Series: The Atlanteans #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 22nd 2012
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In the year 2086, Camp Eden promises summer “the way things used to be,” back before the oceans rose, the sun became a daily enemy, and modern civilization sank into chaos. Located inside the EdenWest BioDome, the camp is an oasis of pine trees, cool water, and rustic charm.
But all at Camp Eden is not what it seems.
No one will know this better than 15-year-old Owen Parker. A strange underwater vision, even stranger wounds on Owen’s neck, and a cryptic warning from the enchanting lifeguard Lilly hint at a mystery that will take Owen deep beneath Lake Eden and even deeper into the past. What he discovers could give him the chance to save the tattered planet. But first, Owen will have to escape Camp Eden alive…
Normally after finishing a book, my thoughts are pretty clear. Either I liked it, or didn't, or maybe even something in-between. But for some reason, The Lost Code has left me stumped. From the blurb, I believed that I would be encountering something along the lines of a dystopian with the myth of Atlantis interwoven. And that is what I got. However, it just doesn't feel like it.
My problems with The Lost Code began almost immediately. The world has been all but destroyed. People are forced into living in dome enclosures. Commodities are scarce. However, there is a special summer camp for certain selected kids and teens, where everything they pretty much could wish for has been taken care of. This was problem number one. The idea of this special summer camp basically contradicts everything I was previously lead to believe about this society. Everything is falling apart, yet in this dome, everything is nearly perfect. Why waste these scare commodities on a kid's summer camp? The plausibility of it all seemed almost laughable.
Problem number two. The scope of this world was both hard to grasp and well as understand. The Lost Code seemed to flip, flop in its descriptions. One moment, I am lead to understand this is a small enclosure with just enough space for this, that, and the other. Yet, the next, I am presented with a lake as far as the eye can see. A world where multiple colonies (for lack of a better word) are trying to survive together in this harsh environment. It was all too unclear for me.
Finally, while the characters and the book's hidden treasures kept me glued to The Lost Code's pages, the pacing of the book left me wanting to pull my hair out. A slower paced read can be enjoyable if done right, and for some, they may enjoy all the details that Emerson includes. But this pacing was not for me.
The Lost Code had plenty of potential, but suffered from a bit of description bloat. Its often overly descriptive passages took away from much of the overall picture. Leaving me to focus more on the scenery instead of the dystopian world or even our characters. The Lost Code has an extremely strong finish, but to be honest, by the time I got there, I almost did not care any longer.
Will I read the next installment?
A firm maybe. The blurb for The Dark Shore is definitely strong and tempting. But so was the blurb for The Lost Code.