Series: Undertow #1
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on May 5, 2015
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: Amazon Vine
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.
Just when you think you’ve read everything in YA, along comes something different. Different doesn’t always work, but UNDERTOW worked for me, and I’m eager to read the rest of the series.
Lyric lives in the middle of a war zone, a Coney Island divided by humans and the Alpha. What are the Alpha? A new race of sea people. Thirty thousand of them are camped on the beach, and now some of the kids are about to integrate a school. It’s the 1960s all over again, but with a new species. And it goes about as well as you might expect.
Lyric is in a unique position to sympathize with the Alpha, but really, she just wants to lay low. Avoid attention. Maybe leave town when her family. But when she’s strong-armed into giving Fathom, the Alpha heir, private lessons, she’s thrust into the middle of a clash of the cultures.
I enjoyed UNDERTOW. The Alpha are wicked cool, and I really want to learn more about them. I also liked that Lyric had migraines, because I can’t recall many characters having headaches. It’s a little thing, but it turns out to be more important than you think, and it’s nice to see a character suffer the same sorts of things you do.
I wasn’t totally sold on the romance between Lyric and Fathom. Lyric acknowledged to herself that she shouldn’t love him, couldn’t love him, but she did anyway. I’m not quite sure where their attraction and feelings for each other came from, and would have liked more development on their relationship for me to believe it. I also had a hard time imagining the final battle scenes, maybe because they felt a bit rushed after so much focus on the tense school integration.
But otherwise, I thought UNDERTOW was a good start to a new series, and I would check out the next book.
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