'Escape from Atlantis' Book Club: Day 4 [End]

By: Shanleigh Klassen Photo By: @lostinbookworld

"It only takes one person to destroy something good.
Just as it takes one good person to heal something bad."

Hello and welcome back, one last time, to our book club read-along of Escape from Atlantis by Kate O’Hearn! Everything has built up to this: the titular attempted escape from the lost isle of Atlantis. Will Riley and Alfie’s family be able to leave? Will the Atlanteans? Read on to find out!

Remember this is a SPOILER FILLED discussion for chapters 28-38 of Escape from Atlantis. Discussion questions are available below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate Jr box, one per post!

*Make sure to get your comments in by end of the day on Thursday, February 10, 2022 to be eligible to win!*

And now, to the ships!

The story concludes . . .

Chapter 28

Riley finds a spare moment and sneaks on board the Queen to Alfie’s new room. When she asks Alfie how he was injured, he replies with a made-up story about how he fell cutting down a tree. Riley, sick to her stomach, plays along, not wanting to upset him or make him suspicious. But now Riley knows for sure that Alfie was given the Memory Berries.

After dinner and the bonfire, Bastian sneaks to Riley’s room and together they wait for Gideon’s return. When he finally arrives, Gideon reassures Riley that Alfie is not truly gone and that there may even be an antidote for the Memory Berries. Gideon then tells them about a man named Walston Greeves, a former leader of the Community, and how he destroyed the harmony and peace of Atlantis. The Community still follows his horrible, controlling rules to this day.

Gideon promises to bring some of the antidote the gargoyles have for Alfie, although he’s unsure if it will work on a human.

Chapter 29

The next morning, Riley finds a box left for her from Gideon, inside which are the leaves that may bring back Alfie’s memories. Gideon instructs Riley to add the dried, ground leaves to Alfie’s food. The day passes and at the bonfire that night, Alfie is wheeled in, though he’s still not acting like himself. Spying Lisette standing close to Kerry and Bastian, Riley invites Kerry to play a game in celebration of Alfie’s recovery. In Lisette’s earshot, Kerry snaps at Riley that she wishes Alfie had died, causing Lisette to re-think her trust in Kerry. Satisfied with her trick, Pea invites Riley back to his cottage for tea.

Pea’s cottage is a lovely, inviting place, complete with a white picket fence and flowerbeds. Pea shows Riley a book that was once made by a bookmaker friend of his, Adam, before Walston Greeves arrived. Pea then reveals that Adam renamed himself Mada during his transformation, becoming more angry and wild in the process.

Over tea, Riley fills Pea in on the events of the past few days. Saddened that Riley will soon be leaving, Pea asks if he may leave Atlantis with them as well. Although it would be dangerous for Pea in the wider world, Riley happily agrees and Pea offers to help Andrew and Mary repair the Moon Dancer — he is a carpenter after all!

Riley leaves Pea’s cottage a little while later with a bowl of his vegetable soup, the perfect food to disguise the antidote leaves. She takes the soup to Alfie who eats the soup after being told it was brought to him at Beresford’s suggestion. Finishing the bowl, Alfie falls unconscious.

Chapter 30

Riley spends the night in Alfie’s cabin, praying that Gideon’s antidote works. Alfie wakes up with a dreadful headache, but his memories have returned! Overjoyed, Riley fills her cousin in on how the Community has been using the Memory Berries ever since Walston Greeves’ arrival to control everyone. She tells him that he must act as if he still doesn’t have his memories to avoid suspicion. Alfie is terrified of being discovered, but Riley believes that he can pull the ruse off.

At breakfast, Lisette allows Riley to return to the children’s table, and Riley immediately notices Kerry is missing. Lisette informs her that Kerry will be spending some time alone to consider her actions . . .

Chapters 31 - 34

At lunch the next day, Riley, Alfie, Bastian, Pea, and Maggie head out to the Moon Dancer on Pea’s boat but are blocked by the Leviathan. Thankfully, Galina arrives just in time to soothe the beast. Once the Leviathan leaves, Galina tows the little boat over to the ship’s graveyard in record time.

Approaching the Moon Dancer, Riley and Alfie see their parents’ transformative states for the first time: Mary is changing into a monkey and Andrew is becoming a dolphin. Riley is a bit startled by how calm they seem about their transformations. The group starts on their repairs together, and Andrew states that they’ll have to wait until the next Red Moon to leave because of the high tide that follows each one. Maggie offers her help repairing the ship as well, stating that she also wants to leave the island.

As the group returns to the Community, Andrew gives Riley back her diary, having found it floating in her cabin from the Event Horizon. Gideon arrives at Riley's cabin a little while later, disappointed that she went to the Forbidden Zone again as the more time she spends there will cause her to change. Gideon says that if she agrees that she, Alfie, and Bastian will stay away from the Moon Dancer for the time being, the other gargoyles will help with the repairs. Riley agrees.

The next two months pass in blur. Each day is just like the one before it, but Riley sticks to her agreement with Gideon. Gideon in return gives them regular evening updates, though remains tight-lipped about their parents’ transformations. Riley’s friendships with Galina and Maggie continues to grow, and she starts thinking of them both as family.

Another month passes, and Maggie and Pea’s transformations have accelerated due to their time in the Forbidden Zone. And then suddenly their time comes: the Red Moon has arrived.

Chapters 35 - 36

As everyone in the Community heads towards the Queen, Maggie heads off to Pea’s cabin while Riley stays behind in the sewing hut to wait for Alfie, Bastian, and Miss Pigglesworth. By the time they arrive, the fog has descended quickly and heavily. Miss Pigglesworth leads the way, but their progress is halted as Mada makes his long-awaited return.

Riley tries to explain to Mada that they’re trying to leave, but he won’t allow it. Riley tries to reason with the Adam that he once was, but it’s pointless. Maggie comes to their aid, fighting Mada with all the strength she has as Pea calls them to his cottage. Riley wants to go back for her, but Pea says Maggie chose her love for Riley over her own safety and to not waste such a sacrifice. Fighting tears, their group sets out for the water.

Galina is waiting for them at the water’s edge and tows their boat towards the Forbidden Zone, met halfway by Andrew. Since the last time Riley saw him, Andrew has become more dolphin than man, but he assures her that he still loves her more than anything. Mary’s transformation has made her almost a full spider monkey.

On the Moon Dancer, the night passes as slowly and as frightening as the last Red Moon. Growls and roars grow louder as a group of wilding lions board the ship and begin tearing at the door. Riley, Alfie, and Bastian press back against the door with all their might and are saved only by a loud roar of something even larger scaring them off. Sometime later, Gideon arrives carrying an injured Maggie in his arms, and they bandage her injuries as best they can. As dawn approaches and the heavy fog begins to lift, Gideon says his goodbyes and asks that they don’t speak of Atlantis to anyone for its own protection.

The rain starts and everyone rushes to launch the ship into the tide. Riley is shocked to see that overnight, her father’s transformation has accelerated and she hopes that by leaving Atlantis he may be able to change back. As the ship begins gliding out of the Forbidden Zone, Andrew — now a full-on talking dolphin — is hauled on board. Approaching open water, the massive storm that first brought them to Atlantis returns to stop them from leaving.

Chapter 37

The storm descends on them as quickly as before, but this time Riley sees that it’s the mermaids who are controlling both the storm and the Leviathan! Andrew tries to reason with the merfolk, but they won’t listen. Calling the group to him, Andrew says the Leviathan is actually an intelligent creature and he thinks that he can reason with the mermaids to clear a path for the Moon Dancer. Riley is distraught when Andrew admits that he wants to stay as a dolphin. In tears but knowing her father’s first love has always been the ocean, Riley tells her father she loves him and lets him go.

Riley watches as her father and Galina approach the merfolk and the Leviathan. Soon, the Leviathan stops attacking the ship and the storm melts away. Andrew leaps out of the water one last time before diving beneath the waves with Galina. They do not surface again.

Chapter 38

Mary steers the Moon Dancer over the now smooth waters, heading towards Miami. Taking Riley aside, Mary hands her a cell phone taken from one of the emergency packs. She says Andrew left a message on there for Riley and her family that she must watch only when she’s home.

Three days pass and nothing seems to change for the transformed people onboard, and while Maggie’s injuries heal, she’s still unconscious. Riley tries to imagine what kind of future they all have when Alfie calls out to Riley to join them on deck. Pointing up at the sky, Riley sees an airplane flying overhead. Grabbing the phone from her pocket, Riley dials a number with shaking hands.

Riley’s mother answers, and Riley tells her and her brother Danny to get to the port in Miami. They’re coming home.

Discussion Questions

  1. Escape from Atlantis is the first in a new series. Now that Riley, Alfie, Mary, and the Atlanteans have escaped, what do you think awaits our newly freed characters in the wider world?

  2. What do you think will happen to the non-human Atlanteans now that they’ve left the island?

  3. What do you think will be the reaction on Atlantis once they discover Bastian, Miss Pigglesworth, Maggie, and Pea have disappeared?

Do you have questions you'd like to ask about Escape from Atlantis?
Drop them in the comments for everyone

Thank you for joining us on this book club read-along. Stay tuned for the book club of our January 2022 book pick, to be announced soon!

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