cover image Alessia in Atlantis: The Forbidden Vial

Alessia in Atlantis: The Forbidden Vial

Nathalie Laine. Nathalie Laine, $7.99 paper (318p) ISBN 978-1-73617-047-2

In this Atlantis-centered exploration of identity and friendship, Scottish 11-year-old Alessia Cogner, a “short girl with deathly pale skin and roughly cropped mousy-brown hair,” longs to know her dead parents, but the only thing they left her is an odd fork set and an even stranger blue gem. At her new boarding school, Alessia tries to hide her idiosyncrasy: she is “bizarrely oversensitive.” Before she can settle in, however, she is lured to the sea and brought in an overturned rowboat into the depths of the forgotten world of Atlantis. There, Alessia learns that she is an Atlantide, like her father. Secretly searching for the truth behind his death, Alessia relies upon the help of new friends—a few with secrets of their own—and sets out to unravel a labyrinthine conspiracy. Laine builds a fantastical world, surrounding Alessia with imaginative creatures and richly detailed cities, including seahorse taxis and whirlpool visions. Older readers may question Alessia’s ease at integrating into Atlantide society, but her innocence feels par for her age in this quick-moving, enjoyable undersea adventure. Ages 10–up. (Self-published)