From master of suspense Paula Morris comes a tale of gods and goddesses, thrilling romance, and mystery set in present-day Rome. Laura Martin is visiting Rome on a class trip, and she's entranced by the majestic Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon . . . Everything in this city seems magical. That is, until the magic seems to turn very dark. Suddenly, statues of Cupid and ancient works of art come to life before her eyes. Earthquakes rumble and a cloud of ash forms in the sky. A dark-eyed boy with wings on his heels appears and gives her a message. Laura soon realizes she is at the center of a brewing battle -- a battle between the gods and goddesses, one that will shake modern-day Rome to its core. Only she and her group of friends can truly unravel the mystery behind what is happening. As tensions mount and secret identities are revealed, Laura must rely on her own inner strength to face up to what may be a fight for her life. Acclaimed author Paula Morris brings the ancient world to vivid life in this unstoppable tale of friendship, love, and the power of the past.
About the Author
Paula Morris is the author of RUINED, DARK SOULS, UNBROKEN, and several award-winning novels for adults in her native New Zealand. She now lives in England with her husband. Please visit her online at www.paula-morris.com.
Read an Excerpt
From THE ETERNAL CITYThe boy stepped out of the funnel of water and over the low-slung rope, so close that Laura could have touched him. With a shiver of recognition she took in his gray-and-black clothes, the crow-clothes of the boy she'd seen prone and bleeding on the cemetery's grassy verge. This was a different boy, though. He had different features -- was better-looking than the crow-boy she'd seen yesterday. He glanced at her -- his eyes were black -- and there seemed, she thought, to be recognition there. He didn't smile at her, this pale-faced boy, but when there was something calm and knowing about his gaze. Laura may have been open-mouthed, but he didn't look surprised at all. Or wet. His clothes were as dry as hers -- drier, probably, as hers were still drying from the scramble across the piazza. He strode towards the huge main door without attracting any attention at all. Laura looked wildly from side to side: Really, had nobody else seen him fall through the upside-down fountain and land right here? But everyone around her was still pointing, talking, taking pictures, texting, just as they had been before. Laura backed away from the rope and forged an awkward path through the crowd, hurrying to follow the boy. If he was real, if this wasn't some apparition, then she needed to know. How she'd find out, she wasn't sure -- tap him on the shoulder, perhaps? She had to be quick, because he was almost at the door. Someone lumbering sideways, hulking a tripod and camera, bumped into her and Laura stumbled. She didn't dare stick a hand out to break her fall; she'd done enough damage to her hands today. So she half-slithered onto one knee, wincing as bone made contact with marble. And from here, low on the ground, the crowd surging around her, Laura saw something she hadn't noticed before. There on the back of the boy's feet were tiny wings, black feathers on his heels. Something Laura had seen in paintings and on statues, but never in person. Mercury, she tried to say, but nothing came out of her mouth but a bleat.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book jacket of Paula Morris’ The Eternal City adequately describes the entire novel with its first line: “Rome: city of sculptures, gelato, and handsome boys […] home to ancient ruins, where the gods and goddesses of old still linger” Morris does provide us with beautiful sculptures and architecture, and of course, there are several cute boys; however, the gods linger on the pages of the novel, and that is where they stay for the entire story. The Eternal City features Laura Martin as she visits Rome with her high school Classics class. After a few days of sight-seeing, many of her classmates and teachers come down with a mysterious illness, so Laura and four other teenagers are left to wander through Rome alone. The action of the novel begins when Laura and her friends try to survive multiple earthquakes and supernatural occurrences (including living statues and angry attacking birds) as they attempt to prevent a war between the Greek gods. In this novel, Morris has produced a relatable narrator and has written in many beautiful descriptions of Rome. She has set the stage for an interesting and engrossing plot; however, she never follows through. The promise of romance alluded to throughout the novel never grows into anything more than the hint of a love-triangle, and the epic war between gods only amounts to a few pages at the end of the book. Readers will never understand the gravity of the situation because they never interact with the elite gods themselves. In The Eternal City, Morris has created a story and characters that require an entire series to develop— not a mere 290 pages. It should also be noted that the Greek mythology genre is already dominated by Rick Riordan and his Percy Jackson series, so the bar is already set extremely high, and sadly, I believe that Morris has failed to meet it. But regardless of the faults of the novel, it contains little gems, too! Morris has truly captured the charm and essence of Rome in her detailed illustrations of ancient architecture, and she has also created an unlikely sisterhood between Laura and two of the other characters. Even though Laura, Maia, and Sofie seemly have nothing in common, they are able to bond throughout novel and create a life-long friendship. The Eternal City is the perfect read for middle-schoolers, but I suggest that Riordan-lovers give it a wide berth. Its light romance, lack of violence, and themes of sisterhood and girl-power will suit young girls (10-13) who are looking for a lengthy but engaging story. I gave the book 3.5 stars because despite my many critiques, I believe that young readers will enjoy it! reviewed by Lexi, K, age 16 ,Mensa of Eastern Carolina