Monday, May 4, 2015

Review - Undertow by Michael Buckley

Undertow by Michael Buckley
Series: Undertow #1
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Date Read: May 2, 2015

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4 Stars!

I am a little shocked by how much I ended up enjoying this book.  I thought it was entertaining and unique.  I am completely impressed by the originality of the overall story.  I will admit that I made the decision to read this book based purely on the cover of the book.  I understand that this is not a good way to choose a book and I have been mislead by many interesting book covers.  Once I started reading the book, I realized that this was a completely different story that I had expected and I was hooked.

This book focuses on Lyric, her parents, her friends, Bex and Shadow, and Fathom and others that are like him.  Fathom is a member of the Alpha, which are a race of intelligent beings who come not from a distant planet but from the depths of the ocean here on our planet.  They have been living on the beach area of Coney Island for the past three years.  Lyric and her family live in this area which is now considered the zone.  The book opens with the first day that the members of the Alpha will start attending school alongside humans. 

Lyric was a great character.  She is very loyal to both her friends and her parents.  She can keep a secret but is fiercely protective when she needs to be.  She obviously loves her parents but she still has that feisty teenage attitude at times.  Bex and Shadow were fun characters.  They were very supportive to each other.  Bex is able to deal with problems with an amazing amount of strength. 

I found Fathom to be fascinating.  Just the idea of an entire race of intelligent beings sharing our planet all of these years without our knowledge is mind boggling.  It turns out the the Alpha are quite varied with customs that are very different that the humans are used to seeing.  The more that I learned about the Alpha, the more I wanted to know.  Each of these characters were just so unique and interesting. 

I really liked the writing and I thought that the pacing of the story was very good.  The books seemed to move very quickly towards the end because there was just so much happening.  I loved the descriptions that made this world come alive.  I also thought that the hate depicted in the story from the humans seemed very realistic.  I must also make a note that I am very impressed that this YA novel stayed away from the dreaded love triangle. 

I would recommend this book to others.  This is the first book by Michael Buckley that I have had a chance to read.  I definitely plan to continue with this series because I can't wait to find out what happens to Lyric and everyone next.

I received a copy of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.


  1. I was tempted to request an arc for this but the ET stuff intimidated me. I can't get into super sci-di stories. It sounds fantastic though, I should try a sample or something.

    Great review!

    1. You should definitely try a sample. I didn't find it to be too sci-fi at all. I found it to be a unique and entertaining story.


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