Undertow by K.R. Conway
October 11, 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal
Content: Clean, minimal language
Source: eARC for Honest review
Eila Walker knows luck is not a friend, so she is downright shocked to inherit a million-dollar Cape Cod home. And yeah, her new town isn't perfect: the cheerleaders are heinous clones, the local undertow can kill ya, and her Great Grams was supposedly fried by lightning in the harbor square. Still, Eila is hopeful her luckless days are in the past . . . until history decides to repeat itself.
When drool-worthy Raef O’Reilly becomes her friendly, yet weirdly protective shadow, Eila thinks life is pretty darn perfect – until she is hauled beneath the waves by an unnatural undertow. Revealing coal-black eyes and iron-like strength as he rescues her, Raef can no longer hide what he is . . . or what she can do. Eila, last of her kind, can supposedly channel the power of human souls, while Raef is more adept at stealing them. Even worse, the legend about her ancestor isn't such a myth, since Eila’s grandmother was one kick-butt warrior until her lightning-like power backfired. A power that is written all over Eila's DNA.
Determined to stay one step ahead of a dangerous clan that is hunting her, Raef, along with three unlikely allies, will do all they can to protect her. But as hidden pieces of their brutal histories unravel, Eila begins to understand just what went down in the harbor square. She soon realizes that following in her grandmother’s fearless footsteps may be the only way to save those she loves . . . including Raef.
Undertow was a refreshing read for me, a nice chance to read a clean YA paranormal series that I not only personally enjoyed (even though I am not in the target audience), but can also comfortably recommend to any YA audience, conservative or not. It has all the great elements of suspense and intrigue, drawing the reader into a fascinating and new paranormal/fantasy world. It also has great character development with a range of intriguing abilities but they are also so down to earth.
Eila has been thrust into a new world where she learns of her family's past in a very unexpected way, as she moves to a new home in Cape Cod and starts school as a senior in high school. She is soon befriended by MJ and Ana, and of course, the gorgeous Raef. But life is not simple, and hers quickly turns upside down. I loved taking this journey alongside Eila. Her voice and personality are very relatable. I enjoyed the budding friendships, the glimmering romance, and the suspense, mystery, and danger she faced alongside her friends. It was exciting to unravel everything with her, figuring out what was what and who could be trusted. And while Eila acted her age, she also had a maturity of purpose as she learned more and more about her true self and her family's past and present. Then throw in a sweet romance with its own touch of mystery, and I loved getting to know Raef and his connection with Eila.
Overall, I loved Undertow and the exciting start to this new series. With strong characters, fascinating world building, and a suspenseful plot, I was not only pulled in by Undertow, but am excited to start the next book in the series, Stormfront.
Note: There is no cliff-hanger, very minimal language, and no sex.