Theo Essex and his friends, Bill, Mark and Ryan, celebrate the end of junior year of high school and plan to travel to the New Jersey shore for vacation. Theo has a run-in with the school bully and his friend Bill intervenes to save him. The guys head down the shore and meet Kylee, Jess and Michelle. Jess and Mark pair off, as do Theo and Kylee. Though Bill (an athlete) makes some progress with Michelle, she ends up linked to Ryan (a tech wiz). Theo and Kylee walk on the beach that night and share their first kiss. Suddenly, the earth trembles and horrible sounds boom in the distance. Theo and Kylee scramble to the boardwalk, where Kylee saves Theo from falling debris. They make it out to the street and find everyone but Jamie and Mark who went back to the guys’ motel room. A massive tidal wave engulfs several blocks off the ocean, and knocks over the motel, among many other structures.
Amidst the chaos, as people wander injured and confused in the streets, the devastated friends take shelter in a large high-rise. The power is out, and their cellphones, which have no service, slowly lose battery and plunge them into darkness.
In the morning, they survey the wreckage of the Event, as it comes to be called. Damage, death and destruction are everywhere. Bill and Theo attempt to enter their motel room, which is now on its side. They narrowly survive the exploration but do not find their missing friends. While wandering the island, the teens observe that no military or other support or even news crews are anywhere to be seen. Soon they learn the reason why. The town abruptly ends, a broken street dropping into the water. Further wandering confirms that there is nothing but ocean on all sides of them. The mainland is gone.
Over the next few days, an emergency effort goes into effect, overseen by the kindly mayor Sam Lucas and his deputy, the reserved and mysterious Paul Tiberius. The police abuse survivors who ask for more rations. The teens befriend a good officer who gives them insight into what is happening on the island- mainly that nobody knows. Survivors are given various jobs. Theo and Bill work on a demolition squad clearing debris. They witness police brutality and Bill gets involved in protest. He is arrested.
Deputy Mayor Tiberius holds a sham trial and sentences the protestors to prison. Theo pulls his connection with the officer he met and goes to see Mayor Lucas. The two hit it off and the mayor, impressed by Theo, overturns the sentence. Tiberius is furious and brands Theo an enemy.
Time passes and the kids attend a makeshift school. They discover the bully from home is on the island and has a gang. Lucas starts privately tutoring Theo, teaching him about government and leadership. He invites Theo to sit in on committee meetings, which further outrages Tiberius. Bill works on a team developing new farmland, Ryan works in the science center and Kylee begins training with the police force.
They are reunited with Jamie and Mark who have been identified at the hospital. Jamie is injured but okay. Mark is in a coma and dies shortly after the teens see him again. Jamie slowly begins a relationship with Bill.
The science team discovers that the island is in another world, one in which the Nazi’s won world war II and over-industrialization somehow led to a major rise in sea levels. The island sits on top of that world’s Atlantic City. Lucas wants to tell the people what they know. Tiberius believes the people are sheep and must be told only what they need to know.
At a major event reuniting the survivors as citizens of a new “Atlantic Island,” Tiberius has an assassin kill Mayor Lucas. He declares himself Supreme Leader of the island nation.
Theo and his friends go into hiding. During this time he and Kylee fall deeply in love. They meet other survivors and start a small rebel group, but Tiberius breaks it up and murders a young boy they had befriended. He seems to have terrifying strength. His security force, a vicious police/military squad, hunts for Theo and the others but a kind woman named Jane takes them in at her house on the edge of the farmland. The place is full of women and children. The men have been arrested as political prisoners. Tiberius arranges for the women to be in the center of town when he knows a superstorm is coming. In the midst of the hurricane, Bill and Theo save most of the women. They are seen as heroes and Theo discovers he has the ability to give rallying and inspiring speeches. Kylee starts to train the women to fight. The rebels conduct raids of Tiberius’s armories to secure weapons.
Michelle has a falling out with the rest of the group and sells them out to Tiberius. Theo is arrested on the eve of their planned uprising. He is locked in a converted hotel in the city. He uses his new reputation to inspire the prisoners to fight back. Kylee prepares the women for battle. The uprising begins, and it is revealed Michelle turned Theo in as part of a plan to get him inside the prison. He breaks out with a fighting force of men, though several were killed in the process. Kylee’s team tears through the Security Force. The united rebels fight their way to the Palace, a converted casino from where Tiberius rules. They suffer heavy losses but move forward. Tiberius appears onscreen with a captive Michelle, whom he kills.
Theo and Bill are ambushed by the school bully, Bertier, who is an officer in Tiberius’s Security Force. They barely escape and Bill and Bertier fight out to the beach. Bill manages to kill Bertier but he is injured and unable to do much more fighting. Theo continues on up the levels of the Palace, but he has been shot in the arm and is losing blood. He says a final goodbye to Kylee, entrusting her to lead the people as he expects to die. He heads up to face Tiberius alone.
Theo shoots Tiberius, who scoffs at the attack. His injury heals almost instantly. He tells Theo about an ancient artifact that arrived on his desk by mistake on its way to an exhibit downtown. He touched the orb and triggered the Event. When he woke, he had great power. Theo realizes the man has gone insane. Tiberius shows him the orb and then proceeds to beat him just about to death. Theo grabs the orb as Tiberius throws him out the window. Theo has just enough time to inadvertantly trigger the device as he falls, sending himself and a chunk of the building back to the real world. The Palace collapses to the beach.
Kylee and her troops take over the island and she is the new leader. Everyone celebrates the new order on the island. In the second epilogue, Theo is fished out of the ocean by the coast guard. He discovers that he has powers like Tiberius and vows to return to Atlantic Island and bring everyone home.
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Fredric Shernoff is the author of “Atlantic Island” (#1 Best-selling Teen/YA Romance Sci-Fi), the Amazon best-selling time travel novel “The Traveler,” and the Silo Saga story “Angels of the Earth” (the first story accepted into Kindle Worlds). His latest best-selling novel, “Rising Tide: Atlantic Island II” is available now!
Fredric lives in Wellington, Florida with his two amazing children.