Alessia in Atlantis

The Jellyfish Jailbreak

Children - Preteen
332 Pages
Reviewed on 10/02/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

In Alessia in Atlantis: The Jellyfish Jailbreak by Nathalie Laine, we learn that Alessia has some incredible empathic powers. At twelve, she’s still discovering how to use and control them. Her year at the Lost City of Atlantis school had taught her much, but she still had a lot to learn. Her evil mother keeps interfering, causing havoc, and trying to kidnap Alessia to steal the girl’s powers. But Alessia has friends in the underwater nation and with their help, she can find and stop her mother before the threat that’s been unleashed can cause further havoc. Alessia’s mother is behind the escape of one of the most dangerous prisoners in the history of Atlantis and the threat this presents is terrifying.

Nathalie Laine’s middle-grade novel, Alessia in Atlantis, is the second book in the series. As before, readers will be riveted by the unfolding plot that will grab their attention right from the beginning. This includes a little bit of mind control and some humor, mixed in with the fear that grips Alessia every time she thinks that her mother is near. The plot is electrifying and advances the story with power and speed, much like the Percy Jackson and Harry Potter series. The characters are well-developed and believable, with engaging dialogue to help move the story along. Magic, intrigue, mystery, and the legendary lost city of Atlantis blend well together in this story that takes readers on a journey of adventure and discovery both above the water and below. A fantastic adventure.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Alessia in Atlantis: The Jellyfish Jailbreak is a young adult novel by Nathalie Laine with lots of action. Alessia is excited about returning to the lost city of Atlantis until she learns that her mother hasn’t given up on attempting to steal her powers and Alessia’s guardian in her underwater home, Wimmi, has been arrested. Alessia is an empath who can feel emotions and briefly enter a person’s mind to control their thoughts and actions, but using her power comes with consequences. She must help Wimmi prove he is a fit undersea guardian by passing three Ten Tackles, similar to exams students take in land-based schools, even though they focus on a different curriculum. Things begin to look bad for Alessia when she fails a Tackle, but she vows to help Wimmi. Alessia and her friends decide to break out landfarers from a jellyfish jail, and Alessia’s mind-controlling powers are put to the test.

Alessia in Atlantis: The Jellyfish Jailbreak is the second book in Nathalie Laine’s series, but I followed along easily as much of the previous book was revealed in the first two chapters. The cover is eye-catching, and the story moves along at a medium pace until it speeds up at the end. I was especially pleased with the way the author gently revealed the main character’s parentage, and the hook at the end will keep readers engaged in the series. I recommend the book for preteens, teenagers, and readers who enjoy, fantasy, myths, friendship, and action.

Carmen Tenorio

Alessia in Atlantis: The Jellyfish Jailbreak is the second book in Nathalie Laine's series that centers on 12-year-old Alessia, who has just returned to the Lost City of Atlantis to begin her second school year in Octopus Garden. She faces the challenge of using her mind-control abilities and passing at least one of her Ten Tackles exams. She also suspects that her rebellious mother had something to do with the escape of a notorious prisoner named Giggles who was responsible for one of the most tragic events in Atlantis. To thwart her mother's malicious schemes, she first had to question a prisoner in Jellyfish Jail who knows her mother's whereabouts. Alessia and her pals then decided to carry out an impromptu jailbreak to rescue prisoners who they believe were wrongfully blamed for Giggle's escape. It was a chance to use her powers to the full, but ironically it was also a wake-up call when Alessia realized that she was on the verge of abusing her skills - with dire consequences. What follows are more action-packed events that ultimately lead to unexpected personal revelations for Alessia and the ongoing plot for the future of Atlantis and its new emperor.

Alessia in Atlantis has a strong protagonist that readers can identify with. Alessia has deep-seated resentment and a lot to deal with, yet she certainly has her will, confidence, and self-control that helps her get around, along with a supportive network of friends. The secondary characters in the book have dynamic personalities that add color and atmosphere to the story. Some of the themes in the novel are familiar, particularly when they relate to friendship, family, fairness, and loyalty, but they also turn dark and interesting when they touch on loss, betrayal, deception, and tyranny. Nathalie Laine has been imaginative and meticulous in inventing a new vocabulary and wordplay for the series to make Atlantis a distinctly different and fantastic world with a culture of its own. This encourages the use of the reader's imagination and visualization, which can be quite entertaining and enjoyable for a preteen to a young adult crowd. The novel also features spectacular cover art by Alessandro Brunelli which serves as a teaser for Alessia's heroic adventures. It's a good book with a riveting story arc that will appeal to readers who love action and fantasy-packed storylines that are rip-roaring and intriguing.

Paul R

A compelling follow-on to the first in this undersea adventure series. Terrific character development, and thoughtful presentation of moral dilemmas for middle-school readers. A page turner.