Atlantia

Posted 29 March 2017 by Kim in Book Review / 0 Comments

AtlantiaAtlantia by Ally Condie
Published by Dutton Books on 2014-10-28
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Source: library | Hardcover

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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From the back cover...

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt 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, her 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.

My Review

Atlantia is a standalone novel by the author of the Matched series, which I loved.  This book, however, left me with mixed feelings.  The premise was amazing, but I just felt disconnected and I can’t quite figure out why.

The novel takes place in a dystopian world split between the Above and the Below, the land and the sea.  Pollution has ruined the Above so most of humanity has moved into an enclosed, underwater world.  Those left Above suffered with the effects of pollution so that those they loved could live Below, thus saving humanity from extinction.  Each year, on the anniversary of the Divide, children of a certain age are given a choice… stay Below or go Above.

After their mother’s death, Bay and Rio, twins, have promised each other they’d both stay Below.  Rio does this out of love because the only thing she’s ever wanted was to go Above.  But then Bay chooses Above, leaving Rio alone in the Below.  Rio is desperate to know why Bay broke her promise and finds answers she never expected.  There is a lot going on beneath the surface (no pun intended) of life in Atlantia and Rio begins to learn these secrets.

I think part of my problem connecting with Rio was the fact that her character just seemed too one-tracked in her emotional life.  It was as if she expended all of her emotion on her sister, leaving very little left for other personal interactions.  No big highs, no big lows.  It left her feeling a little bland as a character.  The world-building also left me disconnected.  While the premise of the world was fantastic, I just had a really hard time envisioning it.  It almost felt like we should already know what a world like that would be like.

I liked the book; I just didn’t love it.  And I really wanted to.

Rating Report
Plot
three-stars
Characters
three-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
three-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: 3.6

About Ally Condie

Ally Condie is the author of the MATCHED Trilogy, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller. MATCHED was chosen as one of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten and named as one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2010. The sequels, CROSSED and REACHED, were also critically acclaimed and received starred reviews, and all three books are available in 30+ languages. Disney has optioned the film rights for the series.
A former English teacher, she lives with her husband and four children outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, writing, running, and listening to her husband play guitar.

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