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Atlantia
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Atlantia
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"Utterly captivating. A heroine unlike any I'd met before, a setting I'd never glimpsed, a story I'd never imagined. Atlantia is fresh, wild, and engrossing. I love Ally Condie." —Shannon Hale,...
"Utterly captivating. A heroine unlike any I'd met before, a setting I'd never glimpsed, a story I'd never imagined. Atlantia is fresh, wild, and engrossing. I love Ally Condie." —Shannon Hale,...
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  • "Utterly captivating. A heroine unlike any I'd met before, a setting I'd never glimpsed, a story I'd never imagined. Atlantia is fresh, wild, and engrossing. I love Ally Condie." —Shannon Hale, award-winning, bestselling author of Austenland and Dangerous

    A New York Times Best Seller!

    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.

Excerpts-

  • From the book Copyright © 2014 Ally Condie



    CHAPTER 1


    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 that 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 en- closed, 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.

    We stand side by side and hand in hand, our brown hair threaded with blue ribbons and braided in intricate plaits. We both have blue eyes. We are both tall and carry ourselves the same way. But we're fraternal twins, not identical, and no one has ever had any trouble telling us apart.

    Though Bay and I are not mirrors of each other, we're still as near to the same person as two completely different people can be. We have always been close, and since my mother's death, we have drawn even more tightly together.

    "Today will be hard," Bay says.

    I nod. Today will be hard, I think, because I won't be doing what I always wanted to do. But I know that's not what Bay means.

    "Because it used to be her," I say.

    Bay nods.

    Before my mother died six months ago, she was the Minister of the temple and she presided over this ceremony, one of several held to mark the anniversary of the Divide. Bay and I watched each year as our mother gave the opening speech and blessed the youth of the year with water or dirt, depending on what each person chose.

    "Do you think Maire is here?" Bay asks.

    "No," I say. Bay is referring to our aunt, our only living relative. I keep my voice flat but use the most cutting words I can. "She doesn't belong here." The temple is our mother's place, and she and her sister, Maire, were estranged for as long as I can remember. Although, when my mother died—

    Don't think about it.

    The Minister begins the ritual, and I close my eyes and picture my mother conducting this service instead. In my mind,...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 11, 2014
    Rio Conwy has lived her whole life in Atlantia, a city built underwater to preserve the human race after the atmosphere became filled with toxic pollution. Rio had always planned to go Above and join the workers who support and feed the Atlantians, but she promised her twin sister, Bay, she would stay after their mother died. When Bay betrays their agreement and abandons her, Rio plots, plans, and trains to make her own escape. As a further complication, Rio is secretly a siren, with a voice that compels obedience; if she’s found out, she’ll be forced to serve the Atlantian Council and never find out why Bay left. Condie (the Matched trilogy) pulls together many interesting ideas that don’t hold up to close examination. While the author’s fans will enjoy the immersive prose and gentle romance, newcomers may be impatient with the unsympathetic characters and lack of action. Overall, this standalone story is like a problematic trilogy in one book—a catchy opening leading to a slow journey and an unexpected finale that brings in bewildering new elements and works hard to wrap everything up. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House.

  • Kirkus

    September 15, 2014
    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)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-A fast-paced fantasy adventure tale in a richly drawn dystopian future. Despite her lifelong dream of living Above, recently orphaned Rio has promised her twin sister, Bay, that she'll stay in their underwater city of Atlantia when they come of age. In one shocking moment, however, Bay is headed Above, and Rio is left alone, separated from the last person who knew the secret of her hidden siren voice and loved her anyway. As Rio tries to find her own way to get Above, she also discovers pieces of Atlantia's hidden past and its uncertain future. Ultimately, the protagonist will have to rethink everything she's been taught and make courageous decisions on her own in order to reunite with her sister and save the world she loves. Complex characters, including Rio's antihero aunt, and a realistically slow and subtle first romance make this a book teens will relate to, even non-genre fans. A slowly unfolding backstory perfectly complements all the action. Despite a bit of a didactic lean in the final chapters, this is a title that's sure to be immensely popular with teens, especially those who enjoyed Condie's "Matched" trilogy (Dutton).-Sunnie Lovelace, Wallingford Public Library, CT

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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