Undertow by Michael Buckley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: May 5, 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: Netgalley review copy
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.
This started off pretty slow, and I had a hard time getting into it. I just wasn't feeling any of the plot points. The first 3/4 of the book was probably 3 stars at best (if I was being generous). But the end got really exciting and good, and I'm really looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here.
The romance wasn't believable for me. I didn't get a big sense of connection between Lyric and Fathom. It's not that it wasn't predictable. Almost every YA seems to have a romance of some type. But the nice thing is I don't think the romance overshadowed the story.
There was a lot of stuff that just didn't make a lot of sense. Like who exactly was making the decisions. Was it the President? If so, why didn't he (or she, I can't even remember if it was mentioned) ever step in when things started going bad?
Overall it was a pretty good book with quite a different storyline than usual. I would recommend it, with the caveat that the reader needs to remember it's a slow starter.