The novel “Blood of Atlantis” by Simon A. Forward was published for the first time in 2016.
Owain Vine joined an environmental group that started a protest against the operations in the Aegean Sea funded by billionaire Rolph Vorster. The rig where Vorster’s personnel are working is defended by armed guards ready to fire on any unauthorized person who approaches. Owain gathered some information on what’s going on and suspects that Vorster is actually looking for the mythical Atlantis. Owain sends a letter summarizing his findings to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
A Soviet submarine seems to have disappeared in the Aegean Sea, a situation that’s complex from a political point of view and for some strange circumstances. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is sent to investigate, aware that he must carefully assess his every decision. Something strange is happening in the area but Owain’s letter and the tale of archaeologist Sonia Montilla linked to a mysterious statuette suggest that there’s more than it seems. Could there really be Atlantis at the bottom of the sea?
The Lethbridge-Stewart series tells the adventures of the character who became famous in the “Doctor Who” TV show when he works without the Doctor. The stories start from the period immediately following the debut of Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart in the TV show and then extend the period covered. These stories include some characters that appeared in the TV show, some invented for other productions connected to it, and others that were created specifically for these novels.
Atlantis has been mentioned several times already in the classic “Doctor Who” series even being part of some plots that offered very different versions of its destruction. The new series and other works contain references to the existence of various versions of Atlantis.
In “Blood of Atlantis” a possible version of the myth mixes with history because the island of Santorini is mentioned, which today is what remains after one of the most devastating volcanic eruptions recorded in history. Some historians believe that that event directly inspired the myth of Atlantis.
The possible existence of Atlantis is explored in a story that is heavily influenced by the Cold War climate. The situation is complex due to the presence of a Soviet submarine, an undercover ship with a group of Soviet Spetsnaz commanded by Captain Bugayev but there are also operations that are kept confidential by billionaire Rolph Vorster’s personnel. There’s a mix of military operations and covert operations that give the novel a flavor of a spy story.
The only problem with “Blood of Atlantis” is that in the first part the plot is a bit convoluted. The novel begins with various subplots that follow different important characters. One subplot features Owain Vine, a recurring character in this series of novels who is like a nephew to Lethbridge-Stewart. Each of the important characters has only a fragmentary knowledge of what is going on and in some cases keeps some relevant information confidential. For this reason, you need to have a little patience and wait for the subplots to start coming together to start understanding the situation.
Putting together issues related to the Cold War, ecological activism, the mysterious activities of a billionaire, and the possible connection with Atlantis didn’t help to make the plot linear. A character like Anne Travers ends up being a bit sacrificed. On the other hand, these elements were well exploited to create action, twists, and interesting characters such as Captain Bugayev and archaeologist Sonia Montilla.
Overall, in my opinion, “Blood of Atlantis” has more strengths than flaws but I understand that for some readers the plot might be too convoluted for their tastes. If you appreciate complex stories based on archaeological mysteries, you might like this novel.