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Arcadia Awakens (Arcadia Awakens - Trilogy (Quality)) Paperback – 8 Jan 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 451 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen; Reprint edition (8 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006200607X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062006073
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,162,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Constant, shifting peril from multiple antagonists keep the tension high and the plot barreling forward, and readers will be clamoring for the next installment from this veteran German fantasist." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Kai Meyer was born in 1969. After studying film and theatre at university, he worked as a journalist before devoting himself to novels. He has since published over fifty titles, including numerous bestsellers, and is recognised as one of the best fantasy writers in Germany. His works have been adapted as films, comics and radio plays, and have been translated into 27 languages. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stepping Out of the Page on 11 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Unlike most other readers, the premise of this book did nothing for me, simply because I've never had any sort of interest in the mafia which is a big theme in this book. I was a little unsure about the shapeshifter element, another big theme, as I've not yet read any books about shapeshifters that I've really enjoyed. Why did I read this then? I'm not all that sure - I guess I just wanted to see if this was any different to other young adult books at the moment and I'd read some great reviews. I'm very glad that I did decide to read this one as it was a surprisingly engrossing read!

I'll start with the main thing that bugged me and that was the writing style. This book was actually written in German, so I'm not sure what was lost in translation and I can't blame the author for that. I just felt as though a lot of the sentences didn't flow well - note that I did read an ARC of this book though, so this may be slightly different in the final version.

Apart from the sometimes awkward writing, I found Arcadia Awakens to be a very enthralling read. This is a quite loosely based modern day Romeo and Juliet, set on the alluring island of Sicily, Italy. The backdrop to the story wasn't overly described but Meyer gave us a very good sense of the setting. Our two main characters, Rosa Alcantara and Alessandro Carnevare, are from opposing sides of the Sicilian mafia and they form a forbidden bond, falling in love with each other. Thankfully the love wasn't instant and instead, they gradually grew to trust each other. I actually did find myself wishing that there was slightly more chemistry between them, but I think that it was enjoyable enough as it was - it felt natural and unforced.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Molly on 31 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Review can be read at:[...]

When I first read the synopsis of Arcadia Awakens I knew I had to read it. Then I saw the cover and I was totally convinced. I couldn't wait for my copy to drop through the letterbox and when it did arrive, I wasn't let down.

Arcadia Awakens follows Rosa as she leaves her troubled life in New York and heads to Sicily, but little does she know that she is walking straight into trouble even worse than she could imagine. At first I was concerned that Rosa might be just another `strong female character' with a pretty face and black clothes that scream `angst'. But Rosa has a cutting wit and once you realise that her life has been just one serious problem after another you understand that this isn't just another angst-ridden girl but someone with genuine problems, real strength and most importantly weaknesses.

Nearly all of the characters are well-rounded and there is much more to them than there appears. Even the incredibly sexy Alessandro is not just eye-candy but a boy who leads a deeply complicated life, and not just because he is next in line to become Capo of his mafia family.

This is not a `Romeo and Juliet' story, there is no cheesy romance and there is very little that is light-hearted in Arcadia Awakens. Two mafia families struggle for supremacy while also trying to keep a powerful secret under wraps. Rosa has stumbled into a nest of lies and secrets, and she must fight to not only survive but also to uncover the truth.

Kai Meyer's writing is beautiful and powerful, just like the landscape and the characters he writes about, and he weaves a thrilling, dark and mysterious narrative that expertly mixes fantasy and reality so well that is incredibly hard to put down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jas.k on 6 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
i didn't know what to expect from this book i readit simply because I loved the look of the cover and I have got to say it was well worth it. It's a mix of fantasy, romance and gang wars. Think romeo and juliet with a hell of alot more swagger and daring.
Get it, read it and bask in it's awesomeness!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kajetan erdinger on 25 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
nice plot
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 20 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways... 24 Feb. 2012
By JoAnne - Published on
Format: Hardcover
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

The setting. The story takes place in Sicily. I am a sucker for books that are set in any European country. I find them fascinating. Alluring. Exotic.

The mafia theme. I am also a sucker for all things mafia. And this book is IT. Kai Meyer integrated all the necessary gangster story ingredients that I am looking for: treachery, crime, cruelty, deceit, and of course a good romance. This is not to say that this is a full blown mafia book like the Godfather by Mario Puzo. It's not. It's still very tame and mild. Still completely YA.

The Romeo and Juliet theme. Forbidden romances! The main character is in love with the enemy's son. Now, this may seem pretty common in today's YA literature. But let me tell you that the romance in this book is not forced and fake, unlike the other YA couplings. There is no instalove here. The romance is gradual and steady. In fact, this story is not driven by the hormones of the characters. There is a very good story behind the sweet romance.

The originality. I am impressed. The author managed to weave mafia, shape-shifting, and Greek mythology into a very detailed, very intricate, very intriguing story. What can be more original than that?

I have issues with the way some of the sentences were formed. I feel like there are not enough transition sentences. Hence, it is not as smooth as I would like it to be. Also, there were some sentences that I found a bit strange. It tried to be all ornate, fancy, and metaphorical, but it just didn't come out right. However, keep in mind that this book is originally in German, and was just translated to the English language. So, it's not the author's fault at all. How I wish I could understand German so I can read and devour this book in its original language.

I just have to say that the characters in this book seem more mature than their counterparts. This may be attributed to their exposure to crimes and all the other mafia business. Nevertheless, I love how the main character transformed from being "just a girl" to a very powerful mafia boss. Her determination and will power is just impressive and beyond her years. I have nothing more to say except that, this is my first Kai Meyer book and it has made my favorites list.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
New take on shape shifters! 7 Mar. 2012
By Tawni - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Kai Meyer molds such a unique and powerful world in Arcadia Awakens! Every time I cracked this book open, I just couldn't get enough of it. The mafia aspect is incredibly realistic and weaves these opposing families together in an ancient legend. I really, really loved that it was extremely different than other shape shifting books out there!

Rosa has a troubled past and just needs to be distracted. Setting out to Sicily seemed like the perfect getaway for her. Of course, its not just that simple and anything that can go wrong, does. She's thrust into a crazy twist of mafia animals (literally) feuding over power and her own feud of feelings for the enemy.

Rosa is a kick-butt kind of girl who isn't really afraid to be her true self. She's a character who was hard to grasp at first, but the readers grow with her as the story goes along. She's smart and serious, and then Alessandro comes in and she gains power and strength with him. Alessandro was one beautiful guy (in my mind at least) and even though he is considered by all to be an enemy of the Alcantara clan, he's so hard to resist. I loved that his and Rosa's relationship wasn't overbearing, or sappy.

Mafia business...crazy! I mean crazy. I can only imagine that things like this happen in real life and reading Arcadia Awakens is so full of action and so realistic that reading it is almost scary! The storyline never once faltered and was as strong as ever straight through the end. The shape shifting was incredible!

Meyer's writing was different than any I've come across. The writing is gender-neutral, so it doesn't matter who is reading. Its written in a 3rd person format that's incredibly detailed and in tune with the current character. I really enjoyed the writing and will be looking for more from Meyer.

Overall, this is a MUST in the moment it releases. A fantastic, action-packed, suspenseful book that's sure to keep you on edge - I think I can safely guarantee that!

Review based on ARC
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
If you like Hunger games 19 Feb. 2012
By Danielle50 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Then you will love this. It got the right amount of Fantasy and it is Romeo and Juliet style. I read this book in one day and couldn't put it down. I cannot wait for the next one.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Library Lady Hylary - The Mafia + Shapeshifting = Fun! 27 Sept. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Life for seventeen-year-old Rosa Alcantara has never been simple. Part of one of the most powerful Mafia families in Italy, Rosa's parents moved her and her sister Zoe to New York City to escape the crime and murder that is part of everyday life for the Alcantaras. After tragedy strikes, however, Rosa decides to move to Sicily, and join Zoe, who already left New York to live with Florinda in the Palazzo Alcantara. As head of the Alcantaras, Florinda is far from warm and fuzzy, but Rosa hopes that a new life in Sicily will be what she needs. Everything changes, however, when Rosa happens to meet handsome and charming Alessandro Carnevare. As the son and heir of the Carnevare family, Alessandro is an enemy of Rosa's, but the two are instantly attracted to one another. Alessandro's father has recently died, and he is set to become the next head of the Carnevare family. Alessandro informs Rosa, however, that he believes his father's advisor and right-hand-man, Cesare , wants to overthrow him and becoming the new leader of the Carnevares. Rosa wants to help Alessandro, much to the distress of Florinda and Zoe who don't want her anywhere near members of a rival family. Things are further complicated when, one evening, Rosa encounters a massive, powerful tiger in the forest surrounding the Palazzo, a tiger with very human-like eyes who seems to know who she is.

Originally published in Germany, this novel from renowned author Kai Meyer is the first installment in the Arcadia Awakens trilogy. Part Godfather part paranormal romance, Arcadia Awakens is a truly unique book for teens. While there are paranormal elements to the story, the bulk of the novel is made up of the conflict between the Alcantaras and Carnevares, two rival Mafia families and members of Cosa Nostra. Readers who are unfamiliar with the Mafia might be slightly confused by many of the terms and references, although the novel could be incentive to learn more about one of pop culture's most commonly depicted organized crime groups. For those who aren't as interested in the Mafia aspects of the story, the very Romeo and Juliet romance between Rosa and Alessandro, as well as the paranormal elements, will be intriguing enough on their own. The author does a good job of creating a story that appeals to a broad audience, and one that definitely has enough potential to warrant a trilogy. The second book in the trilogy, Arcadia Burns, has been released in Germany and will be released in the United States in the near future.

This was one of those books that really left me stumped on what to expect. I knew it was about the Mafia, I had a pretty good guess that it had to do with shapeshifting of some kind, and I knew it was by a German author. What I didn't know, and was pleasantly surprised to find out, was that it was one of the most unique books I've read for the young adult audience this year. The Mafia isn't something you find too often in books for teens, and I really enjoyed the way the author dove headfirst into creating a very Godfather-¬y tale. The mythological and paranormal aspects of the story kind of took a backseat for me as I was reading the book, but I am hoping they will be expanded upon in the second and third installments because I think they hold loads of potential. One minor (and annoying) detail that I felt compelled to mention, was the frequent use of the word "supple" in the novel. I don't have a problem with this word and maybe it had something to do with the book being translated from German to English, but it seemed like everything in the novel was "supple." A little strange. There is also a decent amount of swearing, violence and gore in the book, which would make it hard for me to recommend to middle school-ers. For older teens, however, I would definitely suggest Arcadia Awakens as a unique and enjoyable read, chock full of romance and adventure.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not your ordinary YA 8 Jan. 2013
By Sugar Spice - Published on
Format: Hardcover

YA mafia story with fantasy elements? Count me in, you don't really come across many YA regarding organized crime families in the beautiful backdrop of Sicily. Ever.

This wasn't a fluffy romance with some mafia stuff as wallpaper and make belief guns to make it slightly more interesting and exiting, this story was a flat-out full of cruelty, blood, disgusting crimes, difficult choices, people cheating to stay on top or just for the hell of it, while not overly too dramatic, shocking or gory it certainly isn't your typical cute YA romance and I would definitely recommended it for older teens.

While the plot was unraveled kind of slowly in the beginning, once the action starts, it never lets up and while I had issues with many of the characters in this book, what they lacked was made up by the colorful plot and mysterious on goings which left more questions than gave answers in a good way.

I also liked the fact that the love story was not the main focus of the book, usually I might mind but the setting was so promising and exotic, full of intrigue and questions and had so much to offer that it would have been a shame to overlook all the possibilities it presented. Luckily, that potential was met. With the addition of the paranormal element, which is quite ingenious to me, this book was a win.


My biggest issue with this book were the characters, yes, there were some intriguing and unusual ones but my inability to fully relate to or even like Rosa, the heroine, was the hardest obstacle for me. Yes, she wasn't your typical cookie cutter heroine, but she plain and simple wasn't very likable or easy to swallow. Ok, she was someone I could respect for her attitude: not bowing down to anyone, rebellious, does what she considers right, not easily manipulated - even though everyone wanted to and succeeded on some levels -, fared quite well in the life threatening circumstances she found herself in, had a kind heart under all that snarky, smart mouth, low level of self-preservation, anger and traumas. Still, she was too jaded and hostile for my liking but I do have to admit she was exactly what was needed for the story, circumstances and dangerous surroundings.

Alessandro was an interesting hero and I was fond of him - tall dark and handsome, but I felt that I didn't really know him at all by the end of the book. There is something mysterious and somewhat shady about him even though he was nothing but heroic and devoted to Rosa despite their family feud. I can't put my finger on it but he makes me uneasy and swoon both at the same time. Hmmm, I have to see if there is some basis for me being suspicious about him in the other two books to come - at the same time I have no idea what I'm suspecting him of. The one thing I didn't quite like about him was how quickly his feelings developed for Rosa, then again the same thing can't fully be said about Rosa and, in regards to her, there was more than enough development, so not exactly insta love in this story.

This book was packed with mysterious characters, all of whom you have to view with some speck of mistrust, it's difficult to be clear of anyone's intentions or even who works for who and what are everyone's interests. I definitely have to mention Fundling who was someone intriguing and I can't wait to know more about him.


An extremely enjoyable mafia YA from a German author. Luckily, the second book will come out really soon. Recommend!
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