By Ally Condie
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Published by Dutton Children’s
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
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.
I never finished reading Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy, partly because I liked the first book but did not enjoy the sequel. However, I was really looking forward to Atlantia: I loved the premise, the cover, and the fact that it appeared to be a stand-alone rather than a new series.
I read this book during the period of time in which my husband and I bought a condo, so I really struggled to focus on anything I was trying to read, mainly due to the stress and excitement of being first-time home buyers and going through that whole process. So it did take me a while to get into this book.
However, once I got through the first 60 or so pages, my interest in this book really picked up. I loved the world of Atlantia, with the sirens and the history of the Divide, creating the Above and the Below. I found it all really intriguing, especially when it became apparent that things in Rio’s world were not quite as they seemed.
There were a lot of secrets and mysteries in this book, and I enjoyed the way they came together. I also liked Rio, and the love interest True. I was definitely intrigued by Rio’s aunt, Maire, a siren and someone Rio isn’t sure that she should trust.
I was partly drawn to this book because a big part of the story is Rio’s relationship with her twin sister Bay, and I love sibling stories. However, I never actually felt like I got to spend much time with Bay. Most of what I learned about her came from flashbacks or Rio’s memories, and I was a bit disappointed that, given the importance of their relationship to the story, I didn’t get to read more about the two sisters together.
I also thought the writing was a bit clunky at times, especially compared to some books that I read at the end of 2014, which were beautifully written and still on my mind.
All in all, this was a good read, and even though I didn’t love the book, I really liked the story and the main characters. Recommended!