Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ARC Review: Atlantia by Ally Condie

Author: Ally Condie
Publication: Dutton Juvenile (October 28, 2014)

Description: Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamed of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all Rio’s hopes for the future are shattered when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected choice, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long silenced—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 corrupted 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 Thoughts: ATLANTIA was an entertaining post-apocalyptic story about a girl in an underwater city who longs for life on the surface. The city had been created many generations earlier when conditions on the surface became difficult. The world was divided in Aboves and Belows. The relationship between the two has become strained. Some of those living in Atlantia have become Sirens - able to sway people through the power of their voice. At first the sirens were considered a miracle but then some of them abused their powers and the government turned against them. Now, sirens are taken from their families and raised by the Council.

Our heroine Rio is a siren but her mother who was the religious leader of the city kept her talent hidden. Rio has grown up with her twin sister Bay and her mother both keeping her secret. Now, her mother is dead and the circumstances of her death are suspicious. Teens in the city are given a choice about at a ceremony about whether to choose live Above or life Below. Rio has always wanted to live life Above. She wants to see the sky. However, after their mother's death, Bay makes Rio promise to stay with her Below.

However, things take an unexpected turn when Bay chooses life Above and leaves her sister Rio behind. Rio is determined to find out why Bay chose as she did and also determined to join her Above. As Rio makes plans to join her sister, she learns that all is not as she thought in her city of Atlantia. The new leader of the city has plans and secrets that could be tragic.

Rio is alone except for her aunt Maire. She doesn't really know her aunt except to know that she is a siren who works for the Council. She thought that Maire and her mother were estranged. Her aunt comes to her and offers her help in her plans to escape and offers to teach her about the history of her city that has been hidden. But Rio isn't sure that she can trust her.

While she is making plans to leave Atlantia, Rio meets a boy named True who becomes her friend. He is content with his life Below and works as mechanic. He is also wondering why his best friend Fen chose to go Above. It seems that Bay and Fen had a relationship that Rio didn't know anything about.

I enjoyed this story which was filled with interesting characters and took place in a fascinating world.

Favorite Quote:
"The gods know everything," my mother used to say when I had a hard time hiding my voice. "They know how difficult this is. And they are pleased with you, Rio."

Are they pleased with me for being a siren—or for hiding it. I wanted to ask. But I never did.
I got this ARC from Penguin's First to Read Program. You can buy your copy here.

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