Book Cover
Title Atlantia
Series ---
Author Ally Condie
Cover Art Theresa Evangelista
Publisher Penguin Books - 2014
First Printing Penguin Books - 2014
Category Dystopia
Warnings None

Main Characters

Rio, Bay, True, Maire

Main Elements Dystopia

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamed of the sand and sky Above - of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio's true self - and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden - she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother's death, he own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the Divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long hidden truths.

I'll admit I was slightly disappointed that this books wasn't about actual sirens (ie mermaids) I must have misread the blurb. But it was clearly a dystopian novel so I figured I would enjoy that aspect.

And for the most part I did enjoy it. The siren concept was interesting and unique and there were a lot of mysteries to unravel. The book was interesting and the world building well done, with the city of Atlantia being a place of wonders (at least to us, imagine forests of trees made out of actual silver, and when those leaves fall, there are people whose jobs are to weld them back on again).

Atlantia was created when the world above suffered some form of apocalypse, where the air would kill those who remained to grow the food for those who went below. They sacrificed their health and lifes so that those they loved who went below should be safe and healthy. Or so the Council tells, the truth has a way of changing over the years. Rio, who though she has always loved Atlantia, had always felt a littled trapped and dreamed of going Above, to feel the wind in her hair, earth beneath her feet, and the sun on her face. But things don't always work out the way you want, and she finds herself remaining below as her twin sister Bay goes above instead, Bay who loved Atlantia more than anything and was inconceivable that she would leave. Mystery upon mystery. With secrets around every corner, unravelling the tangle that is Atlantia kept me reading.

Oh, and for those of you sick of young adult novels with love triangles, or the girl being stupid and falling for the bad boy? Doesn't happen here, I was so relieved! In fact this was more about love within a family than romantic love (though there was a bit of that too, and wasn't insta-love either)

However, that it wasn't a series was a good thing, I just couldn't quite get entirely drawn into it. Rio was an interesting character but somehow I was only partially interested in her troubles, though don't ask me to explain what it was that was missing for me. And the conclusion was a bit too easy for my tastes, a kind of let's hug and everything will be alright kind of thing. On the other hand it doesn't appear to be a series which is in fact a nice change, a standalone book can give far more satisfaction than the hundreds of unnecessary pages a series can provide.

Also there were a few rules of this society that were a bit too contrived, such as the fact that if you are the only member of a certain bloodline of a specific generation, you can't go Above, to prevent that bloodline from dying out. So of course when you have twins and one goes up, the other is *forced* to stay behind.

So in conclusion, while this is far from a favorite book, it wasn't a waste of time to read, and it is a fast and light read at that. If I hadn't read other, more in depth, dystopian novels I might have been more impressed with this one, but after reading a blog that picked apart the Hunger Games I could now see some of the flaws here too where certain behaviours of certain people just weren't entirely believable and were there only so the plot was forced to progress in a certain direction. But if I were 20 years younger, I think I wouldn't have any issue with it.

Posted: November 2014


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