The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson
Release Date: May 22nd, 2012
Katherine Tegen Books, 435 Pages
Source: Advance Reader Copy
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: The Atlanteans #1
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…
The Lost Code is the first book in a series about Atlanteans. When I first started reading this book, I actually had no idea it was about Atlantis! I don’t really like to read reviews or synopses of books because I like to be surprised. At first, the book starts off during a time when the world is falling apart due to global warming (so basically apocalyptic). I love how Emerson talks in lay-terms, but still scientifically about what is going on in the world, how the geography has changed, and how the remaining population is living. Some are either hiding out underground away from the high levels of radiation (due to an obliterated ozone layer), being Nomads, or living in gigantic domes called Eden (West, East, etc.). These domes are essentially covered cities and Owen (the male MC) has been sent to a camp that is very much like most summer camps I have heard of or attended. His father is worried for his safety and Owen has won a lottery drawing of admission to Camp Eden, where the head counselor has taken a keen interest in him.
Changes start to happen that are hard to explain…campers go missing or get injured…and things start to get out of control. Luckily, Owen has some new friends that will help him figure everything out, fight against nefarious plans, and unlock secrets that may hold the salvation of the human race…but he’s running out of time.
Things I Enjoyed the Most:
- How much Camp Eden (good aspects) was so much like the camps I attended when I was younger (including the counselors and campers!)
- How Owen evolved throughout the book…he had to grow up quickly and overcome a lot mentally and physically
- Lilly! She’s sweet and cares a lot for Owen. The chemistry and their interactions seem so organic and accurate for young ages
- The “Bad Guys”–Oh and how bad they are! There is some serious action and butt-kicking that takes place and I love it.
- The descriptions of the domes, the outside world, underwater, and…well…secret locations.
- The suspense…for the life of my I didn’t see a lot of twists and turns coming, but I appreciated them even more. [I’m tired of being able to “see it coming from a mile away”].
- The ending. It ended in a way that didn’t leave me feeling bereft, but instead, liberated and excited for the next installment.
I highly recommend this book to kids of all ages because it is age-appropriate even for younger kids, and it is a great take on Atlantis that older kids & adults can also enjoy. I also think it’s a great summer read because….let’s face it…the global warming makes me want to go jump in a lake/ocean!