Staff Picks: Undertow
Undertow by Michael Buckley
Those of you who have read my reviews in the past know that I’m a fan of YA fiction. I have read the first in Michael Buckley’s The Sisters Grimm series (juvenile fiction) and found it quite entertaining, so I was interested to see what he would do with a YA novel. I was both pleased and let down with this book. There were many delightful components, but some of it left me rolling my eyes and saying, “Oh brother!”
This is the story of Lyric Walker, who lives on Coney Island. Several years back, a race of warriors who are half-human, half-sea creature emerged from the ocean onto the beach. They call themselves the Alpha and their appearance has caused a great disturbance among the human population. The government sectioned off part of the beach for the Alpha and for a time they are kept separate from humans…until they begin to integrate the children into the school system. Many residents feel the Alpha should not intermingle with their children and are set on keeping them separate. Lyric is recruited to help the Alpha assimilate; she is specifically assigned to a prince named Fathom. Their forbidden relationship starts to blossom into something a bit more than friendship, which Lyric quickly realizes is dangerous for many reasons. However, the two groups may have to set aside their differences and biases in order to fight against an evil neither of them saw coming.
It is obvious the author is trying to compare this story with racism and segregation of our past and teach a lesson. It is just a bit contrived, and the characters fall in love a bit too quickly in my opinion. Other than that, the story line is creative and I am curious to find out what happens in the next book in the series, Raging Sea, set to come out in February 2016.
You can find the availability of this book in our catalog here
Recommended (hesitantly) by Addie at Beckley Branch