Atlas by Becca Smith – Bourne Identity meets Supernatural! #review
Kala Hicks shouldn’t have a care in the world. She has a very elite and important job. Pretty abnormal for us
couch surfers normal people but not for Kala. She is a highly trained sniper in an hyper elite special ops unit. Things were already a bit weird with her commanding officers coming up with odd and high-tech things for everyone to use during a mission. But for Kala, the world she knew, this simplistic life after that as a foster child was steadfast and secure. But she was going to get a shock. Even though she finally found a foster family in the end who treated her like theirs, she still never felt like she belonged. She was not able to embrace herself fully and let people in, at least not until this group of soldiers and on top of it all she was finally letting someone into her heart.
Labeled as Urban Fantasy, Atlas is written by Becca Smith, an established young adult author of the critically acclaimed Riser Saga. Becca takes a step out of her Riser series appropriate for 12-18 year-olds and brought her amazing voice into the world of adults. It is one heck of a kick-ass adventure. Think a female Jason Bourne meets the world Supernatural! She was one hell of a sniper and because of that and her ability to just “DO”, she ended up taking a shot someone else had spent their whole life preparing for and it changed her world, in fact it changed everyone’s world.
I love a good urban fantasy, and with the introduction of Greek and Christian mythology (just the creatures) it was a fun read. Who is good, who is evil (other than the obvious HOT Demon) and who is out for themselves? Can Kala do it? Can she hold onto her new-found self and her true love and be able to do what is right for everyone… in the world? It is going to be really interesting to see what happens in the next book, considering the ending.. naa-uhh-uhhh spoilers, sweetie!
Over all, the Demons.. the hot, sexy, steamy, misogynistic demons (can get an Asmodeus Asmodeus.. FIGARO! oops sorry), the angels, the other angels, the supernatural stuff was great. Though there was almost a “to easy” feel to it, which almost contradicted the feel of the story a wee bit, but it did not take away from the story, it just made it a faster read. I know that’s normal in some Urban Fantasy but there usually is something a bit more to it. I wanna call it Urban Fantasy-LITE which maybe why folks are thinking it is young adult. The author has a solid handle on story devices and getting things to go from one thing to the other. It as full of BAM action to the point I had a form of literary whiplash and at the beginning I was a bit; “Wait.. WHAT? Ohhhh”.
One VERY important thing I want to note, and I stress, STRONGLY NOTE:
This book’s target audience is NOT Young Adult!
I think there seems to be some confusion with the other reviewers in that matter. (I figured it out but I also ended up asking the author directly). There is nothing in it that even implies it. So if you may not get this because of those reviews *waving and yelling* HEY.. OVER HERE… it is not young adult. BUT on that note, those who are looking for something safe for an older teen to read (due to implied sex and obvious violence) this one is OK. But there is nothing in it that would fit into the age range of young adult conventions. No biggy, but I needed it stated because it is how I roll, Toots! Especially with the ending (again spoilers).
I definitely recommend the read. Especially if you like urban fantasy and if you enjoy playing with Greek mythology. It is not too heavy, but I warn you it is going to smack you in the face even if you think you know what is coming and have guessed the outcome. It is going to smack you hard and all the pain will be totally worth it. Another great book to start 2014 off with!
8 out of 10
on November 16,2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Kala Hicks is part of a covert elite military team that answers directly to the President of the United States. But during an emergency mission aboard Air Force One, Kala is shocked to discover that the real threat is none other than the President himself. Defying her commanding officer, Jack Norbin, Kala takes the shot, and her life changes forever.
The moment the President is killed, a supernatural force speaks to Kala, telling her that she has to commit one act of atrocity every four days… or the world will end. Thrown into a reality she never could have imagined, Kala faces off with creatures of legend; from demons determined to make her fail and plunge the Earth into chaos, to angels who don’t trust her to do the job and are willing to kill her to claim it for themselves.
Pitted against the forces of good and evil, Kala must choose whether to save the world by doing the unthinkable, or sit back and let it burn. And four days later, she’ll have to do it again.
Cover Artist: Stephan Fleet
I received this book for free from Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Excerpt End of Chapter 3:Very carefully, Jack opened the door that led to the President’s office.
What awaited them was terrifying.
President Jareth Wilton stood behind his desk. He was wearing a vest that held five grey bars of C-4 wired into a bomb. Wilton was a tall man, well over six feet with stark black hair and a long face. He was a young President, only fifty years old, but he looked like he’d aged twenty years since the last time Kala had seen him at a press conference, with dark rings under his eyes and worry lines on his forehead.
But his smile was what made the scene surreal and horrific. His thin lips were grinning as if he’d just climbed Mt. Everest.
President Wilton stared directly at Jack as the door swung open the rest of the way. “I figured it out! I figured out how to break it! No one will ever have to do what I’ve had to do again! Do you realize what this means?”
Kala knew then and there that the man was cracked. Figured what out? Break what? He was rambling like a mad man.
But the more frightening moment came when Jack responded back to Wilton. “Killing yourself is impossible. People have tried that in the past.”
Not only was President Wilton talking crazy, but apparently Jack knew his language and was responding accordingly.
Kala noticed that Wilton’s eyes lit up when Jack spoke. “You’re the one they sent to replace me.”
What? Kala was seriously confused.
Kala spoke up, “What’s going on Jack?”
Replace him for what?
Jack didn’t acknowledge Kala or the rest of the team, which was shifting uncomfortably behind him.
Wilton shook his head, serious. “You can’t do it. You have to let me detonate this bomb. We have to crash the plane! It’s the only way to stop it!”
“You can’t stop it!” Jack yelled back.
“I can and I will!” Wilton talked into an earpiece. “NOW!”
The plane nose-dived.
Everyone jolted forward and stumbled from the force of it.
Jack barked orders, “Lali get up to the Flight Deck and by any means necessary take over this plane!”
Lali paused for a second, she looked more confused than Kala felt, but after a moment to gain her bearings as the plane was falling fast, she managed to high-tail it out of the room and up to the Flight Deck.
Kala was sure they’d hit ground at any moment.
Jack aimed his gun at the President’s head.
Wilton was frantic. He ducked behind his large oak desk that was bolted to the ground.
“You can’t kill me! You’ll ruin everything!” Wilton yelled.
Jack turned to Kala and Derek. “No one shoots him but me!”
Kala kind of nodded, but she was in shock at the fact that they were about to flatten a part of the capital with Air Force One. She really didn’t care what Jack was saying. She couldn’t let President Wilton set off that bomb and kill thousands.
Jack shot at the desk, trying to hit the president, but he didn’t come close.
Only Kala could make a shot like that and not get them all killed from shooting a hole through the plane.
Kala and Derek made eye contact. Kala could tell Derek was thinking the same thing. He whispered so only Kala could hear, “Do it.”
Kala’s nod was barely perceptible.
Jack saw her and his eyes went wide. “Kala STOP!”
Kala shrugged. “I can’t let him do this, Jack. I’m sorry.”
Only the top of Wilton’s head was showing.
It was enough.
Kala took her shot.
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Becca C. Smith received her Film degree from Full Sail University and has worked in the Film and Television industry for most of her adult life. In 2010 Becca published her first novel, Riser followed by the sequel, Reaper, in 2011, and the finale, Ripper in 2013. In 2012 Becca wrote the children’s novel Alexis Tappendorf and the Search for Beale’s Treasure. She is also the co-author of the teen graphic novel Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted.
Becca currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Stephan and their two cats Jack and Duke.