A Well Fleshed Out Fantastic World
The action of this dystopian YA fantasy takes place in the ancient Atlantis, but it has clear resonance to the events and societal attitudes of today. We follow the protagonists, sixteen-year-old elves, On’dinn and Quen’die through their triumphs and trials at school and in their social life, complete with parties, sports, intellectual pursuits and bullies that are after their blood. Their existence seems like a normal teenage life, until something extraordinary happens that turns everything upside down. The insidious invasion of the mysterious Celestial forces and many strange events accompanying this event, slowly change the environment of Atlantis to that of paranoia, fear and martial law.
To be sure, the elves of Atlantis can hardly be called an enlightened bunch. They seem pretty shallow and self-absorbed, and only concerned about their outfits, parties, nice homes and job security. Most of the characters are teens, absorbed in usual teen activity. Only On’dinn – the intellectual and rebel – stands out from the crowd. Quen’die – a top student and star athlete – appears a normal teen elfmaid in her everyday life, until she finds out that she is supposed to save the world, with the help of her guardian angel Mavriel, who’s also called a “deva.” As the whole population of the elven kingdom is being duped by the infernal forces, will she succeed?
The story is absorbing, creative, and full of striking parallels to certain events of today, like government controls and manipulation by the power players of the rest of the population. The book is also a satire of contemporary societal attitudes and lifestyles. I found the characters of Quen’die and On’dinn sympathetic and interesting to read about. The author has succeeded in creating a well fleshed out fantastic world of the ancient Earth, with all of its details, attributes, fashions and even dishes!
Celestials is the first in Mark O’Neill’s The Ancients and the Angels series. Book 2, Archons, is a new release, on Amazon now!
(review of free book)