“Undertow” Weaves a Powerful Current

I wanted to read Undertow because it promised to be a tale of aliens, hostility, school integration, and one of my personal favorites—doomed love. Excited to receive my copy, I tore into it as soon as I had the chance and boy does it deliver! I coasted through the book, savoring the way anything could happen.

Michael Buckley adheres to expiration dates—No character is untouchable. Anyone can lose their life. For some readers this will feel similar to Game of Thrones, and it works. The text bellows: “This is life. People die,” and we revel in the time we have left with the characters, because we know it’s only temporary. I love it when authors make the rules of their worlds realistic.

I found it easy to identify with a strong lead like Lyric. In the confusion and chaos of an alien invasion, Lyric strives to think logically. The survival of her family is always at the forefront of her mind and she makes decisions for their welfare.

As readers, we do not always know what is going on out in the streets, at the school, or with Lyric’s family. Her limited viewpoint and sometimes-jumbled thoughts shut us out from important knowledge early on. I kept going back, skimming pages, trying to make sense of the memories Lyric would allude to, but I was at a loss. Left in the dark, I was more worried that I had missed important details and less focused on the story—problems Buckley could have evaded by parceling out the facts at more appropriate intervals.

I am already wishing for the next installment, and disappointed I will have to wait over a year—Left with so many questions, it feels like when I was awaiting the release of the Maze Runner’s sequel. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult, sci-fi, or even other genres such as action, mystery, or thriller. My high hopes for this intense-sounding tale were fulfilled, page after page.

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