Saturday, November 5, 2016

Book Review: Undertow by Michael Buckley

Undertow
Author: Michael Buckley
Series: Undertow (Book 1)
Publication: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (June 7, 2016)

Description: First, we feared them. Then we fought them. Now they might be our only hope.

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!

My Thoughts: UNDERTOW is book one in a trilogy. Lyric Walker lives in Coney Island which has been invaded by Alpha who came out of the sea. Those who could afford to fled the area. Walls have been built and the Army and National Guard have been mobilized to guard the borders. Lyric's father is a police officer but he isn't why they have stayed. Lyric's mother is an Alpha who was sent secretly to learn about humans. They were abandoned and formed families with humans. Now most of those who didn't abandon their human families when the Alpha arrived have disappeared either into the Alpha world or into internment camps on the human side where they are being experimented on and tortured.

Lyric's mother won't flee until she finds out what happened to her family. Lyric and her father won't leave without her. Lyric has learned to keep her head down and blend in. But that isn't going to work for much longer. It has been decided that some Alpha kids are going to go to Lyric's school and Lyric has been chosen to be the buddy of Fathom who is the Alpha crown prince.

Tensions are rising both inside the school and outside it. Human protesters who are being incited by radical Governor Bachman are clashing with the Alpha and anyone who is sympathetic to them. The new principal - Doyle - has a plan to defuse the tensions and blackmails Lyric with an offer of identity papers for her mother to go along with it. Lyric and Fathom get to know each other in their forced time together. Despite major cultural differences, Lyric falls for Fathom and he seems to return the feeling. But, talk about a hopeless romance, Lyric will be leaving Coney Island as soon as she can and Fathom already has an Alpha fiance.

Only plans are all derailed when Lyric learns that the Alpha on the beach are fleeing from a more terrible enemy and that enemy is on the way. Their scheduled arrival coincides with the Army's decision to force the Alpha to surrender and relocate to camps. Lyric and Fathom are beset on two sides by enemies.

This story was filled with action and had a particularly action-filled climax. I liked this one very much and can't wait for book 2 which is coming out in February.

Favorite Quote:
He takes his hand from my lips, and I miss it. It was proof that I survived, and right now I need to feel alive. I reach out, wrapping my arms around his body, clinging to him like a drowning man clings to a life raft, so that I can remind myself that the dead do not feel. They don't smell another person's skin or hear the breat of someone leaning into you or feel the warm blood inside another's veins.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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