Drowning on the first day of summer camp was not on Owen’s agenda. He hadn’t planned on being underwater for ten minutes and getting cuts on his neck, either. Or being bullied by his bunkmates or hearing voices call him underwater or kissing a girl or being chased by terrorists…
Owen felt strange at Camp Eden, being outside under the huge BioDome with a real lake and trees instead of safely inside the caves of Yellowstone Hub with his dad. Could those TruSky panels really protect campers from the massive solar radiation blasting Earth since the ozone layer had vanished? Better safe than sorry, they slather on NoRad lotion for all daylight activities.
Failing the swim test was bad, but the itchy wounds on his neck are even worse. Dr. Maria said not to get them wet, but a shower makes the pain stop. Cute lifeguard Lilly told Owen to go with any strange urges he has near the lake, so a night swim with the counselors-in-training sounds great – and he’s suddenly in his element, swimming and diving deep using his new gills. During the daytime, the thick NoRad lotion disguises their necks, and every night the CITs and Owen explore the lake’s depths – and sometimes the voice calls him toward an azure light.
Long-time camper Leech bullies everyone in their cabin, goes fishing with the camp director, and generally is obnoxious. He knows the secret trails in the camp forest and cheats during team challenges. Does he suspect that Owen isn’t just a skinny kid from the Hub anymore?
Touring the Eagle Eye Observatory which watches over the 200,000 inhabitants of EdenWest Dome, wondering if Dr. Maria knows more than she’s telling him about why he survived so long underwater, trying to stay away from Leech while he listens for the lake voice – Owen’s summer is turning out to be no picnic.
Why does the voice tell him of a prophecy? Can there really be people who live and survive outside the Dome? Is the camp director friend or enemy? Can Owen trust the visions about the future of his world and the Atlantis of its past?
First in a series, finding The Lost Code could be the secret that rescues humanity from itself or the final step in sealing their fate.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA
A half century ago global warming and climate change turned the world as we knew it upside down with melting ice caps and disappearing coastlines. All that's left now are the Habitable Zone, an area above the sixty degrees north latitude and the five Eden domes where people live a "normal" life under the TruSky and the SimClouds. Rumors are that the Eden domes are failing.
Owen has just come into EdenWest leaving his family behind at the Yellowstone Hub. He has been sent off to camp and starts the experience by struggling to pass the swimming test. In fact, he has just been hit with a cramp that is sending him to the bottom of the pool and his body is shutting down. So it will come as a huge surprise to him when he awakes to the beautiful CIT, Lilly, giving him mouth to mouth resuscitation. More surprises await Owen as he's about to learn that he was under the water for an impossibly long time. He should be dead.
In this artificially maintained world Owen watches as students disappear after sudden illness, as his bunkmates tear each other apart, and as he finds himself slowly joining the world of Lilly and her fellow CITs. What is really going on here in EdenWest? Where are all the other campers disappearing to? What are the painful cuts all over Owen's neck and why is Paul, the camp leader, so interested in him? Is EdenWest on the verge of collapse?
Ten thousand years before, the civilization of Atlantis found itself on the edge of collapse as well. What did they choose to do to survive? Does Owen hold a secret knowledge that just might be able to save his world? Filled with intrigue and touches of gruesome and shocking scientific experimentation, this is a book of adventure with a deep root reaching back to Atlantis. It will have a magnetic appeal for those who are called by Atlantis and all of its wondrous possibilities. 435 pages Ages 14 and up