In a few days, I'll officially be the Laurel clan chief
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.57(d)|
|Age Range:||12 Years|
About the Author
Gloria Craw grew up in the desert southwest, inspired every day by the wide skies and rich colors around her. After high school, she attended the University of Utah where she majored and got a degree in anthropology. These days, she lives in the 'burbs' just outside of Seattle, Washington where she is the shepherd of a husband, four daughters and a very hairy dog. www.gloriacraw.com
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By Gloria Craw, Jenn Mishler
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Gloria Craw
All rights reserved.
"Everything is ready," Spencer Thane said as he paced in front of a wall of windows that overlooked downtown Las Vegas and the famous Vegas Strip. The sun had just set and casino lights in every color glowed across the valley. Oblivious to the view, he continued, "It will look like an ordinary car accident."
Katherine, his wife, walked gracefully into the room. "Perhaps ordinary is a bad choice of words, Spencer," she commented with one perfectly sculptured eyebrow raised. "People are going to think she dies in it."
Spencer grimaced at the realization he was talking about my demise so casually. "Sorry, Alison. Didn't mean to sound insensitive."
"It's all right," I assured him with a small smile.
My heart was too heavy to take offense, and besides, I'd come up with the idea to stage a car accident and fake my own death.
"I'll rephrase anyway," Spencer said with a nervous glance at his wife. "It will look like an unfortunate accident. Nothing will be left behind to make the incident investigators suspect otherwise, and the McKyes will be able to have closure."
My chest tightened. How cruelly ironic that the best gift I could give the family I loved was assurance I died quickly and painlessly. A cynical chuckle escaped me, and Spencer and Katherine exchanged glances of alarm. They probably thought I'd started down the road to a well-deserved meltdown. Maybe I had.
"This is for you," Katherine said, putting a glass of water on the coffee table in front of me.
"Thanks," I replied robotically.
Reaching for the glass seemed too big an effort. The significance of what I was going to do the next day had mentally overwhelmed me, leaving me feeling weak and lethargic.
Katherine's green eyes filled with concern and sympathy as she sat by me on the sofa. "By this time tomorrow," she said gently, "you'll be on another continent, and your new life will have begun."
Knowing she meant to be reassuring, I managed a small smile of gratitude. Unfortunately, her mention of my "new life" wasn't comforting. There was so much about it I didn't understand, and that scared me. I felt like I was standing on the edge of a volcano waiting to be pushed in.
Spencer walked to the end of the room and pivoted back the other way. He paced like he did everything else: full speed ahead and focused. "Why don't you sit down for a bit, Spencer," Katherine suggested. "You're crushing the corner of my favorite Oriental carpet."
He adjusted his trajectory to avoid a lovely rug in shades of red and gold. "I would," he said, "but I think better when I'm moving."
"Not me," Ian said, coming into the room with an energy that was like a breath of fresh air. The last of the sunlight glinted off his gold-blond hair, and his blue-green eyes were filled with mischief. Plopping into a space next to me on the sofa, he added, "I think better when I'm eating. It's a shame there's no food in the place."
"You're exaggerating again," Katherine responded. "There just isn't as much food as usual for you to rummage through. We'll hardly be home this week. I didn't want to shop for a lot of groceries and have them spoil, but I didn't forget about you and your voracious appetite. There's an extra-large pizza in the refrigerator."
"Not anymore, Mom," he said. "I ate it for breakfast."
Her brows inched up. "The whole thing?"
He shrugged. "I defrosted it first."
"Next time, I'll buy two," she muttered.
Ian was just over six feet tall and a bit lanky at first glance. His slim build was deceptive, though. He was naturally athletic and kept up regular martial arts training. There was plenty of hard muscle on him.
"What about you, Alison?" she asked. "If you're hungry too, we'll order Thai food and have it delivered."
My stomach churned with nausea at the idea of eating greasy, overcooked, overly salted Thai food from Katherine and Spencer's favorite takeout place. From the wealthy look of their mansion, one would think they'd turn their noses up at questionable-quality dining. In fact, they had a peculiar weakness for it.
"No thanks," I replied. "I have too much on my mind. I don't feel like eating."
Katherine patted my knee sympathetically, and Ian gave my shoulder an understanding squeeze.
I'd known for a long time I'd have to leave the McKyes eventually. They were human, and I was a descendant of Atlantis. We were two different species, which didn't make for a happy family dynamic ... at least not one that could last.
The descendants of Atlantis, or dewing as we called ourselves, lived undetected among humankind. One of our unwritten rules was that while loose friendship and association with humans were fine, close relationships and attachments were not. For the greater good, I was going to take my position as a clan chief soon, and it would be impossible to continue hiding my relationship with a human family. I had to cut my ties to them.
There was also the fact that my dad, a physician, had started to notice how abnormally fast my cuts and scrapes healed. I knew there were questions forming in his doctor brain that I was forbidden to answer.
Genetics made the dewing different from humans in a lot of ways. We healed at a crazy rate of speed, remembered everything we heard or saw, and at around twenty years old stopped aging as fast as humans did. We looked the same at twenty as we would at forty. It made some sense, since our life span was generally three hundred years.
The biggest difference between dewing and humans was how we could control them. All but a few of us could join our minds to theirs and manipulate how they felt or what they did. We called our abilities joinings, and there were different types. There were sensationmakers, who could join humans minds to make them feel pain or pleasure. There were readers, who could join humans minds and detect their emotions. There were healers, like Spencer, who joined humans minds to fix and rewire bad connections. I was a thoughtmaker and could join humans minds and implant thoughts. I could get them to do anything from jumping like a frog to thinking their house is on fire when it isn't.
Dewing had another unwritten rule. We were to respect human free will and not to use our joinings to interfere in important affairs.
"So, Dad," Ian said. "We're all here. Are we going to have our last briefing, or what?"
Spencer nodded and veered toward a duffle bag by the side of the sofa. He unzipped it, fished out a human skull, and held it toward me. "This came today. Our lab engineered it to match yours, right down to your DNA. The other two hundred and five bones matching yours are in here, too."
Katherine's cheeks paled and then reddened with anger. "Put that away, Spencer," she said. "How do you think Alison feels having that gruesome thing shoved in her face?"
"Sorry," Spencer apologized and hurriedly returned the skull to the bag. "I guess I didn't really think it through."
"I'm okay," I replied, giving him a smile of reassurance.
Katherine allowed herself a long-suffering sigh, but seeing the skull hadn't upset me. I was lethargically amused that I now knew what I'd look like without skin.
"Anyway," Spencer continued. "I have the accelerant in my car. The technology behind it is so far advanced that human labs won't detect a molecule after it burns."
"I plan to leave school at ten," I remarked. "Theron said he'd already be hacked into the city grid and a satellite feed by then. He'll watch my progress and control the lights to move the flow of traffic away from me. When he sees that I'm getting close, he'll shut all the power down for six blocks."
"We'll be waiting for you in front of the Shadow Box Bookstore," Spencer assured me. "Ian will have a rental car. You'll get in with him while I move the bones into your car and set the accelerant. If everything goes right, the transition should take less than sixty seconds. The two of you will head to the airport while I finish staging the accident."
"Our jet and a dewing pilot will be waiting for you on a private runway," Katherine added.
Spencer rubbed his nose. "The only thing that still concerns me is the security cameras," he said. "Some of them might be on a backup power source."
"You told Theron about the backup power source, right?" Ian asked his dad.
"Yes," Spencer replied.
Ian chuckled. "Ten to one, he's got it covered. Banks hire him to rob them so they can see weakness in their security. His felonious mind is wired to consider all possibilities."
Remembering the last conversation I'd had with my bad-natured, criminal cousin Theron, I added, "He mentioned something about raining static that would disrupt band feeds. I think that's meant to disable video surveillance."
Spencer bounded to his feet and pulled a cell phone from his pocket. "I'll double-check with him," he said, walking away to pace and talk.
My shoulders slumped. The details of my death took two minutes to explain.
"Don't worry," Katherine reassured me. "It will all work out fine, and when you land, Claire and Logan Falco will take you to the Arx. You'll have a few days to rest and relax before we get there."
I made myself smile, though she'd only succeeded in making me worry more.
I was headed to Cornwall, England. The closest large land mass to the island of Atlantis ... or where Atlantis had once been. The Arx was a meeting place for the dewing clan chiefs who would be arriving for a ceremony to officially make me one of them.
Ian whispered in my ear, "You look as enthusiastic about it as someone headed to a dentist appointment."
I deepened my smile, but Katherine didn't see. She turned her head as a gust of wind blew in through an open door on the deck.
"I think Alison and I should close that," Ian said, getting up to pull me to my feet.
He led me onto the deck, and I wandered to the railing while he dealt with the door. A lump rose in my throat as I looked at the sea of lights below. Three hundred sixty-five days a year the Vegas Strip flickered to life. Regardless of what was going on in the rest of the world, downtown woke up to party at the end of the day. I'd always found something comforting in the consistency of it, but I might never see it happen again.
Ian put a hand on my back. Turning to him, I let him pull me into a hug. I breathed in his peppermint-and-soap scent and then sighed. "I can't believe this is my last night," I said quietly.
"You'll come back someday," he responded.
"I'm not so sure. It would make all the wounds seem new again. There's too much I have to leave behind."
"You're not leaving everything behind," he teased. "You're still going to have me."
I turned my head to kiss his slightly scruffy cheek. "Thank goodness," I replied with a tenderness I felt clear to my bones.
He chuckled in a contented sort of way and squeezed me tighter.
It seemed impossible now, but Ian had started out as an annoyance in my life. Some strange, though, remarkably good-looking guy who wouldn't leave me in peace. There had been an attraction between us from the beginning, but a boatload of insecurities made me struggle against it. As I waged battle with my feelings for him, he remained calm, steady, and determined that I'd come around. And I had. Letting myself love him hadn't come easy, but it was one of the best decisions I'd made.
The wind, which had been calm since we walked out, picked up. "Hold on a sec," he said, releasing me.
He went back inside and came out with a designer throw from the back of the sofa.
"I don't think you're supposed to use this," I objected as he wrapped it around my shoulders. "It's more for decoration."
He pulled the ends tight in front of me and kissed my forehead. "I'll put it back just the way I found it," he promised and then tried to hand me a protein bar. "You should eat something."
"Thanks, but I'm really not hungry," I responded.
"When was the last time you ate?" I searched my perfect recall and sighed. "Breakfast yesterday."
"Which is probably why you've been walking around like a pale-faced zombie today," he said.
"I thought boyfriends were supposed to tell their girlfriends how amazing they look, not that that they resemble the undead," I responded.
He chuckled and said with extra drama, "Alison, your beauty takes my breath away. I see my world in your eyes. I live for your smile. My heart skips when I hear you laugh." He put the bar into my hand and continued, "If you love me like I love you, you'll eat this thing."
I made a face. "What if I don't love you?" He tapped the side of his head. "That's the great thing about having perfect recall. I can play back the moment you told me you did."
"Fine," I replied after a long breath.
He nodded approval before pulling me against him again.
While I chewed, I thought about the conversation he'd referenced. I had told him I loved him. I had also told him there was no chance of us being together in the way he hoped. Dewing didn't get to decide whom they spent their lives with. We went through a bonding process called likeness. It seemed completely random to me. Two strangers could make eye contact for the first time and find themselves connected for life. Two friends with no romantic feelings for each other could be eating pizza together one minute and find themselves head over heels in love and connected to each other the next.
The bond between a likenessed pair was incredibly strong, too. There was complete love and devotion between the couple from the moment it happened. They might argue and get irritated with each other, but their eyes never wandered to another. Contact between them was so essential that if one of them died, the other gradually lost strength and died, too.
Though likeness seemed a random thing to me, the dewing thought destiny had decided it eons ago. If that was true, destiny didn't want me to likeness with Ian. A staggering connection had started between us once. For a fraction of a second, Ian's heart seemed to beat in my chest, and his blood seemed to run through my veins. I'd felt his emotions and shared his thoughts, but as quickly as it started, it stopped. The connection couldn't hold because I wasn't complete.
Dewing minds functioned differently from human ones. Human thoughts were jumbled and chaotic, which made it hard for them to concentrate. Dewing thoughts moved from one to another in an orderly fashion, which made it easier for them to learn, remember, and understand.
There was a second level of thought in a dewing's mind, which they weren't consciously aware of. It traveled between all of them. I'd come to think of it as a shared consciousness and was convinced it was necessary for likeness to occur.
I hadn't been raised among my own kind and had never developed that second level of thought. Without it, I'd doubted I'd ever likeness with anyone.
Ian disagreed. He believed I'd gain shared consciousness the more time I spent with other dewing. He was certain destiny had brought us together because we were meant to likeness in the end. He'd convinced me there was at least hope for a future together. I clung to it because I couldn't imagine life without him in it.
I finished the last of the protein bar and shuddered. "Ugh ... I did it," I said. "Are you happy now?"
"I'm happy, but I wish you were too. How are you holding up?"
"All things considered, I'm good," I replied.
He ran a finger down the side of my cheek and turned my face so I had to look at him. "No one in your position would be good."
Tears filled my eyes. I tried to blink them back, but one escaped and started down my cheek. He gently wiped the moisture away. "I use my mind to make humans confess stuff," he said. "The ones with really dark secrets feel better after telling me ... even when they didn't want to say anything to begin with."
"Are you trying to tell me I need to open up?" I asked with a watery smile.
"No, but when you're ready, I'll be here to listen. Telling me how you feel might make it easier for you to move past the grief."
I let myself lean into him, drawing strength from his warm and steady body. I loved Ian, but I hated destiny.
The dewing felt the same emotions that humans did, but since they believed everything was part of a course charted long ago, they got over misfortunes and heartbreaks a whole lot faster than most humans would. I'd learned the human way of feeling, so I'd probably grieve over the McKyes for the rest of my life.
The wind gusted again, making my hair fly around. Laughing, Ian let go of me and pushed it away from his face.
"We should probably head back inside before you're blinded," I said.
He opened the door for me, but when he tried to close it after us, it stuck. I left him battling the door and joined Katherine again.
Spencer ended his call and headed toward us. I was struck again by how similar he and Ian looked. The color of their hair and eyes, the set of their jaw, and even the way they moved mirrored each other. Spencer was a bit bigger and broader, but Ian might grow to match him someday.
Excerpted from Atlantis Reborn by Gloria Craw, Jenn Mishler. Copyright © 2017 Gloria Craw. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Atlantis Reborn is the third and final book in the Atlantis Rising series by Gloria Craw and I have to admit, I kind of forgot that there was going to be a third book until I was notified that this was being released. Having read the first two, I dove right in as I wanted to see how things were going to end up for these characters. This book picks up shortly after the end of book two and Alison is officially the head of the Laurel clan which means she needs to meet with the clan leaders to discuss what happens next for everyone. As the story opens, Alison is essentially saying goodbye to her human family (the McKyes) even though they don’t know it. Since things are changing drastically for her, she needs to cut her ties and it isn’t easy for her. Luckily she has Ian and his family to help her through everything. When Alison gets to the Arx, she begins to learn so much more about who she is and the Laurel clan. She also learns more about what the other clans are concerned about and what they are willing to do to achieve their goals. The biggest issue the clans face right now are tied to their decreasing population and some have uncovered a way to create Atlantian hybrids and Alison knows firsthand how bad of an idea this is. What I liked about this series was how much growth Alison’s character goes through and it happened throughout every book. She is adaptable and continuing to learn who she is but also where she can help the Atlantians. She has a different perspective and isn’t afraid to share her thoughts and opinions. The secondary characters were well done in previous books but it felt like they definitely took a backseat in this book. Ian didn’t really have a role here and in my opinion, was really just there as filler. Theron was there to support Alison but he seemed to be her errand guy. I liked the addition of some of the new characters and it was great to see some old characters back in the mix. Overall I enjoyed this series. While it wrapped the series up well, I don’t know that this one was my favorite. With that said, I thought Craw did a wonderful job developing both the characters and the story. Having crossed paths with the first book in this series inadvertently, I am glad I was able to read the entire series and explore this world that Craw developed. I will definitely be watching for anything new she writes and if you are looking for something different with a unique story, definitely consider checking this one out.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Atlantis Reborn by Gloria Craw! Alison becomes clan chief and makes choices that change her life. Each book in this series has Alison handling a different life changing event. Atlantis Reborn, the third book of the Atlantis rising series, gives Alison much more than one change to her life. She's matured and knows everything about her past, her parents and her heritage. She gains loyal friends, becomes stronger and enjoys her relationship with Ian. Atlantis reborn is the book of this series with the most action, humor and romance. The ending is also perfect. 5 stars for an entertaining fantasy read.!
"Atlantis Reborn" is the third book in a really enjoyable series. It takes a bit of a turn and focuses more on world development and less on the action/journeys we've come to enjoy from the first two in the series. Here, Alison must leave the human world behind and take her place as the Laurel clan chief, a tradition steeped in ceremony. Leaving her human family behind is really difficult for her, and we spend the first part of the book watching her do so. The rest of the book focuses on her duties as clan chief, the ceremony to officially make her clan chief, and her first big meeting as clan chief. This book begins to build up the history of Atlantis and the world of the dewing. We're introduced in brief to some other clans and learn more about Lillian's past/history which has only been hinted at previously. Most of the characters we've come to really love and enjoy take a backseat in this book, as we focus on Alison's feelings and inner turmoil. This is by far the moodiest of the three books, and this makes sense as Alison is leaving the world she knows behind and taking on some big responsibilities. However, we sacrifice the usual purpose behind her actions (a clear journey/quest) and the action/suspense (albeit mild- it really added something) of the past books. Even her relationship with Ian seems pushed to the background. The last 20% or so of the book really picks up, but I found it pretty lagging in the middle, and it was tough to push through some of the filler. I did really enjoy learning more about the history of the dewing and some of their fables/key stories. I wish these had come earlier in the series to set up some more distant foreshadowing (here, you learn about them and then the relevant events occur pretty quickly). We've already established the most critical aspects of dewing culture, so they really just cement what we already know rather than add much to it. Most of the book is worry about a discussion/decision that will made, rather than the culture-saving/fixing of the first two where people's lives were on the line. I suppose, theoretically, the decision could leave people's lives on the line, but it seemed more political and mild (and we already know how it will go). This series has been really strong and entertaining, so I was a little disappointed in this third book as it wasn't as strong as the first two, which kept me really enthralled. That being said, I did still enjoy it and finished it within a few days. The last part was definitely worthwhile and akin to the parts of the first two books that readers loved, so in my opinion, readers following the characters/series will be pleased with the final parts of the book. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.