Undertow by Michael Buckley | Rating: ★★★★☆
As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
Undertow promises to be the next thrill ride in young adult dystopia and is being totted as a mix of The Outsiders and District 9. What could go wrong? Pair that with its gorgeous cover art and captivating description, it’s a novel we just know–we feel it in our bones–will be intriguing and full of fantasy. I have to warn you now, readers, that is very unique and addictive and you may find yourself unable to put it down.
It’s action packed, romantic and we find a startling world before us as well as a wonderful heroine in teenager Lyric Walker. I’m serious, guys–you’re going to LOVE Lyric! Much like other stories in the genre, there’s a massive point in connections; a dangerous love story. Somehow, it isn’t overwhelming or dull or even all that repetitive. It borders on frustrating and cliche, but really only dances around the edge of that and is quite a lot more bearable than other stories of insta-love.
Michael Buckley creates a vivid display for us to submerge in and proves to us that storytelling isn’t lost in this much hyped about genre. Enemies, danger, survival–it’s all such a common plot, but the way Buckley goes about it is remarkably fascinating and colorful.
Plus, he captures the sarcasm and mind of teenagers incredibly well–he’ll have you giggling in no time due to some moments. I adore that he made sure to breathe life into his characters and it’s just a delight to see it. He was very thoughtful in developing everything and I simply cannot get enough of it.
His prose is something to talk about; easy and descriptive, light on the eyes without being light on meaning. I enjoyed stepping into this world and can’t wait to hear more of the planned trilogy. Can I have the next installment now? How about now?
Back to my review…
Frankly, I’m waiting for the movie adaptation announcement. Or hell, even a television series. When you pick up Undertow and even just skim through it, you will get my meaning. There’s a spark to it that just makes it incredibly perfect for the screen. And it’s so easy to drown yourself in it.
The way it flows and twirls in its plots make it easy to see it play out before you. It just leaves you with the feeling that novels like this are made for the big screen, you know? They just are.
Lyric’s world is a complex and a little frightening after all the changes that have been made to it and differ from our own. After the arrival of, let’s call them the creatures, from under the sea (don’t start singing that song, okay?) the human race is forced into a situation that makes sharing their world a lot more complicated then they could ever dream of.
It’s, obviously, a struggle and the appearance of these changes seemingly draws a line between what is right and what is wrong. I really, really enjoyed the concept of this and the way that Buckley takes the genre and spins it on its head–he formulates all the right qualities of dystopia and twists it into his own.
Undertow has a lot of familiar tropes and something of a fairy tale quality. I can’t explain my reasoning for saying that, only that… it’s just what it felt like to me. And it was fantastic! As it's a tale of survival and love and changes, it will always keep readers interested and on the edge of their seats.
I would recommend this little gem to anyone looking for something new and action packed in its genre; fans of The Maze Runner and Divergent will surely find themselves enjoying this new series.