Friday, May 15, 2009
Opening Atlantis by Harry Turtledove (review)
Title: Opening Atlantis
Author: Harry Turtledove
Dewey Decimal: F Tur
Atlantis. The magical city of lore that is home to, well, that depends on what tall tale you read. According to Turtledove, the island of Atlantis is home to odd plants and animals. Very much along the lines of that old Dr. Dolittle movie where the crabs are giant and the bees make man size honeycomb chambers.
Well, this Atlantis doesn't have animals quite so large, but ther flora and fauna is certainly different than that of Europe. So when a group of fishermen pay for the "secret" location of the island, it begins a wave of discovery. Over the years Atlantis is settled and new land is found even further west (that would be North America).
I had heard great things about Turtledove in years past and knew his name from my bookstore days. I also knew he wrote a good deal in the alternate history genre. Which is to say I had high hopes for this book but was disappointed. The story was mediocre as where the characters. The scope of the characters was nice, it spanned generations and you got to follow families from era to era. But there wasn't a lot of time to feel connected to any of them.
The early portions of the book were nice. But discovering a new world is always fun. After that it got into politics and, well, a very slow plot with semi-interesting battle scenes.
In the end, I'm glad I got this from the library. Paying full price would not have been a good deal.