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.
Atlantia has always been home to Rio. But she has never loved the underwater city as much as her mother or twin sister Bay. When Rio’s chance to go to the world above is taken away from her, Rio not only loses her dream of Above but also her sister. Not wanting to lose everything, Rio comes up with a plan to escape Below. It has never been done before but Rio isn’t like everyone else. She is a secret Siren. But before Rio can make it Above, secrets about Atlantia come out and Rio might be the only one who can save the underwater city before it is too late.
Rio is one of those characters I love to read about because she’s a somewhat unlikely heroine (despite her super special secret). She is scared and confused after having lost both her sister and her mother without getting to say goodbye. But not willing to let the world take advantage of her, Rio goes to vast lengths to get what she wants. She loves her mother and Bay and she finds it hard finding out secrets they kept when they were with her in Atlantia. What I liked most about Rio is how strong and smart she is. She’s not one of those characters who run into danger with half-baked plans. She is a planner and she thinks everything though. I also adored the romance which developed for Rio and True. Their interactions are adorable and they work as a couple. Beautifully paced, the romantic storyline worked perfectly for me as a reader.
The setting of Atlantia is an interesting one. I was expecting this to be a book about mermaids with this story taking place under the sea. And whilst Atlantia does take place underwater, the city is inhabited by humans living in a reverse snow-globe (with the town staying dry on the bottom of the ocean and the water separating them from the land Above). The way of life for those who live Below was an interesting on and it made a lot of sense to me.
After reading Atlantia I realized there just aren’t enough books about Sirens! I’ve not read another YA novel about these mythical creatures and I loved how Ally Condie approached the idea of them. I also loved how the society world with their unique brand of religion and governing bodies. The plot does have a few twists and I really liked how events developed across the novel.
Atlantia was an interesting book with a fantastic setting. It’s interesting with a few twists and secrets coming out as Rio discovers the truth behind Atlantia. I loved that this book was a standalone and thought it delivered the perfect amount of story for its pages. Romance, mystery, supernatural creatures which aren’t quite what they seem and a very likeable heroine – Atlantia is a fantastic read which adds something just a little bit different to the YA scene.