UNDERTOW by Michael Buckley

UNDERTOW

Age Range: 13 - 16
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Alpha arrive on the shores of Coney Island.

Coney Island native Lyric Walker has always kept her secret hidden: that she’s part Sirena on her mom’s side. When the Alpha arrive—strangely beautiful yet violent half human/half sea creatures, of which Sirena are a variety—all of New York City erupts into confusion and intolerance. Lyric and her family fear the discovery of their secret, but all is mostly well until a troupe of Alpha teens is admitted into Lyric’s high school, and Lyric is forced to give Fathom, the hot, proud, militant prince of the Alpha, reading lessons. Sparks and bodies fly in a maelstrom of stolen kisses and fights, and all of New York seems headed toward a budding war that only Lyric can stop. The Alpha concept is initially hard to swallow, but readers will likely eventually suspend their disbelief about halfway through the novel, seduced by the Twilight-esque feelings of lust and restraint between Lyric and Fathom. This first in a trilogy isn’t without overt politics: racial intolerance runs amok, and Buckley even names the governor of New York “Bachman.” Despite all of the deliberate, silly setup, the dialogue and characterizations mostly ring true, and by the end, readers will find themselves immersed in this semi-edgy, race-against-the-clock world that’s waiting to implode.

Odd but nevertheless exciting. (Dystopic fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 5th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-544-34825-7
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: HMH Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2015




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