First Lines: The morning after I arrived at Camp Eden, I drowned for the first time.
I’d seen this on the library shelf for a long time and it always caught my attention. As a kid, I was obsessed with Atlantis. I always wanted to know if it was real, what happened to it, etc. So a sci-fi reimagining of it was more than I could pass up.
The year is 2086. The world is dying thanks to a disappearing ozone, massive droughts, and extreme radiation from the sun. In the midst of all this is Owen, who just wants to be normal. At his father’s urging, he goes to Camp Eden, a place that tries to pretend the world is “like it was before”. But Camp Eden is not what it seems. An underwater vision, mysterious wounds, and a whispered warning from the enchanting lifeguard Lilly convince Owen that this is no ordinary summer camp. What Owen learns could save the planet. But first, he has to make it out of Camp Eden alive…
I know this is going to sound paradoxical, but it was unexpectedly surprising and much of the same.
Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. (Oh. My. God. How does one find the willpower to pass up on a Princess Bride reference? Answer: no such willpower exists.)
It was unexpected in a couple of ways. First of all, this Atlantean bit actually worked incredibly well. It was imaginative and different. There were some things this story pulled out that I’ve never seen before in a book, and I’ve read a lot. The whole Atlantean thing was relaly cool.
But when you look at it from a sci-fi angle, it’s exactly the same as every other sci-fi book you’ve read. Domes, corrupt leaders, advanced science (experiments and otherwise) that is disturbing on many levels, etc. I mean, that just wasn’t fun. Apparently, I’m quite tired of sci-fi right now.
The main characters were pretty cool. Owen is something of a reluctant hero. He’s awkward, bullied, and he comes from a very poor background compared to the other kids at camp. It makes him a target, though he’s more of a wallflower than anything. Lilly the lifeguard is cool, beautiful, and forward when she wants to be. I liked that in this story, the girl was the strong one and the boy kind of wasn’t, even though he was the narrator.
If you’re someone who’s really into sci-fis, this might definitely be something for you to look into. If you’re like me and only sometimes like sci-fi, just make sure you’re ready for another dystopian before you dive into this one.