In Craw’s YA fantasy debut, a teenage girl discovers she’s part of a magical race—and she may be key to saving humankind.
Alison McKye didn’t think her ability to plant thoughts in others’ minds was anything special. But when she was 14, a stranger in the park noticed her magical abilities and left her with the ominous warning that her powers could attract the attention of dark forces, and she and her adoptive family might be at risk. Now 17, Alison avoids social connections, dresses inconspicuously and uses her power to deflect those who notice her, hoping to remain invisible from anyone who may wish her or her family harm. But when several newcomers show up at her Las Vegas school, Alison finds her powers are no longer working as they should—and she soon learns that there are others like her. Alison is one of the magical beings who call themselves the dewing. The dewing originated in Atlantis many centuries ago and lived peacefully until a civil war forced them to sink their own island. Now the dewing clans are at war once again, and Alison’s ability—called thoughtmaking—is desperately needed, not only to save the dewing, but to protect all of humankind from enslavement. Can she master her ability in time to rescue those she loves? Craw’s prose is crisp and accessible, and though the plot is a touch predictable at times, Atlantis serves as an exciting, fresh inspiration for this supernatural fantasy. On top of that, the mechanics of the dewing’s powers are quite intriguing. In general, the novel is tightly constructed, with each detail building to the novel’s roaring climax. Alison is enjoyably relatable as a self-deprecating but kindhearted heroine, and a romantic subplot dovetails nicely with the main action without overwhelming the story. The novel’s conclusion seems to hint at a sequel; the lush mythology Craw has created certainly warrants additional pages.
An enchanting debut from a promising new author of paranormal YA.
Alison McKye is different. It’s not that she’s adopted or that she’s shy or anything like that. She has a special ability: she can influence the thoughts and actions of those around her. Though she does actively use the power, she uses it so she will not be noticed. She hides herself from her peers by wearing nondescript clothing. Shortly after a disastrous first day of school beginning her senior year, she discovers that she’s not the only one. It turns out there are many dewings— children of Atlantis—who have mental powers beyond imagining. Her mother and father were on the run when she was born and put up for adoption, and now Alison must fight those her mother fled from in order to protect her family and new friends in Atlantis Rising.
The idea of the dewings is very interesting. The idea that people coming from Atlantis have mental powers which elevate them above the normal humans is fascinating and wonderful. This concept has a lot of power and I think this novel makes an excellent use of it. Alison is a very strong character and her power is very central to her character. She is talented and smart, and refreshingly honest with herself if not with her family.
My only real complaint about this novel is that other than the dewings, everything else is relatively predictable. The adopted girl with a mysterious past turns out to have a power. The cute boys and their friends also have the power. She’s in high school and she’s dealing with crushes and magic powers at the same time. I could have told you all of this just by reading the blurb on the back cover of the book.
Overall, it’s a good young adult novel. It’s not necessarily giving us something brand-new and dangerous, but that’s okay. It will be well received by people who enjoy magical stories with good pacing and good characters. Atlantis Rising is a very nice book with a great heroine and an interesting new creature.