Atlantia by Ally Condie
Release Date: October 28
ARC received by Publisher
Order: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|IndieBound
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 love for Ally Condie’s poetic writing has followed her from the Matched Trilogy to her latest book, Atlantia. Atlantia shows us the bond between two sisters Rio and Bay in an underground city. The residents are safe from the toxins in the air from above, but it comes at a price. Those that live above are taking care of the ones safe below. After the death of their mother, the sisters promised one another that they would stay together, in the below.
After Bay chooses Above, Rio works to unravel the mystery of her mothers death and what exactly is going on with the Below and the Above. Atlantia is a truly magical read from beginning to end with mystery, intrigue and a beautifully written relationship between two sisters.
Given that most books nowadays seem to be trilogies, I was surprised to find out that Atlantia will be a stand alone. After finishing the book I so wanted another chance to explore the world that Ally built. I’m thankful that everything was able to be wrapped up in one book though, and cannot wait to see what Ally comes up with next.
About the Author:
Ally Condie is a former high school English teacher who lives with her husband, three sons and one daughter outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, running, eating, and listening to her husband play guitar.
As part of Team Above we had the chance to interview Ally!
What was the world building process like for you while writing Atlantia?
I always have the character and the situation first, and then I build the world around that scenario. It was that way with Cassia and Matched—I knew I had a girl finding out who she was going to marry and that someone else had chosen that person for her, and then I built the world around her, so to speak. It was the same with Rio in Atlantia—I knew I had a girl who had just lost her sister and who was trapped in a place she was desperate to leave, and so I built the city of Atlantia around her. It was a lot of fun, actually, to create something so strange and different, and to think about what an underwater city might look and feel like!
There are a lot of dystopian books out there now, what makes Atlantia different?
I don’t know that I would even call Atlantia a dystopia, even though it does take place in a society that exists after we’ve ruined our world. I think Atlantia is different because it’s largely a story about sisters and about love, and it also has an element of magic, which I haven’t done before in a novel, and which I don’t think we see in a lot of dystopias.
Have you ever struggled with what you would like to happen with a character, and what makes sense for the character?
Yes, definitely. Sometimes I have ideas about what will happen to a character and then when I get writing, I find out that I was totally wrong, that my old ideas don’t fit the person that character has become. That happened with Rio as I wrote Atlantia, and also with the character Maire.
What were some of your influences in writing Atlantia?
Even though there are no mermaids in Atlantia, the Hans Christian Andersen version of The Little Mermaid (not the Disney version!) influenced this book quite a bit. The original tale is very dark, without the happy ending, and I found it very interesting. If you read that tale it’s quite easy to see what elements I used as inspiration for my book. The great cathedrals of Europe also influenced this book—the way common people spent years working to build those places and were told their reward would be in heaven. And I was influenced by my own relationships with my sisters, of course
What books are current faves in your house?
I just read a book called Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson that I absolutely loved. She’s genius. My husband is reading a book by William Gibson, one of his favorite authors. My oldest son just finished reading Spirit Animals, and we’re reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to the younger two boys. And my toddler daughter is very into the Llama Llama books.
What books inspired you growing up?
I was a HUGE fan of the Anne of Green Gables series, and I also loved reading The Babysitters’ Club books. As I grew older, I fell in love with the writing of Wallace Stegner and Anne Tyler. I still love their books.
Did your love of Olympic swimmers have anything to do with a world set beneath the water?
It didn’t, actually—well, at least not consciously. It was more the influence of The Little Mermaid that made me think of putting the city underwater. But when I was trying to decide what True looked like, I saw Nathan Adrian swimming in the 2012 Olympics, and I thought, “That’s him!” So Olympic swimming definitely influenced that part of the book.
What’s something about you that not many people know?
I was once a child performer with the American Folk Ballet. I loved it because we got to wear these beautiful dresses and because the adult dancers were always so kind to us.
To celebrate this book’s release, we are giving away an advanced copy of Atlantia and an exclusive Atlantia necklace!
a Rafflecopter giveaway