If you loved her MATCHED trilogy, you’re going to be thrilled by Ally Condie’s latest book, ATLANTIA!
Would you choose The Above, which is unpredictable in the aftermath of Earth’s slow destruction but allows its residents the freedoms they crave? or would you choose The Below, the manmade city of Atlantia where humans live safely but strictly on the ocean floor?
Either way, you could win an amazing swag from Atlantia! Check out our review, then see how you can win a great themed necklace from the book!
Atlantia takes place in a magnificent city of the same name built for human safety at the bottom of the sea and it is pretty damn cool, but don’t consider it the focal point of the series. A stellar detail? Sure! But Atlantia, the book, is about much more– secrets and discovery, intentions and longing, and the shocking realization that you can never really, truly know the people you love most.
Rio Conwy and her twin sister Bay grew up in Atlantia, where their mother was the Minister leading society… up until the day she was found dead on their aunt’s doorstep. From her youth but especially after her mother’s death, Rio has nothing more than to go to the Above– it’s unsafe, but going will make her free of the city that she considers strict and repressive. But on the day when Rio can finally go above, her sister Bay betrays her and takes her place instead.
From that moment on, Rio’s life is covered by an avalanche of secrets and misconceptions. She meets True Beck, best friends with the boyfriend she never knew Bay had, and begins receiving communications from her estranged aunt, whose unique gifts and infamous past have left her ostracized. But the secrets and lies don’t just belong to the others. Rio has a big secret of her own: She’s a siren who has been trained to hide her true voice, and thus her ability to control others, since she first started speaking. With nothing left to lose, she tries not to reveal her power, but she’s still not afraid to spindle her own web of deceit to find what she wants: A way to get Above.
More than anything, Atlantia is a tale about sisters and family, the things we do for and the things we hide from the people we love. No one’s motives are quite what they seem and it makes for a truly intriguing character study that will definitely pull at your heartstrings. Though Rio and Bay’s relationship is in the forefront, the mysterious history between their mother, Oceania, and their aunt, Maire, had more layers and really stuck with me.
There’s also the carefully budding relationship between Rio and True. It remains very quiet and PG throughout the book, but provides readers with some super cute moments that they’ll appreciate.
While Ally Condie’s writing style is beautiful and her pacing has improved since Crossed, the second book in the Matched series, there were a couple areas where the story felt a bit slow. Rio’s adventures are clever and calculated but not always fast-paced, so you have to possess an appreciation for character-driven drama. If characters you can connect to are what you really love, Ally condie certainly delivers!
Atlantia itself is the kind of setting for which dreamers’ imaginations were made. It’s easy to tell that the author had tons of fun creating this carefully encased underwater city filled with rich details both reflective of the world Above and totally original. The city becomes a character in itself, one that you really, really want to visit.
Ally Condie’s writing style isn’t too gritty so you don’t always feel the sense of desperation you’d expect in some cases. But it the same time, that makes it a great book for young people who are just getting into Young Adult books. Overall, it was a really solid, enjoyable story!
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Prize: A beautiful ATLANTIA themed necklace, Above or Below!
ATLANTIA is out this Tuesday, October 27, 2014. You can pre-order it now!