by Michael Buckley
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (May 5, 2015)
Goodreads | Amazon
First, we feared them. Then we fought them. Now they might be our only hope.
First things first, this book was insane. Secondly, it is rare. And third of all, it was a great read!
Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. The world’s initial wonder and awe over the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric’s small town transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other. When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom, assimilate, she begins to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity’s best chance for survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it’s more terrifying than anything the world has ever seen.
Action, suspense, and romance whirlpool dangerously in this cinematic saga!
I honestly believed this was about aliens but they are more of mermaids-type-of-aliens… ish? But the hot kind. Who cares if they’re aliens/mermaids when you are staring at a god? I do have to admit that I made the decision to review this book based on the cover….SHOCKER! However, what impressed me the most, once I started reading, is how original the story is. Something I haven't read before.
Undertow begins with Lyric’s first day of school. She is telling us how the government implemented a new school program and how she is to share classes with the Alpha. At this, she starts to explain to us how the Alpha arrived to Coney Island three years ago. She also tells us ever since their arrival, her life has not been the same. To begin with, her mother somehow knew of their arrival. Also, there are things that she was told to keep in secret, without knowing the reasons. These secrets are dangerous, which she is not aware of and will discover why.
As Lyric begins to learn about the Alpha – their history and how they think, she falls for one of them. Like every great story, there must be conflicts. Things do not go well and soon the Alpha are classified as enemy to the human race.
Undertow covers complex topics, such as racism, abuse, government control and many more. Michael does a fantastic job by not leaning to any side. He just states the facts and covers these by creating amazing cast.
I loved Lyric. She is a loyal daughter and friend. A teenager facing a difficult situation and making hard decisions. She doesn't let this bring her down. Instead, she allows this to make her stronger by willing to learn and follow her heart. As far as her best friend, let’s just say she is sarcastic and I loved all her lines. Now with Fathom, the crown prince, it takes time to warm up to his character. Nonetheless, once you fall for him, you fall hard.
Overall, Undertow is a great read! It starts slow but as the world is built, the action and mystery begins to take over. There is so many things happening, one is so entertained and doesn't realize the time. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. As I turned the pages, the more I was consumed by the story. A great read and I hope everyone gives Undertow a try!