Review: Atlantia by Ally Condie

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Series: N/A
Genres: YA | Fantasy | Dystopia
Published: October 28th 2014
Publisher:  Dutton Children's
My rating:

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.

The Review

This is a pretty challenging review, for the most part. Atlantia wasn't an unbearable read. I did finish it pretty quick. But on the other hand, nothing about the book turned out to be remarkable. Everything was just there. Even when the action was supposedly at its highest peak, I didn't feel the excitement or the thrill at all.

I loved the starting of the novel. I could almost feel the beginning of something wonderfully refreshing. I was hooked. Unfortunately, that's exactly when things start to go downhill.

I think one of the things I was expecting in this book was something supernatural. Mermaids were not even part of the equation. We have sirens. But these sirens weren't all that astounding. They were just humans - different, maybe - but still human. Which is one of the main things the story is telling us. But..I just didn't feel it. I didn't connect.

I was intrigued by the underwater city of Atlantia, and was ready to sink my teeth into the delicious world. But there was nothing to sink my teeth into. We know Atlantia is an underwater city. It is in the Below. And it's very beautiful. And the people are human too. And did I say it's an underwater city that is very beautiful?  And that, my friends, is a basic summary of the whole world building. Such facts were repeated over and over again, sometimes in different forms. This kept the story going, but the world-building wasn't there.

 I couldn't imagine the city of Atlantia as much as I wanted to.

Plot-wise there was nothing much either. Things happened, the story progressed but it didn't go above or  below, you know? (Pun, pun, pun!). All of it went in a monotone. When an action sequence was happening, the excitement and the sense of anticipation was not there. When something romantic was happening, there was no sense of romance. Per se, the plot did progress at a nice pace. But all I felt was indifference because the writing lacked a tone.

Basically, it was boring.

Rio, apart from having a horribly weird name, was equally boring. I wonder if the writing felt monotone simply because it was coming from Rio's perspective.  She had loads of secrets that weren't even secrets, and asked so many questions, I wonder why no one bothered to tell her to shush up. Imagine pages, and pages of paragraphs answering Rio's endless questions. A nightmare, I say.

For the most part, the book is based on Rio trying to get to her sister, Bay who left for the Above unexpectedly and breaks Rio's heart. One reason I got to the end was to know why she left. Well..there is a reason, of course. But I didn't buy it. It didn't feel reasonable.

As for the romance, it was as boring as the rest of the book. Rio meets a guy with an equally horrible name (True Beck), and they hit it off faster than you could tell them to stop it.

 It was annoying and felt like it was  dragged in just for the sake of it. But since all I felt towards this book was indifference it didn't affect me as much.

I think it's so much better to finish a book feeling something towards it, no matter it is hate or love. But sadly, this is a book I neither love nor hate.

Am I going to re-read this, ever? No.
Do I recommend this so you'll enjoy it? No.
Do I recommend this so we can rant together (if you hate it)? Yes.