Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Review: Undertow by Michael Buckley

Undertow by Michael Buckley
(Undertow #1)
May 5, 2015
384 pages
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Contains: Kissing and sexual references, Violence
Source: eARC for Honest review

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.

I didn't have any expectations going into Undertow, except hoping for an entertaining read, so I was plesantly surprised how much I loved it. I was sucked right into this story that felt otherworldly yet also like it could be happening today. I definitely recommend this book.

Lyric is an interesting character to follow. She is strong yet has been hiding-in-plain-sight for years due to the situation her family is in. She has a wild side, yet has been forced to be responsible. She is loving and caring with her best friend, yet has had a history of not being cared for and respected by boys, one in particular. She is being pushed and pulled in so many directions. Yet when push comes to shove, she's the girl you want in your corner.

I think the struggle and inner-turmoil Lyric deals with throughout the book was well conveyed. Actually, this book is full of confict and turmoil. This is no simple aliens versus humans debacle. This is layer upon layer of prejudice, assumptions, animosity. It's not just alien versus human. The scary part is the human against human fighting and hatred. There are many parallels that can be seen between this fictional world and the world we live in. 

I also loved how these Alpha were developed. Like humanity and its varying cultures and nationalities, the Alpha have their own variety. I loved getting to know them in bits and pieces. Their whole society is fascinating, and I enjoyed the thought that went into it. Of course, Fathom himself was a captivating addition to the storyline and I loved that he wasn't just some one-dimensional "prince," which is what I feared initially. 

I feel like beyond this, I don't want to get too much into the story. I loved reading through chapter after chapter. Between the build-up of conflict going on in the city and school of all the anti-Alphas, getting to know the Alphas alongside Lyric, feeling Lyric's anxiety about her family and her friends, wanting to uncover the questions and mysteries still in question around Lyric and her city, and the history and current problems the Alphas themselves are facing, I was completely entertained. There was never a dull moment and the story was paced really well. I confess, I may have even shed a tear or two. I'm definitely looking forward to finding out where the story goes next.


  1. Great review! I've had this on my shelf for awhile now but now I think I'll give it a try. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Monica! I hope you give it a try and love it :)


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