Author: Ally Condie
Published: October 28th 2014 by Dutton Children's
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance
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.
I loved the world that Ally Condie creates but I had some trouble with the book dragging for about the first third of it. I often felt that Rio wandered around doing a whole lot of nothing, but she did give us the lay of the land as she did it. It also bothered me that these people were like, I can help you get answers but she refused to take their help. Then she would walk around saying that she would do anything to get answers. Umm no you wouldn’t you just turned down people and when you finally ask them for help. You turn them down again. It was kind of driving me absolutely batty. Seriously a boy pops up at one point and by the time he shows up again I’ve already forgotten his name. I’m not that great with names to start with but I kept thinking, what happened to that guy.
Now despite the slow start I did end up liking the book. After about the first 100 pages..maybe a little more the plot really picks it up and I became fascinated. Turning page after page. That guy, True, becomes more of an actual character as well. What Ally does well is creating the world in your mind. Both of the Below and the Above. When we start to really get into the sirens and their history it’s rich and full of texture.
I did like Rio despite the fact she annoyed me a little in the beginning and I did end up liking Bay as well. Although her logic behind the reasoning of choosing the Above is extremely flawed. I think the character I enjoyed the most and really stood out to me was Marie. I loved her personality and how she does not make apologies for herself. She is blunt and straightforward and shows her love in her own way. I just felt like she was a really cool character.
The romance is sweet and not necessarily the focus of the story. I like the partnership that True and Rio form that kind of allows them to get to know one another. The fish True creates remind me of the jointed fish christmas ornaments. I really wanted to see pictures of them and the eels!!
I really liked the whole concept and the plot of the book. As more and more of the truth comes out it definitely becomes extremely interesting and I loved learning different things about the Above and Below. The ending felt satisfactory to me and I really liked how things were wrapped up. I thought this was a good standalone adventure but I also think that there is possibility of a sequel or companion novel if you really wanted to.
So if you are looking for an interesting adventure with some fantastic world building then definitely pick this up. Like I said if you feel like the beginning is dragging a bit stick with it. Once things come to light about the Sirens it becomes utterly fascinating.