Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy Publication.Date October 28th 2014 Pages: 368 Published By: Dutton Childrens Author Ally Condie Atlantia on Goodreads My review copy: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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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.
Though my feet are firmly on the ground of Atlantia, I’m dissolving.
My sister’s gone.
She decided to go Above.
She would never do this.
Bay asked me if I heard the city breathing.
I hear my own breathing now, in and out and in and out. I live here. I will die here.
I am never going to leave.
The Minister saw Atlantia clearly in his dream—a beautiful place of temples and churches set on plazas. He saw colorful buildings with shops on the ground floor and apartments rising above them, and boulevards and streets connecting everything together.
“They say that the sirens are miracles, not people,” she told Bay and me once, in a rare moment of frustration with her work. “Can you imagine believing such a thing? People can be miracles.”
Sadly, this was a DNF at 100 pages.
This was, essentially, a yawn-fest. Every time I would pick it up, I would get through 20-30 pages and then I would fall asleep (and it's not merely a figure of speech, I really could not get through more than 20 pages without drifting off). My eyes were literally tearing up from yawning, guys, this has never happened to me before - at leas not to this extent. Sadly, I was not able to get immersed in this story.
The concept was very exciting and the idea of an underwater city and a society that sacrifices itself so that others can survive and live peacefully was more than intriguing and promising. But the writing really dragged this book down to the bottom of the ocean. The pacing was slow, the narrative - redundant and boring, the characters lacked any kind of characteristics that would make me root for them, or even remotely care about their fates.
I was very determined to wait it out to see if the plot picks up and if anything exciting happens later, but the first 100 pages didn't offer much to go on, and so I lost hope. And interest. I'm sad that I didn't enjoy this book more, I had such high hopes for it (mainly because of the premise).
Read it if you don't mind slow pacing and unrelatable characters, maybe you'll have better luck with it. The concept is there and the imagery is nice, but the execution is lacking in many aspects. The world building is on a decent level - the mythology is interesting enough, though the way it is all packed into the first chapters of the book, makes it difficult to enjoy the plot.
For the great premise alone, I am giving it two stars instead of one.