The Lost Code (The Atlanteans #1) by Kevin Emerson
Hardcover, 435 pages
Published May 22, 2012 by Katherine Tegan Books
Source: ARC from bookstore I work at
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…
Do you remember going to camp when you were younger? I do, I went to Abraham Lincoln camp in Iowa when I was 12 or 13. I still remember the horse back riding, swimming in the lake, creating crafts and learning gymnastics. What did you do at camp? I'm going to guess that your camp was not held in a Dome of some sort. Or even that you had to be part of a drawing to win a place there.
Owen is one such lucky camper. He wins a chance to experience a place with grass, swimming in a lake and seeing bugs he's never seen before. Well, if you call the experience Owen has at Camp Eden as lucky after reading this story then we will have to talk.
I started this book a few days after I met Kevin, the author you silly people, at Wordstock in Portland. It was interesting to hear his camp stories and see photos, yes ACTUAL photos of his cabin mates at camp. After hearing Kevin talk about his camp days and 'The Lost Code' I was intrigued. I wanted to find out what happened at Camp Eden. Plus, Kevin is a really funny guy, so I knew his book was going to a fun read.
The book starts out with Owen drowning during his swim test. Well, come on people, he lives, so I'm not ruining a plot line here. Owen is injured when he makes it out of the lake and things change. He is injured but talked into lying by Lilly, the hot lifeguard. Well come on, this book is from Owen's perspective and he thinks she's hot. So of course, he does what she asks and lies to the Doctor who is checking him. This event is what turns the book into a thriller. Okay there is a little bit of romance and a ton of adventure. Sneaking out in the middle of the night, building confidence, and exploring places that are dangerous. This is my kind of book. It has everything to keep me reading.
The characters, Lilly, Owen, Dr. Maria, Leech and Paul, the camp director, are all interesting and have great backstories. Throughout the book I enjoyed trying to figure out if the different characters were going to be someone to trust or not. I was definitely surprised by a few of them, when it turned out they were the opposite of what I thought originally.
I went away from this book tweeting to Kevin about how excited I was to read the next one, 'The Dark Shore', which comes out next May 2013. I think I might end up moving to Seattle and camping on his doorstep in order to get a copy. But at least he is near Theo Chocolate so I will have sustenance!
About the author: Kevin is the author of the OLIVER NOCTURNE series and CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT. His next novel, THE LOST CODE, the first book in the Atlanteans series, comes out in May 2012 with Katherine Tegen Books. His next middle grade novel, THE FELLOWSHIP FOR ALIEN DETECTION, comes out in January 2013 with Walden Pond Press.
Kevin is also a musician. His current project is THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, where he writes imaginative, poppy songs about elementary school and life in the spirit of Schoolhouse Rock.