Continuing on with the reading (and unfortunately the last one for a time) of the Child Of Atlantis series, this latest installment titled “Catalyst” appears to open up literally moments after Child Of Atlantis – Destiny ended with its cliffhanger. There is an attempt of a rescue at sea due to some monstrous attack, but suddenly takes us to a place of apparent safety, where we are reunited with our Scooby gang of Max, Alana, Wayland, Osiris, Ronin, Charlotte, and everyone’s favorite chameleon robot, Auggie. They are now back at Charlotte’s home of Lemuria near Mt Rainier. Max and Alana, while touring the city decide to visit the geo-thermal reactor that both powers the city and stabilizes the nearby volcano. From here meet a fun new character by the name of Wrench. He works alone there, except for his group of A.U.G. units (like Auggie) that he refers to as his “Ladies.” Wrench doesn’t have much, for lack of a better term, on-screen presence here in this book, but the time he is here does come off as quite pivotal. He’s young, and a total fan boy geek. He shows Max and Alana around the factory, including some fighter pilot robots that based on their description sound like something that comes out of Robotech, and they are called S.P.R.T.N. units. Then Max and Alana see Ronin picking a fight with some of the more “fundamental” members of the Lemurian population, led by a man named Judias. Things don’t exactly go well and it starts to become clear that not all is quite a bed of roses among some of the people in Lemuria, especially among their fundamentalist religious sect. After things are quieted down Max is taken to a room where he has a very significant reunion with some people he knows, as well as learn some very important news about his own lineage, but that is short lived as he is dispatched with Alana to go on a mission to recruit some help in defense against The Fallen. Meanwhile, Wayland, Osiris, Ronin, and Auggie are all sent off to recruit some other help in the shape of some warriors who quite literally have Biblical significance. Unfortunately for all of them, there is a traitor planted in Lemuria and things don’t go as planned, ending in a climactic battle that is truly mythological in nature where we then see some incredible display of power by Max himself, all followed by an epilogue that immediately had me questioning at least one, if not two, character’s true motivations.
With Child Of Atlantis – Ascension there was this sense of wonder and discovery mingled with a healthy amount of adventure. Child Of Atlantis – Destiny presented us with the same fantastic world, but gave a whole new level of comedy with the introduction of Wayland. Catalyst is keeping all of that going, especially with the comedic antics of Wayland, but this time writer Perry Covington is ramping up the runaway train feel with the adventures that our collection of heroes are on. While Max, Alana, and Charlotte are on the hunt for a figure of extreme historical significance, Osiris, Ronin, Wayland, and Auggie are off to obtain some warrior assistance and the manner in which each of them does this is thrilling in its own right. Wonderful breadcrumbs are left regarding Max’s evolution as The Key, and the remaining Four Stooges (as I view them) are given further insights into each of their characters, as well as the roles they play in securing some incredible help in the potential form of an army. We are given surprises, betrayals, and even some incredible hints regarding the loyalties of some that continually had me guessing even after I finished the book. The last couple of chapters are pure theater of the mind, with some amazing detailed action sequences that were so well written I felt as if I was actually seeing it all in my head, and yet Covington still keeps the characters at the forefront of all of this, bringing the book to a close that not only almost had me in tears, but delivered the best cliffhanger I have ever read in any novel. If there is one drawback, it’s how the resolution from the previous cliffhanger was resolved. While it started off very strongly, it felt like it was given an almost trivial wave of the hand in order to place the characters where they needed to be for the sake of this book. However, my overall enjoyment with Destiny was not the slightest bit dampened. The pacing and character development was practically flawless, and there is no waste. Every plot point is there for a reason, just as every character is there for a reason. Covington does not make use of any red herrings, but he does have plenty of smoking guns. The balance between character and plot driven elements is perfect, making Catalyst my favorite book so far of this already enjoyable series.
Child Of Atlantis – Catalyst receives 4.5 and out 5 Leviathans!
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