Undertowby Michael Buckley Series: Undertow #1
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 2015-05-05
Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Amazon • Goodreads
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 only hope of 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, a blend of District 9 and The Outsiders.
If you are a follower of this blog, you might have realized that there haven’t been much Dystopian novels reviewed here lately. But for some reasons, when I read the synopsis from Undertow, I knew this was a book I wanted to read. Maybe because it had some supernatural creatures thrown into the mix!
The Alphas have Arrived… and they are living in an old amusement parl.. (creepy much?)
While Undertow has been advertised as Dystopian, I wouldn’t go that far to be honest as the setting feels more or less contemporary, or a few years in the future. Nothing like the “classic” Dystopians you might imagine. But, that is also just accessory- more important are the Alphas! A race that’s been living in the deepest sea and are some kind of sea creatures / mermaids. Just… with mermaids we image pretty cute Ariel kind of creatures, not what Michael Buckely created her. The Undertow creatures range from pretty creepy to truly beautiful and mesmerising, and I’d love to have seen some imagery!
So these Alphas (and they call themselves that way, just saying..) came to land and are now living enclosed in an old amusement part. Seriously, is it just me or does have an old abandoned amusement park something super creepy?
And this was the whole setting and feel of the story, it was quote dark, creepy to some extent and of course weirdly fascinating!
So now, let’s bring our two races together, and we start with the kids… at a High School! Sounds like fun!
In order to somehow bring these Alphas into our society, a project emerges where a few of the Alpha Teenagers are put into a local High School with the hope these kids will become friends and so that also the rest of humanity tries to accept this new weird race.
Lyric, daughter of a local policeman and a very special (yes super special, just wait and see!) mum is put together with Fathom – the prince of the Alphas. At first neither of them is actually interested in getting to know the other. But … as you might have guessed – they slowly form a weird friendship that also (even slower) turns into something else!
Let’s face a lot of stupid hatred and some weird rites and things get dangerous!
This story has a lot to offer between facing a whole new (weird and creepy) race and suddenly sharing the earth. As you might imaging not everyone opens their arms, for this the Alphas and out just too much, so they have to face a lot of racism and horrible hatred. Also, there is a side story about domestic abuse that was truly horrifyingly real and added just another layer to the story. Lyric and Fathom of course played the major roles here, and I loved their dynamic friendship that slowly evolved.
And… to make it even more exciting, there are some secrets about the Alphas that completely came out of the blue and suddenly changed the whole story and turned it into something even more amazing.
Undertow by Michael Buckley was a stunningly thrilling story, that comes with lots of underlying everyday themes wrapped into an exciting tale with some creepy paranormal creatures. I’m super excited about this new series and I’m a little angry I have to wait for another year to know how Lyrics and Fathoms story goes on!