Will flying machines, flaming chariots, old maps, Mayan codes, temples and ancient gods predict the future of our world? Can lost civilizations rise again to restore our faith in humanity and nature, or will they lead to our demise?
These were only some of the questions on my mind as I absorbed every page of “The Lost Code: Book One of the Atlanteans.” By the time I finished reading the last sentence of Kevin Emerson’s novel, my mind was still spinning. Now, when I can gather my thoughts more clearly, I can describe this feeling as mentally stimulating, yet it is so much more than that.
Emerson knows his history. I learned all about Plato and his “Timaeus,” from which he first introduced Atlantis. I could visualize the energy and productivity of the Atlanteans, digging canals to the sea and carving tunnels into rings of rock so ships could pass through and into the city of Atlantis.
I kept in mind what Emerson wrote about the island of Atlantis, that it was mainly comprised of mountains in the northern portions, and how at one time it was larger than Libya and Asia combined. I had to routinely pinch myself just to remind myself that this is only a novel, but so much of the material, facts, scenes (embellished or not) and descriptions of Camp Eden, the underwater world that young Owen Parker first discovers, the possibility of sirens, the corrupt and cruel
experiments by an extremely hostile, yet clever leader of the Camp Eden Corporation and the close ties among those who are supposedly the three Atlanteans—who are descendants of the earlier Atlantenans—that seek to escape from the artificial world under a dome to save humanity and restore what’s left of a dying, global-warming environment found in the outside world.
Though Emerson’s work is in novel form, it made me think seriously at times. We might be world’s apart from living in an artificial society now, but the truth is someday soon we will have to question whether or not we can thrive under a dome of highly-sophisticated technological advancement where the sun, moon, stars, sky, lakes and many creatures of nature are only a facade.
From within the dome lies a city within a city, a camp within a camp, a country within a country and a forest within a forest. It is supposed to be a better place to live, outside and away from “the real world” that has been destroyed by pollution, excessive radon levels, disease, global warming and human error.
Some of the kids’ parents have sent them to Camp Eden, believing, like the kids, how this camp will benefit them more than living underground and striving to make it on the outside.
In the end, however, they are deceived. So the kids and some of their Counselors In Training discover the truth about Camp Eden. Some of the kids are exploited and used in very inhumane experiments to help the corrupt ones return to the perfect place, the perfect world, of Atlantis. The corrupt ones will stop at practically nothing to get to the bottom of the crystal skulls, the sunken city and the mysterious codes.Many other elements are happening between the lines. It is for this reason how some readers might prefer the other mini plots than the obvious one. And, yes, Emerson pleases the romantics-at-heart, for romance can thrive under the dome and outside as well.
Emerson knows his literature, his philosophy and other extensive research to make his novel so brilliant, strange and possible.
In the end, scholar or not, who really knows the mysteries of Atlantis? Some are unshakable in their belief that Atlantis is only a myth, nothing more, but through many eons, lots of people have been intrigued by the possibility of a real glorious city of Atlantis that either could have been destroyed by an earthquake, which led to a flood, war or evil magic. Some truly believe that there is a sunken city, a lost civilization, that was once Atlantis.
Perhaps some of us are missing the point, as Dr. Julia Annas, philosophy instructor at the University of Arizona, states: “Plato was saying, ‘We should use the story (of Atlantis) to examine our ideas of government and power…instead, we go off exploring the sea bed.”
With so many variations in beliefs, it is no doubt that Emerson will be another on the list who encourages people to debate the issue. On the other hand, his novel is so intense that some readers will enjoy puzzling over it.
Emerson might also ask of his readers: which would they prefer—a highly-sophisticated technological world under a dome where everything (mostly) is artificial, from the beautiful butterfly that lands on one’s shoulders that is really a fake and equipped with a mini spy camera, to artificial trees, birds and rain, or would they prefer a world on the outside that is real, but dying, as it continues to suffer from global warming, disease, pollution, starvation and violence among the Nomads? Would Atlanteans risk the chance to escape to the outer world, uncertain of the future or how safe they would be if the challenge was accepted?“The Lost Code” is such a great read. But it is also frightening and maybe a bit too realistic. Then again, it’s just a novel.
Carol Wright is a freelance writer. She resides in Winfield.