odd reason for wanting his son there and no one really knows why he brought his dog along on this top secret mission into the world's most inhospitable locale.

The Atlantean city is intriguing, but too much is left to the reader's imagination. There's little description, save generic Egyptian parallels. The culminating event, though cheesy, at least hasn't been done before, as far as I can remember, though Greanias makes up for it by giving Conrad a Dirk Pitt/Shane Schofield-worthy ending.

The good news is, I checked the book out from the library. No money out of my pocket. The bad news is, Greanias' next book, The Atlantis Prophecy, sends our heroes to Washington DC for a mystery involving the Founding Fathers, the Washington Monument, and the hidden world beneath. No, I'm not making it up! It's true! Atlantis Found meets National Treasure.

If you truly love action thrillers and are easily entertained, check this one out for the July 4th holiday, and get a good Sam Adams buzz on before you read it.

Rating: 5/10

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About Megalith

  • http://philobiblon.co.uk Natalie Bennett

    This article has been selected for syndication to Advance.net, which is affiliated with newspapers around the United States. Nice work!

  • Elaine

    Where do I start? This book was so bad I can’t believe Greanias actually got somebody to publish it. The story is ridiculous, the characters cornball, the dialogue immature, the action impossible and I couldn’t even bring myself to read the last couple of chapters. The whole time I DID read it, I kept envisioning the story in a kind of “Airplane” sort of way…I could just see Leslie Nielsen as Yeats…that’s the older Yeats, not the younger Conrad Yeats…confusing! And what about Sister Spaghetti or was it Serengeti…dumb! “That’s DOCTOR Spaghetti, not SISTER”…”I AM serious, and stop calling me Shirley”

    (I picked this up in the grocery store because I had run out of reading material and just needed something. It caught my eye because I had written a paper about the Atlantis myth in college. It was on sale for […]…money I will never get back.)

    OK, let’s see, what else, ridiculous statements like “you’re thinking with the wrong head” with absolutely no related context, the whole story takes place in Antarctica, but they have no problem with the cold after P-4 (named in 2 seconds after discovery) is found; there is no trouble uncovering this discovery although how they got all the excavating equiment there is beyond me, Conrad can figure out how everything works and where everything is better than McGuyver ever did, Serengetti can read Atlantian like she’s been reading the language all her life, it’s freezing cold but there are waterfalls running and waterways all over the place and Conrad can swim in the water without DYING, Yeats can fall down into bottomless pits but not DIE…need I go on…what drivel, what lack of talent, what crap!

  • Jordan

    Oh my God Raising Atlantis is sooooo bad. The irony is that the review fails to mention the one book that I think predates Cussler and Reilly, which Greanias steals from mercilessly and that’s Decipher by Stel Pavlou!

  • Horb

    This book was just incredibly bad. Horrible, zero-description writing, hollow characters, and a needlessly convoluted plot. The author was trying to show how clever his story idea is, but lacks the skill to really convey anything. The ‘Mother Earth’ character was so badly done I was actually personally insulted when reading her dialog.

    I do think this is a really great idea for a story, Greanias should just let someone else write it. Lose the pointless 3-way military angle, remove the religion aspect and add a protagonist with some actual motivation- do that and this story could really take off. Be a great TV series.

  • Susan

    Seriously this is the worst book that I have ever encountered in my history of reading crap…UGH!!! I am no writer or journalist or anything but I just finished reading this booked just because I get a high or sense of accomplishment from actually fishing a task or something. I hate starting something and not completing it. But, other than that this book is a complete waste of 3 days. I WANT MY 3 DAYS BACK. First off there is no plot, you read the little synopsis on the back of the book and you need read no further. There is absolutely no climax, no substance is what I am trying to say. The story lead nowhere other than around the bushes to come up to a crappy ending. Gosh! What is up with Conrad Yeats and Sister Serghetti (Sorry I meant DR. SERGHETTI), its like they sorta had something happening that amounted to nothing, and then the vatican who sent DR. SERGHETTI on this wild goose chase who is supposedly / conveniently suppose to die in couple days… UMMM…SO?…UGH!

    What is most confusing is that I thought that the world had been swallowed up by water after all that ice melted in antarctica but somehow at the end, it didn’t? but everything that Conrad thought he experience is really true but everyone is still alive, somehow…

    Well, I think what really happened is that this author person (Thomas Greanias) is great friends with his publisher whom owes him a major favor and printed the book out of either pity or maybe a way to get out of some debt.
    I also think that Thomas Greanias was trying to put a archaeological and science fiction twist on explaining the bibles account of the genesis of mankind while trying to incorporate a hint of romance but it went oh so horribly wrong.

  • http://megalithbooks.blogspot.com Megalith

    I appreciate everyone’s thoughts. Though, upon reflection, I softened my stance a little bit on this book, I will simply add that Greanias’ second book is leaps and bounds ahead of this one. You can see his growth as a writer, particularly in terms of plotting, and the premise is much more original.
    Megalith