Series: Undertow #1
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on May 5, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, YA
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.
I am still so unsure of how I feel about this book! It was silly and over the top at times, and I’m thinking that the only connection between Fathom and Lyric is due to them being forced together so much of the time… But the book actually made me care about the characters, and it was fun in parts, and literally heartbreaking in others. The social issues it brings up (for instance how we as a nation, who pride ourselves on being a melting pot, treat those who enter our borders nowadays) are very current and relevant.
While parts of the book had me rolling my eyes, there was enough to keep me turning the pages. And I’ll be reading the next book, because I’m definitely hooked on Undertow (yes, the fish cliches are fairly rampant in the book, so blame Buckley for my lameness… at least in this case. Usually all the lameness belongs solely to me).
Undertow gets a Midnight Book rating of: