"Arcadia Awakens" is a modern version of "Romeo and Juliet" with a paranormal twist, delivered courtesy of a popular German writer Kai Meyer.
Rosa Alcantara belongs to one of the most influential Sicilian Mafia families. After spending her youth in the United States with her mother, 17-year Rosa encounters a series of personal troubles and is forced to flee Brooklyn to try and start a new life with her dead father's dangerous clan. On her flight to Sicily Rosa meets and finds herself attracted to Alessandro Carnevare, only to learn a few hours later that he is an heir to a rivaling Mafia family. As Rosa attempts to navigate her complicated, even forbidden, relationship with Alessandro, she stumbles upon a dark secret that at the same time binds the two warring families of Alcantara and Carnevare and makes their rivalry more lethal...
There is a lot to enjoy in "Arcadia Awakens" - Rosa is an interesting, unconventional and challenging heroine - she lies and steals and is all too difficult; a mafia story line with a good dose of paranormal; an exotic locale. But the writing itself (or, possibly, a weak translation from German) is often lifeless and detached, and thus stands in the way of complete enjoyment of this otherwise well-conceived novel.
To Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Maria families and its reputation for intrigue, is just that-exotic, and wholly unknown. But when her life in the States falls apart, she must travel to her family's ancestral home, where centuries of secrets await her. There, Rosa falls head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose looks and savage grace intrigue and unsettle her. But their families are sworn enemies, and the Alcantaras believe Alessandro is using Rosa. And when Rosa encounter a tiger one night-a tiger with familiar eyes-she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem.
Hidden caves in the countryside, dangerous beasts roaming the hills, and a long history of familial bloodlust prove that Rosa can't trust anyone-not even her own family. Torn between loyalty to her family and love for their mortal enemy, Rosa must make the hardes decision of her life: Stay in Sicily with her new love...or run as far and as fast as she can.