Series: Standalone? Companion Series?
Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi/Fantasy
Subjects: sea colonies, sirens, abilities, secrets
Setting: Atlantia, a sea colony
POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Rio
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 298 pgs.
List Price: $18.99
Publisher: Penguin: Dutton Juvenile
Summary/ product description: “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.”
My Review: Atlantia was an interesting and lyrical dystopian-fantasy mash up. It’s almost a dystopian retelling of the Little Mermaid, but very different, and about sirens. There’s some unique world-building. It’s set in a seas colony. There are some people who live there that have abilities to control and manipulate people with their voice and are called sirens. They are not mermaids, but this ability does seem more magical than psychic. Rio herself is a siren, but she hides it. She has an aunt who’s a siren and it’s unusual to have more than one siren in a family line. How they actually do it is never fully explained, but they believe it’s a miracle from the gods. Also, these people have their own religion based off some statues in a temple. Atlantia is more utopia than dystopia, but it’s a secluded world that has it’s own set of rules to follow. Rio and Bay’s mother was the minister and she died. The new minister is a man named Nevio.
Rio is an interesting character. She talks with a dull voice so no one knows her abilities. Rio loves the city but wants to go Above to be with her sister. She does some risky things in this book She’s determined and doesn’t give up. Rio used to work in the temple until she’s given a job repairing drones. Rio does swimming races and performances for money. There’s this guy named True who help her along the way and they have a bit of a romance. True’s friend went Above as well. I like True. He seems sweet.
There’s a lot of secrets and deception within the walls of Atlantia. Who killed Rio’s mother? What could her aunt be hiding? What is the new minister hiding? Atlantia may be on the verge of falling apart. Read and find out. I recommend this book to fans of Cinder, Glitch by Heather Anastasiu, Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles) by J.A. Souders, and Dark Life by Kat Falls. Dystopia retellings of fairytales, or books set in a sea colony or underground colony.
Cover Art Review: Love the semi-metallic cover. Teal green is a lovely color. The shell fits with the story.