REVIEW: The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

The Lost Code (Atlanteans #1) by Kevin Emerson
Katherine Tegen Books, 2012
[Goodreads | Amazon]


The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy. But global climate change is not something new in the Earth’s history.

No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race—a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process.

Now it is Owen’s turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry…and that less-than-ordinary can evolve into extraordinary.


When I first saw the blurb for The Lost Code, I immediately thought of the Percy Jackson books, and knew I had to give it a read. While it is another of those post-apocalyptic/distopian titles populating the YA shelves, it had a fresh feeling to it, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s adventure, mysteries, and even a bit of romance, plus a pretty fabulous main character in Owen. His journey from someone who didn’t fit in and just wanted to be like everyone else to the strong, capable person he becomes at the end of the book was really wonderful to read. I loved that he finally decided to take action, to not rely on others’ opinions, and to do what he felt was right. I think Owen and I are really going to get along well.

I loved the set-up of this story. This book is really all about Owen finding himself and taking charge, but there was so much more to the story. See, Owen is at a summer camp in EdenWest, which is enclosed in a dome that’s supposed to protect everyone from the harmful rays of the sun. You either live in these domes, or you live underground, because the sun’s rays are so strong that they cause radiation poisoning if you’re out in them for too long. There’s a lot of questions about what’s going on at the camp, and what’s going on with the campers, and it keeps twisting and turning around on itself so much that I was constantly guessing. And then there are the little bits of the mythology that are revealed throughout, particularly what happened to Atlantis and what it means for Owen’s world. I found the mythology particularly interesting, again, because this is a pretty big reading kink for me personally, and it was nice to see something new in that respect.

And then you have the romance, which I felt was really true to teenagers, and Owen in particular, who is so afraid of doing something wrong and not fitting in. There are all those awkward moments where he’s afraid he’s said the wrong thing, or doesn’t know what to do, and I kind of adored the entire thing. Lilly was a really well-developed character, with an interesting back story. I found her to be a really strong character, but with her own weaknesses, and am eager to see how her story will turn out.

This book definitely sets up the rest of the series; very little, aside from Owen’s ancestry and their overall goal, really happens. There’s a lot of time spent on daily camp life, from crafts to various activities, and then you have the growing romance between Owen and Lilly. The action doesn’t really kick in until about 60% into the book, but once it does, be prepared to be unable to put the book down; I literally read and read until it was done, it was so engrossing. But as the first book in a new series, this sets up the world, introduces the characters and problems, and gets the reader interested in the story quite well. It’s a really great start to a new series, and I enjoyed every word of it.


An e-galley was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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2 Responses to REVIEW: The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

  1. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves #4 | Read and Reviewed

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