Titus and Atreus
by Meridi Myers
Grief-stricken by the loss of his parents, Titus Attwater is convinced his life will never improve. His older sister ignores his calls, his grades in school have plummeted, and his house, once a place of warmth and security, is now lonely, cold, and alien.
But when a young man appears one night in Titus's house, claiming he came in upstairs through the full-length mirror, Titus's life gets turned upside-down. For, as Titus soon discovers, this intruder is not from Earth. Against his will, Titus is kidnapped and taken to another world, a place like Earth but markedly different. It is here where he will befriend angels, face assassins, and help a young prince unravel a prophecy that proves much darker and more twisted than any of them had imagined.
Quickly: no, the two boys are not about to make out; they are 'twin souls' -- twins who lead separate lives on different planets, not knowing about each other until, well, they do... Myers designed the cover herself!
Titus and Atreus is slightly out of my usual realm, but as you know from the Wild Things Challenge, I am trying to push myself to try new things. For the most part, this 'new thing' was a success for me.
Titus is hauled off my an intruder in the night, taken to a planet called Typhon, where he meets his twin soul, Atreus, loses his memory but gains glimpses of Atreus' life, and becomes involved in Atreus' plans to defeat a bloodthirsty enemy. Typhon is like Earth a few centuries gone, in may ways, but it is still distinctly its own place. I liked Myers' concept of the twin souls and they way they affect each other's lives, and I also liked Titus' memory loss* because it gave a way to get personal glimpses into the mind of Atreus, while at the same time upping what's at stake for Titus, and adding a potentially ominous level -- he doesn't know who he is except through Atreus, who needs him for his own ends. It left things open for many possibilities, and I liked that.
There were some drawbacks for me, though. At first I was excited to learn that there is a cast of angels in the book, as they've always fascinated me. And I liked that there were 7, and they were all female, all named after flowers, and all resembling -- in personality and appearance -- those flowers. It was a fun and easy to remember concept, and I thought I was going to really like it. But most of the time, they acted so juvenile and weirdly immature that I just wanted them gone. I'm not sure why Myers made the choice to make them act like silly girls from junior high, but it irritated me. This spilled over a bit to Atreus, too, and other Typhon characters. Come to think of it, not much time was spent on Earth, so maybe that's just how Myers writes characters, and I didn't see it in Titus because he was a memory-blank. Whatever the reason, it made the book feel young.
I also felt that there were some rookie moves -- I don't want to call them cop-outs, because I don't think that was the intention, but... Basically, you could see where it was plotted out and what was going to happen, and there was a little too much in the way of intervention to make me feel real tension. With angels and world-travel and magical healing, etc, it's hard to think it won't turn out well, so there's no real worry on the part of the reader, which lessens your investment in the book. Things were wrapped up so neatly, and I was left with questions**, especially regarding Titus' future.
And it needed more editing and proofreading.
Now, those things being said, the negatives didn't outweigh the positives by any means. It was a good book, and I never felt like I just had to put it down when I was reading it; I just didn't always feel compelled to pick it up, either. It was a good story, but it did feel like a first work. I'm sure there will be growth in the next book.
* For the most part I liked Titus' memory loss, but I also questioned whether it was just an easy way out, to make Titus pliant. He didn't fight or question being in a new world away from the life he's known, and I missed that element. It could have been interesting and built conflict.
** Where will Titus live? On Typhon? Back on Earth? What about his family? What would his role be on Typhon when he's been a big secret?
Ms. Myers has kindly offered two sets of T&A*** swag: bookmarks, postcards and posters, for 2 lucky and people! And who knows, maybe I'll toss in some other lovelies as well. :) Just comment. Ends with the rest of the contests, April 15th.
Hintittyhinthint: My signed copy is going into the prize pool, so you could win it at some point...
Here's my Teaser Tuesday for Titus and Atreus (and Impossible)
Here's the book trailer: