ATLANTIA by Ally Condie

ATLANTIA

Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author of the Matched Trilogy dives deep for her next story.

Rio and her twin sister, Bay, live in the undersea city of Atlantia. They’ve never been anywhere else. Long ago, the gods decreed a Divide between the Above and the newly engineered Below: A fraction of people stayed on the polluted land Above to labor throughout their short and painful lives, enabling the majority to move underwater and live well. Now, generations later, 15-year-old Rio longs to go Above—teens are given the opportunity to make that sacrifice, but they must remain Above forever—but she’s promised Bay they’ll stay Below together. When Bay unfathomably departs for Above herself, Rio’s stunned. Condie’s premise is terrific, and the pacing glides along smoothly as Rio schemes to sneak Above, hides her secret identity as a siren, worries about her mother’s suspicious death and ponders her role in her society. However, the text barely explains Atlantia’s structure of enclosed-bubble neighborhoods connected by dry concrete canals; sources of power, material resources and the city’s mechanics are even vaguer. Weak worldbuilding seriously dilutes the story, as do narratively convenient character motivations and a reliance on line breaks to push intensity and depth.

As cool as a submerged city and teen siren are, too many physical details are missing and too many emotional details forced. (Fantasy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-525-42644-8
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2014




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