Early Review: The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

May 21, 2012 Review 9

*This title will be released on May 22, 2012*

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Title: The Lost Code
AuthorKevin Emerson
Series: The Atlanteans #1
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Paranormal/Dystopian YA/MG
Excerpt: No
Source: ARC Swap
Reviewed by: Abigail

  • Reading level: Ages 13 and up
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (May 22, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0062062794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062062796

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Sexual Content:


Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.



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.


Is there a better myth for an adventure novel than the lost continent of Atlantis? I think not.  Where else can you find mystery, lost secrets, and archaeological revelations?  I devour books about the fabled continent (seriously, if there is a fictional book about Atlantis, I’ve read it), add in a dystopian twist like Kevin Emerson does in THE LOST CODE, the first book in his new The Atlanteans series, and that’s a book that shoots right to the top of my TBR pile.

The first half of THE LOST CODE unfolds somewhat leisurely as readers are introduced to Owen, the newest camper at a special domed camp that allows kids to experience life away from the harsh reality of a planet devastated by global upheavals. There are bullies, hot older girls, enigmatic adults, oh and gills.  Owen begins to change and discovers he’s not the only ‘special’ camper in the dome.  I did begin to wonder if we were only going to get few psychic dream/visions and references to reincarnation instead of actually getting to the subject of Atlantis, and thankfully it did at about the halfway point.  After that, the adventure really took off and the Atlantis elements took center stage.  There were hidden temples, advanced ancient technology, lost languages, and unlocked secrets.

Despite delivering on the Atlantis elements, THE LOST CODE did have a few setbacks.  I was looking for Owen’s age throughout the book, but it was never mentioned.  I know this is being marketed as young adult (YA), but it really feels more like a middle grade (MG) book (think Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series).  If I were guessing based on his thoughts and behavior, I’d peg Owen at about twelve, thirteen tops.  That’s not a bad thing if you enjoy MG (and I do), but I was expecting a teenager like the one portrayed on the cover. In that sense, it felt misleading.  Also the environmental speeches had a tendency to get preachy. 

My biggest gripe, however, was with the romance. It just felt awkward and ultimately unnecessary. I never once felt my heart race or that wonderful nervous/excited flutter in my stomach.  On the contrary, every romantic encounter between Own and Lilly was ill-timed (like when he was covered in blood right after seeing a dead body for the first time, or after stumbling across horrific human vivisections).  Lilly is older (we never learn how much), and it never made sense that she would go from essentially babysitting Owen and his cabin mates one day to flirting with him the next week.  I didn’t buy it.

After a slow first half, the end of THE LOST CODE went a long way towards interpreting the Atlantis legend while packing plenty of dystopian adventure into the second half.  I’ll be hoping for a more mature version of Owen and hopefully a better developed romantic storyline when the next book in The Atlanteans series hits shelves in Spring 2013

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9 Responses to “Early Review: The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson”

  1. Kt Clapsadl

    I felt exactly the same way. The first half was way too slow, and there was no real emotion in the romance. But the ending went a long way into hooking me back into the series.

  2. Deepali

    The publishers/author was probably not giving away the girl's age to avoid alienating any reader – since she was older than the guy…

    just a guess!
    Dee, from e-Volving Books

  3. kate

    Great review however if the character is 13 this would still count as a YA book seeing as the YA is aimed at 13-24 year olds compared to MG which is 8-12 I believe.

    Either way this sounded like a book I would have passed on no matter what seeing as mermaids and such don't really do it for me (Though I loved Disney's movie Atlantes the lost empire they weren't fish people so)

  4. Abigail

    I'm such an Atlantis junkie that I'll definitely be back for book 2, but I do hope the pace is better.

  5. Abigail

    I'm sure you're right, but it was weird since initially I thought she was like a decade older than him based on the way she was written, so I never really could wrap my brain around the romance.

  6. Abigail

    I love the Pecry Jackson series, and if you do too, this series is a no brainer. You'll like it 🙂

  7. Abigail

    I've seen the YA/MG ages vary from definition to definition, this just felt much more like other MG titles I've read than YA, and the cover is really misleading in portraying Owen as an older teen.

  8. Kt Clapsadl

    Seriously, why aren't there more Atlantis books? If I had the imagination/skills I would so write a book centering around Atlantis mythology.