Thomas Greanias follows up Raising Atlantis with a top-flight thriller in The Atlantis Prophecy. Conrad Yeats and Serena Serghetti return for an adventure in which the fate of the world hangs in the balance. The plot revolves around the search for George Washington's celestial globes, and the conspiracy that the search uncovers.
The story begins with a prologue set during America's formative years. Greanias does a masterful job at painting a picture which entices the reader and sets the stage for the story without giving anything away. Too many adventure stories begin with a prologue "just because" and it is always nice to see one that actually contributes to the plot.
The story takes off from the outset, with mysterious markings on Yeats' father's gravestone at Arlington National Cemetery sparking the quest. With enemies at every turn, Yeats' adventure takes him to locales of national and historical significance, including the United States Capitol Building and the Library of Congress. As the mystery unfolds, the plot ties in to George Washington, the Masons, Atlantis, and the stars above. Yeats finds himself in a race to solve the mystery and foil a plot that will take place at the moment of a specific astronomical event.
There are some familiar plot devices – codes to be decrypted, and of course the Vatican connection that comes with the character of Serena Serghetti. Some will note similarities between The Atlantis Prophecy and the National Treasure movies, but this book is actually based on a short story Greanias wrote several years ago, prior to the release of said movies. Also, the similarities are superficial. The Atlantis Prophecy, though a fast, fun read, is a grittier, more complex tale.
Greanias does a masterful job of doling out bits of mystery and history without affecting the pacing of the plot. There are no big info dumps, and the action takes precedence. There are some well-crafted twists and surprises, and a couple of well-developed secondary characters: something that was missing from Raising Atlantis. Yeats has grown tougher and more resourceful, albeit jaded from the various losses he has suffered in his life.
Areas of relative weakness are few. The relationship between Yeats and Serghetti is tough to hold on to. We know that they have feelings for one another, and that circumstances and past history color their present relationship. What we don't get is any depth of development. Why do they care so deeply for one another? What makes these two click as a pair? This aspect could stand a deeper exploration.
Overall, The Atlantis Prophecy is a major leap forward for Greanias, and stands head-and-shoulders above Raising Atlantis. Recommended for fans action and conspiracy thrillers.