May 16th 2013
The Last Prince of Atlantis by Leonard Clifton
I think the initial concept of this book was pretty cool. The story follows a young African American boy who finds out he's the last prince of the fictional Atlantis, the book gets sidetracked with a lot of telling and no showing, poor character development and too much likeness to Rick Riordan's The Lightning thief. I feel that perhaps he should have left the Greek mythology out of this book because it overshadowed the Atlantian culture.
The last prince of Atlantis had me so confused on what actually occurred in the story. It had no clear Point of view and no "beats" to help move dialogue forward. Many times when people would talk there would be no actions going on in between , so it was as if they never stopped talking.It made it hard to imagine what they were doing in the background of it all. Something that assists writers with writing a novel is to read other books. It's seems really stupid to read other books while writing a book but while reading books, you get an idea of how to set up language and background. Too often the book, to me, was unclear because it is not properly written.
This book does not have the proper editing to judge it fairly.To judge it that would mean to I hold it to the same credibility as a traditionally published book and unfortunately, I do not.There are also a lot of grammar issues throughout the entire book.I'm not a grammar Nazi, but it's really hard to read a lot of misspelled words and misplacement of punctuation marks or known at all where they needed to be.
It also never gave clear descriptions of settings. I'm a Miami native and I did not envision the Miami that I know and love. There was also a lot of confusion of where the story took place as well as where the Atlantian lineage came from. There were too many places thrown around so I wasn't sure if Atlantians where from Earth, Outer Space, Zion West, The Caribbean, Atlantis?I wasn't sure because there were too many names just thrown around. I think the author just made too many comparisons to other cultures that actually exist when he could have taken the chance to make the Atlantian culture something unique and unrelated to any of the cultures you see today.
Everything seemed to come natural to Allen, which made him totally unrelatable. One day he wakes up and he is regular Ole Allen, the next day he's muscular, taller and possesses the power of an Atlantian general. Since I read A LOT of YA novels, I have to admit I'm more drawn to lead characters to struggle a lot in the beginning. Once Allen found out of his heritage, he was so cocksure and didn't fight with this truth violating his normal. He seemed to just excel at everything within the first 6 chapters. I just didn't connect to him because he had no vulnerabilities.
The thing that upset me the most about this books is that some of the characters are a little stereotypical. Allen had a Cuban friend and when I first read that he was a Cuban from Miami, my heart leapt. Why? Because i too am a Cuban(well a Cuban American, that is) from Miami. But he came off as so stereotypical that I could not connect with him because for one, I don't know Cubans that act like that or talk like that, especially young people. Which brings me to Allen and Athena. Their relationship just seemed instant. They knew almost nothing about each other besides having one conversation and already they're having sex. They also didn't "act"like real teenagers to me, because once Allen found out he was Atlantian, they wanted to get married. Now how many 15 year olds do you know, anxious to marry the first person they sleep with?
I also was not a fan of the way racial identity was portrayed in the book.If i had a child I'm not sure if this would be the perfect story to read to a kid, because young children are at such an influential age where everything they encounter influences how they will see things later on. The mixed race identity was highly praised in the book; which I can't say that I mind if it's done right, However it was like you had to be a mixed race person just to be beautiful and strong. Our society tells us that being black is never enough and this book was a pure example of that.
I want to commend the author with his effort to try to introduce readers to diverse in YA novels but this is just something I would not recommend to other readers.Perhaps with the help of a ghost writer and some extensive research and proper editing, this book could be a decent read.
I did not give this book any stars because I did not and could not finish it. :(
Didn't connect enough with the characters to envision them, so no dreamcasting for this one.