BOOK REVIEW: Atlantia by Ally Condie

 Title: Atlantia
Author: Ally Condie
Buy the book here

 Courtesy of Goodreads
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.

“The only chance of success is to trust in your own power.” 
“People can be miracles.” 

Potential. If I could only use one word to describe Atlantia, it would be potential. This book sounded incredibly promising but lacked the ability to live up to its possible greatness. For me, this book felt like it was patched up with a really big band-aid and settled for being okay. The first 20 pages was confusing as hell, leading me to the conclusion that the world building was awful. Which should have been the highlight Atlantia. There is nothing like seeing a world unravel into your thoughts through written words. It’s a crucial part of reading fantasy/dystopian books. And Atlantia did not amaze me with its world, it only confused me.

The concept of the Above and Below, of how years ago The Divide happened, was the focal point. But things got repetitive. The amount of questions the protagonist asked from beginning to end became relentless. I mean, come on! It almost felt like she was asking me, personally, and I wanted to shout I don’t know! Figure it out yourself like the heroine you should be! Rio should do more of the answering and doing rather than whining. I had to skim through so many question marks it left my nerves unsettled. I was already halfway and she was still asking herself questions that we very well know she can’t answer. This book lacked action and direction. It only got interesting when I was already ninety percent done with it.

Atlantia left me exhausted. And not even in a good way. The only light upon this book was Maire. The supposed to be bad guy. But in the end, she was the answer. And of course, we all know what happens to the good characters.

Overall, I don’t think I could recommend this book. And I gave my complete honesty in this review. No hate, just truth. But if the concept intrigues you enough, there’s no harm in diving into it.
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  1. Like you said this premise sounded like it had so much promise. I usually am a sucker for a storyline like this with mermaids. I am sure you have heard of Jennifer Donnelly's series Waterfire Saga which I personally really enjoyed. I even broke (unintentionally) my "I do not read a series unless it is complete" rule as I have no patience and was introduced to the first book by a friend.
    Thank you for the honest review! I hope your next read is much bette.

  2. Aww that synopsis sounded so promising that I was almost ready to add it to my TBR, but your review stopped me. I hate when the world building isn't that great because that means I'm never fully immersed in the story.

  3. Aww, as soon as I saw the word "Atlantia", I thought "Yay! Mermaids! This should be awesome!"���� too bad it wasn't great, a premise like that really does have so much potential :(

  4. Oh I read the synopsis and it sounds really intriguing! But what a shame that it didn't live up to that. I am sure I would get just as frustrated with all of the questions and the lack of worldbuilding as you did. What a shame!

  5. Oh my gosh, I so agree with your review! I have reviewed this book years ago, but I remember that this is exactly what I said about it - all the unrealized potential it had! It had such an awesome premise but it fell so flat. It really put me off Ally Condie's books for good. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts!