There are three things I’d like you to know about Atlantia by Ally Condie:
- It is not about mermaids.
- It is a standalone.
- It’s wonderful.
Condie’s first novel since her best-selling dystopian Matched trilogy is a brilliant tour-de-force of fantasy and science fiction, with a wildly unique spin on a classic premise: what if we were forced to live below the sea due to environmental catastrophe?
Atlantia doesn’t feel like traditional science fiction. It’s not bogged down by overly-complex world building, nor does it suffer from an over-abundance of gadgetry and wonder. In many ways, it feels very contemporary — despite its unusual setting and magical aspects. The story is easy and unassuming, as much as it is unique and captivating. Nothing about Atlantia feels forced. Condie has masterfully plotted and planned this story about life under the sea — and the world above that Rio longs for so desperately.
I expected good things from Condie; but Atlantia simply blew me away — it was so incredibly wonderful. Beautiful story-telling and writing, captivating characters, and a page-turning plot that kept me eagerly reading.
Atlantia is available now. Here is the official synopsis:
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.