The Lost Code: The Atlanteans, Book 1

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Lost Code: The Atlanteans, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Post-apocalyptic adventure takes a while to hit stride.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The Lost Code is set in the wake of ecological disasters caused by climate change. Some of the possible effects are presented with a high degree of plausibility (rising oceans, dangerous levels of ultraviolet radiation, forest fires across the continental United States). Much of the plot, however, hinges on a more fantasy-based, lost-civilization concept that doesn't bear up under scientific scrutiny.

Positive Messages

In The Lost Code, the protagonist learns to see through the web of lies created by the authorities who run Camp Eden. As he undergoes a physical transformation, Owen Parker also develops the maturity to question his assumptions about life in a civilization overwhelmed by climate change.

Positive Role Models & Representations

After he nearly drowns, Owen discovers that he's undergoing a physical metamorphosis. He also begins to take interest in things other than camp hijinks and begins to see how odd Camp Eden truly is. His curiosity and bravery leads him to oppose the forces that would misuse the legacy of the ancient Atlanteans.

Violence

The Lost Code has a fair amount of action-adventure violence, most of which (fist fights, a stabbing in self-defense, a shooting seen from a great distance, a villain being killed with an arrow) shouldn't be disturbing to most readers. The notable exception is a somewhat graphic and unnerving scene in which the protagonist visits a medical facility where fellow teens are being dissected alive.

Sex

The main characters of The Lost Code, Owen and Lilly, are physically attracted to each other. They flirt, kiss, and cuddle, but there's no depiction of activity more intimate than that.

Language

Language includes infrequent use of words including "bastard," "piss," "hell," "balls," and "screw you."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Lost Code is a post-apocalyptic novel that takes a while to pick up steam; it's oddly concerned with summer rituals rather than narrative momentum. There's action-adventure violence in the second half (fist fights, a stabbing in self-defense, a shooting seen from a great distance, a villain killed with an arrow) and a somewhat graphic and unnerving scene in which the protagonist visits a medical facility where fellow teens are being dissected alive. Infrequent strong language includes "bastard,""piss," "hell," "balls," and "screw you."

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What's the story?

THE LOST CODE: THE ATLANTEANS, BOOK 1 begins with main character Owen Parker nearly drowning in the lake at Camp Eden, the artifical habitat that protects the camp's inhabitants from the ecological disasters that rage outside. Rescued by counselor-in-training Lilly Ishani, Owen soon discovers that he's undergoing a physical metamorphosis that will put him in touch with a legacy from thousands of years ago.

Is it any good?

The Lost Code starts with a gripping moment of jeopardy, but the plot then stalls for nearly half the book, spending too much time with summer camp shenanigans. Eventually the narrative hits its stride, but even then, some readers will feel they're a step or two ahead of the characters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how global climate change might affect future living conditions in the United States. How does the media typically depict stories involving climate change?

  • How do people react when they discover that those in authority aren't telling them the truth?

  • Why do you think concepts like the lost land of Atlantis and a "Golden Age" remain so popular across centuries of literature?

Book details

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