“Utterly captivating. A heroine unlike any I’d met before, a setting I’d never glimpsed, a story I’d never imagined. Atlantia is fresh, wild, and engrossing. I love Ally Condie.” —Shannon Hale, award-winning, bestselling author of Austenland and Dangerous
Can you hear Atlantia breathing? 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.
1. Bay chooses to live Above, taking away Rio’s only opportunity to leave Atlantia and ostensibly separating the sisters for the rest of their lives. Considering the revelation of her reasoning later in the novel, did Bay make the right decision? Why or why not?
2. Without her parents or sister, the only family Rio has left Below is her aunt Maire, a siren who strikes fear in those around her. Where does the fear come from? Are the inhabitants of Atlantia justified in their fear, or is it a result of unwarranted discrimination?
3. Maire explains to Rio, “The only chance of success is to trust in your own power.” Prior to this conversation, did you feel that Rio was relying too much onher faith in Atlantia’s leaders and inhabitants? How does Rio take agency in her life?
4. Rio’s mother once told her, “So much of life is in the smallness of moments . . . but they are harder to mark. So we need the grander celebrations and occasions. People like to feel significant.” What are some of the significant, smaller moments for Rio in the novel? How do they affect the greater story? Have you ever had a small moment make such a grand impact?
5. Considering Rio’s experiences with her sister and mother in the past and her interactions with Maire throughout the novel, does she have more in common with her human family members or her siren aunt?
Ally Condie is the author of the bestselling novel ATLANTIA and the critically acclaimed Matched trilogy, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller. The series has been published in more than 30 languages. A former English teacher, Ally lives with her husband and four children outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, writing, running, and listening to her husband play guitar.