Hold on to your hats Cony Island. Something is crawling up on the beach! A Review of Undertow by @michaelwbuckley

Apparently there have been people living under our oceans for a gazillion years. When they crawl up onto the beach in Cony Island, NY and start building a makeshift town for themselves on the beach, Lyric Walker needs to show their prince around and introduce him to our culture. Yup, you guessed it. Things DO NOT go well.

This reminded me a lot of Melissa Lander’s “Alienated” in the way humans reacted to their new neighbors moving in on the beach (with crazed xenophobia). I’m sure it is very realistic, and a sad testament to how little humanity has evolved.

I enjoyed this book on many levels. The author took some risks by not making all of the “sea people” look human. Hey, why would they look human? They live in the ocean, they should look like fish. But I can see how the odd looking characters might be a turn off for older readers, making this feel just a little like a middle grade novel.

However, that aside, I love how the interactions took place. I love how the Sea Prince was so aloof, and slowly took a liking to Lyric. I also liked that the author chose to NOT force fit these very alien characters into a human lifestyle. (I don’t know how else to say it without spoiling a conflict point) What I really enjoyed is the entire dynamic of the sea people. Several species came up out of the water, all with their own idiosyncrasies. And the sea culture was far different from our own, and beyond human understanding at times. When I’ve read similar novels, the new species always seemed kind-of human. You don’t get that here, and this just makes it even harder for these sea kids to try to blend in with our culture.

This book gave me at least two serious book hangovers, because I could not put it down. I do admit that the end fell a little flat for me, and in at least one point I thought “that would never happen”, but all in all I’d have to give this one a thumbs up. The next book just came out, and I already have my grimy little fingers on it. I’m really interested in seeing where the story ends up.

Oh! Side note! The main character gets migraine headaches all the time. Omigosh! I could soooo relate to this! I’m even considering trying a bath of ice water next time I get a headache.

Anyway, I found this book enjoyable overall. Older readers will have to prepare themselves to be open to very alien-looking characters (The prince is kind of human) Younger readers just moving into the YA category will probably be more open, and eat this up. I think I’ll give this 4.98 stars, just for one little thing at the end, but overall, this is a SERIOUS winner for anyone who is in to paranormal/alien/ or any kind of otherworldly romance. I really enjoyed it.

Jennifer Eaton paper-JPG


4 responses to “Hold on to your hats Cony Island. Something is crawling up on the beach! A Review of Undertow by @michaelwbuckley

  1. An ice BATH? … Not even to cure the migrainses! Maybe just a bucket of it to shove my head in though. 😀

  2. I.n.t.r.i.g.u.i.n.g. though not my usual genre. Maybe I’m sprouting wings? 😀

    • Ha! If anything, even if this book is not “your thing” I recommend getting a sample from Amazon and reading the first paragraph. I am going to use it as an example of an excellent opening in a few classes I will be teaching this year.