Undertow by Michael Buckley is the first book in a new YA trilogy and I am definitely looking forward to the next book.
A new race has appeared on the planet, but it is a race that has been here all along – just under the sea. They are calling themselves the Alpha and they are as different from each other, as they are from humans. They are made up of different “fish” like characteristics and can breathe underwater. They also have their own language, but can speak English as well.
The Alpha have families – parents and children – but what has been learned is that a group of nine Alpha had been sent ashore years earlier – to acclimate and learn about the humans. Without raising any suspicion, they incorporated themselves into the community and started families with humans. Lyric Walker, 16 years old, found out when the Alpha arrived, that her mother was one of these 9 Alpha. She now has to keep her head low and not draw attention to herself so that her family secret will stay a secret. You see – humans don’t take kindly to Alpha. They have found many of these original 9 already and have tortured their families. Lyric – once outgoing and somewhat of a partier/trouble maker – has now become almost invisible – and that is how she wants to keep it.
Unfortunately, the Alpha children will now be attending her high school – and most of the town is against this. Barriers are set up and police action is needed everyday to just get to school. The windows of the school have been covered so that sharp shooters cannot shoot anyone inside. And Lyric has been singled out. She is ordered to start spending time with Fathom, the Crown Prince of the Alpha. Reluctantly they start meeting once a day. The first meetings do not go well as neither one of them want to be there. Slowly, the defenses between them start to come down and Lyric begins to teach him to read. Fathom has many problems back among his own kind though. The Crown Prince must fight anyone who challenges him. It is their way of proving that they are worthy of becoming King. So everyday he comes to school with new contusions and refuses to seek any medical help – as that would be considered weak.
As they become closer, tensions are rising in the community, and Lyric’s secret is being threatened. She continues on the path set before her in hopes to be able to save her family from the fate of the other original Alpha’s.
Good book dealing with bullying, racism, family – and what constitutes family. I wouldn’t think that I would have been able to read a book about “fish-like” people with any degree of believability, but I soon didn’t see their physical characteristics, but just the people underneath.
Find it in The Vault
Undertow (Undertow #1) by Michael Buckly
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015