Published by Penguin Australia on November 6, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
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Rio dreams of leaving the underwater city of Atlantia and living in the world Above. But all Rio's hopes for the future are shattered when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected choice, leaving Rio stranded Below.
Atlantia is crumbling. Guided by an unlikely mentor, Rio begins to ask treacherous questions about her destiny, her home and the corrupted system that governs the Divide between land and sea. Her life – and the fate of her city – depends on Rio listening to the voices of the past, and her willingness to speak the forgotten truth.
Don’t get Atlantia, the underwater city mixed up with Atlantis, because they have absolutely nothing in common except for being underwater. I thought Atlantia was going to be rich in culture and history and contain many historic buildings, but what we got instead was a bare bones story about bats and sirens.
Somehow the book had a weird dystopian feel about it, referring to the city “Above” and “Below” which is where Atlantia is. For some reasons not explained well, these people don’t like each other and they the people above want to kill all the Sirens. There’s an oddly religious angle here about the people from Above worshipping mermaids and sirens which are the people Below, and the people Below worshipping gargoyle statues and bats from above. The world building was pretty much confusing and didn’t make any sense.
There are two things that I’ve always known for certain: that I have to see the Above and that I love my sister.
I have no idea how Sirens came about either, and it just so happens that Rio is one of them. Rio is as bland as the characters come though, as she uses this flat, monotone voice with people so they don’t find out she is a siren, where she control people to do her bidding. I found her character to be really annoying and bland. The whole book features her questioning every single thing she sees or hears, and she really, really likes to ask questions when being told something important. Pages of dialogue will bounce back and forth between her questions and people answering them.
While I did like the concept of Sirens being explored, there wasn’t enough depth or character building here to hold my interest. I had so many questions that went unanswered, like how can the people in Atlantia breathe underwater? Why does Rio so easily be able to tell one of the key secrets of her Ministers when the whole population cannot? Why is Rio’s aunt continuing to help someone who killed her own sister?
He is good at this. I am good at this. We are good at this. I close my eyes, and I listen. To his breathing, and mine.
There is something about the way the book is written, with blunt, short sentences and lots of repetition used that made it stunted and frustrating to read. Perhaps it’s just the author’s writing style that isn’t for me, but I remember enjoying Matched when I read it a few years ago, but much has probably changed since I started book blogging.
Atlantia just wasn’t the book for me. While it did contain an important focus on family and an interesting concept about Sirens in an underwater world, there just wasn’t enough depth, world building or character building to hold my interest. It is a standalone though, so at least there’s that.
Rating: 2 out of 5
Thank you to Penguin Australia for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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