Atlantia by Ally CondieÂ (websiteÂ |Â twitter)
See also my review ofÂ Crossed by Ally Condie
Publication Date:Â October 28, 2014
Publisher:Â Dutton Children’s
Target Audience: Young Adult Fiction
Keywords:Â underwater city, dystopia, broken world, young adult fantasy
Format Read: Arc received from the Publisher. (Thank you!
Summary (from Goodreads):Can you hear Atlantia breathing?
For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Aboveâ€”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 Rioâ€™s true selfâ€”and the powerful siren voice she has long hiddenâ€”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 motherâ€™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.
Author Ally Condie is hanging out on Rather Be Reading today to discuss the importance of the names she selected in ATLANTIA. I don’t know about you guys, but I always, always want more information about an author’s thought process. Ally so carefully chose each of the names and it really makes my heart sing to learn these details. The whole world just comes alive a little bit more! I’ll be posting my official review later this week, but for now, I want you guys to say hello to Ally and get swept away by a few details in her upcoming release, ATLANTIA!
Writing Atlantia was a little different from writing my other books. While I always like the names to have meaning (Cassia, Ky, and Xanderâ€™s names are all significant to their characters), this time, I wanted the names to connect with water somehow. Because the city of Atlantia is underwater, I felt sure that this connection would occur to the people naming their children Below.
I came up with Rio and Bayâ€™s names very early on in the processâ€”I have to know my main characterâ€™s name, or I have a hard time writing. I knew that Rio and Bayâ€™s mother would have thought very carefully and given them names with great meaning. And, since they are twins, I wanted their names to tie together in a significant way but also sound/look very different. Rio is Spanish for river, and a bay is a body of water forming an indentation of the shoreline (and yes, I just got that definition from the dictionary). 😉 Without being too spoiler-y, I think Rioâ€™s mother knew very much what she was doing (and what she hoped for) when she named her daughters after bodies of water that touch both the land and the sea.
The next set of sister names I chose were those of Rio and Bayâ€™s mother, Oceana, and her sister, Maire. Since Oceana was the leader of Atlantia, I wanted her to have a grand, encompassing, womanly name. Oceana means from the sea, and I loved the sound of it. For Maire, I wanted something a bit sharper, a little different. I looked for other names that meant ocean or water, and when I found Maireâ€”which has two meanings (of the sea or bitter), I knew that Iâ€™d found the right fit for this particular character. The dual meanings reflect well the dual nature of Maireâ€™s character.
The boys in the story also have names that connect with water. While Trueâ€™s first name has an obvious meaning (and one that is very connected to his character), itâ€™s his last name, Beck, that reflects the water connection. A beck is a brook, or a swiftly running stream. And that felt right for True and his role in the story. Fen Cardiff, the other main boy in the story, has a name that means marshâ€”land covered in water. Again, I donâ€™t want to spoil anything, but that has a connection with what happens to Fen in the book as well.
As for naming the city itself, I wanted a name that reflected Atlantisâ€”the lost underwater city of legendâ€”but that sounded more feminine, since the main characters in this book are strong women (I also didnâ€™t want to be tied too tightly to the legends of Atlantis and the preconceptions people have about an Atlantis story). So I changed the ending of the word slightly. I had no idea at the time that we would name the book Atlantia (I always called it Rio, which I knew we couldnâ€™t keep for obvious reasonsâ€”the movie, etc.) but I think the fact that it sounded right made my editor think of it as the name for the novel, and I was happy to agree.
Thank you so much, Ally, for stopping by Rather Be Reading!
Friends, ATLANTIA is such a fun read. It was so nice to disappear into a world so
different than what I’ve been reading lately. Add this one to your TBRs!
And join us on Team Above — who would want to live underwater anyway? A few reasons why above is better: SUNSHINE, sand, fresh air, STARS, and um, history. I can’t imagine living below water where — don’t you think it would feel like living in a snow globe?