{Early Review} ATLANTIA by Ally Condie

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You landwalkers are really, really lucky! ATLANTIA doesn't come out until October 28th, but you're getting an in-dept sneak peek NOW!

Normally, I wait to post my reviews until close to a book's launch, but I make exceptions when events are involved!

The good news? I really enjoyed reading ATLANTIA...and I'm so excited to talk about it with you this fall!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

   MY TWIN SISTER, BAY, and I pass underneath the brown-and-turquoise banners hanging from the ceiling of the temple. Dignitaries perch on their chairs in the gallery, watching, and people crowd the pews in the nave. Statues of the gods adorn the walls and ceiling, and it seems as if they watch us, too. The temple's largest and most beautiful window, the rose window, has been lit from behind to simulate the effect of sunlight through the panes. The glass shines like a blessing--amber, green, blue, pink, purple. The colors of flower petals Above; of coral formations Below.
   The Minister stands at the altar, which is made of precious wood carved in an intricate pattern of straight lines and swirls, of waves that turn into trees. Two bowls rest on top of the altar--one filled with salt water from the ocean that envelops our city, one filled with dark dirt brought down from Above.
   Bay and I wait in line with the other youth our age. I feel sorry for everyone else because they don't have a brother or a sister to wait with them. Twins aren't very common in Atlantia.
   "Do you hear the city breathing?" Bay whispers. I know she wants me to say that I do, but I shake my head. What we hear isn't breathing. It is the never-ending sound of air pumping through the walls and out into the city so that we can survive.
   Bay knows that, but she's always been a little crazy about Atlantia. She's not the only one who loves our underwater city or refers to it as alive. And Atlantia does resemble a giant sea creature sprawled out in the ocean. The tentacles of our streets and thoroughfares web out from the larger round hubs of the neighborhoods and marketplaces. Everything is enclosed, of course. We live underwater, but we're still human; we need walls and air to protect us.
   The Minister raises his hand, and we all fall silent.
   Bay presses her lips together. She is usually calm and serene, but today she seems tense. Is she afraid that I'll go back on my word? I won't. I promised her.

(Pages 11~12, US e-book edition
Changes may be made before the final copy is finished!)

I was so excited when I heard that Ally Condie was releasing a novel that ventured into underwater territory. I read MATCHED back before the dystopian genre was a BIG THING. The first book came out before DELIRIUM and before DIVERGENT. I read MATCHED first. I loved it for what it was, for how fresh the ideas were. I didn't love the second book, CROSSED, nearly as much because it's more of a "journey" book, but I wasn't ready to give up on the series. I'm glad I didn't, either, because REACHED turned out to be the best book in the series. You can see how much Condie has grown as an author when you read both REACHED and ATLANTIA. There's more grit and depth. Characters are so much fuller and their world is scarier and more complex than expected. ATLANTIA is also stand-alone novel, which is so refreshing among the sea of duologies and trilogies currently flooding the YA market (Though...I wouldn't be opposed to a return trip in the future!).

Rio and her twin sister Bay have always lived Below. Rio dreams of exploring Above and breathing air and seeing sky, but after their mother's untimely death, she promises to remain Below with Bay at their choosing ceremony. Only...Bay chooses to go Above. Bay, who never wanted to leave Below. Why would Bay leave her, knowing Rio couldn't follow? Why does Rio have to remain behind? Without her mother and her sister, Rio must fend for herself while protecting her deepest, darkest, secret: She's the last of the Sirens, and the government would do anything to get their hands on her. But when Atlantia is in danger, Rio is forced to choose: Protect her secret, or let Atlantia fall?

There is so much going on in ATLANTIA. So much good stuff! I don't want to leave a trailer of spoilers since the book isn't out for another two months and is so hotly anticipated, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Condie has created a complex, thriving world Below, and proven the fact that humans are smart enough to adapt event after we pollute ourselves out of our own world. The politics of Below are intriguing, and the Miracles that created blessings such as Sirens are awe-inspiring. I especially loved the way Rio became so strong on her own and plotted to save herself. She isn't weak, and she doesn't rely on others to solve her problems. I especially loved her underwater sport of choice and the way she went about training to achieve her goals.

While there are Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic elements that may turn off readers sick of the genre, it isn't the focus. Rio doesn't want to bring down the government. In fact, her mother was the head of it before she died. She just wants to be reunited with her sister. All of the elements that made the underwater city work and evolve fascinated me, and I loved seeing the blend of mythology and futuristic science. How does living underwater change us? How do we evolve? What sicknesses are eradicated, and what others introduced? How do Above and Beyond work in harmony together if they can never interact? There's so much to think about as you read. I finished this novel feeling thoroughly pleased, and I look forward to seeing what sort of world Condie introduces us to next.

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG ( Romance and kissing.)
Language: PG ( I can't recall anything, but we'll be safe and mark it PG )
Violence: PG13+ ( Character death, nothing overly graphic )
Other: --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

It's mysterious and intriguing at the same time. It could be mermaids. It could be something else. But it definitely deals with water...right?

Plus, the use of a shell is perfect because it makes sense in context..certain shells are very important in the book!

I can't wait to see what this one looks like in person!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Ally Condie
Release Date: Oct. 28, 2014
Publisher: Penguin // Dutton Children's
Received: For Review

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.


  1. Thanks for sharing your review on this, Bonnie. I've not had the chance to read any of Ally's books yet but I plan too and even own a couple, and this one sounds like a winner. :)

    Oh, and I really like your added in "content." With some books, it's just nice to know what's what. :)

  2. An Ally Condie book! Never heard of this, gonna check out this book!


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