Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Review: Undercurrent

Release Date: July 23, 2013
Author: Paul Blackwell
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 320 pages

A shadowy figure. An intense roar. The sensation of falling—fast.

That’s all Callum Harris remembers from his tumble over the waterfall. But when he wakes up in a hospital bed and finds his best friend trying to kill him, Callum knows something is seriously wrong. Unfortunately for him, the mysteries are just getting started. 

Why are his parents acting like he’s some big sports star all of a sudden? And why are all the buildings in town more run-down than Callum remembers? Worst of all...what happened to Callum’s brother? Either Callum has gone seriously crazy or something happened when he went over the falls. Something impossible. Callum needs answers, and now. Because in this twisted new version of the life Callum knew, his former best friend isn’t the only one who wants to see him dead.

Filled with mind-bending suspense and unsettling thrills, Undercurrent is a grippingly paced teen debut that will pull you under and never let go.


Protagonist: I don't know if there has been any protagonist I've despised more. Callum Harris takes a majority of the novel to fully realize he's not in his same world after his tumble over the waterfall. Now, I understand being confused, as paranormal moments don't happen in real life, but when he was shown unparalleled evidence that the world he's in now, isn't his own, he still refused to believe it. He would think that either someone was playing a joke on him, or that his friends pretended not to remember him. The worst part was though, that just when I thought he'd get it, he would almost revert back to being oblivious.

Romance: I could tell that the author tried to add an aspect of romance to this story, though he didn't exactly succeed. Now, this romance even if done well wouldn't have been a main or even large focus of this story, however if done right it would have made the story a bit better. There was absolutely no romantic tension at all in this book, even with the "love interest" in fact, Callum, rather unconvincingly, just "realizes" that he's in love with one of his best friends without the readers seeing anything remotely romantic happen between them, not even in flashback form.

World-Building: This is yet another aspect that disappointed me. When I read the back of this book it sounded so mysterious and thrilling but what happened wasn't nearly as exciting as I had thought it would be. I had hoped for something conspiracy theory-esque,  or maybe some paranormal action thriller, but nope, it's a fairly contemporary read with a touch of paranormal or sci-fi, depending on how you look at it. What we see in this world are two different universes one where Callum is nice to others but is seen as a nerd, not nearly someone who could be seen as cool, and another where Cal is a huge sports star and everyone in school either likes him, or fears him. I think the idea of these two worlds was great, but the execution and advertising was done poorly.

Predictability: The weirdest part about this book was that I could see many of the larger twists coming from a mile away, they were not only easy to spot or guess at, but it was very cliched. The smaller twists and revelations however, were fairly hard to gauge. I'm not too sure, at the moment, how I liked this weird switch up, it was at the least very interesting.

Ending: I'm not sure if this is the first installment to a series, which if it is I could try to forgive a lot, however if this is a stand alone, which I think it is, then this ending is probably one of the worst one's I've ever read, including Requiem by Lauren Oliver. There is no real conclusion or resolution to the story. There were so many things left unanswered and unfortunately those things were what kept me reading when I didn't want to. If this does turn out to be a series I will read the second one, but only to see if those questions are answered and not really because I want to.


Yes, I have to give this two crests, it just wasn't what I thought it would be and the author's attempts at adding in romance or making our protagonist seem realistic were very failed. I would have loved to have my burning questions answered at the end like they were supposed to be, but unfortunately the lack of a good epilogue stopped that from happening.

P.S. Don't forget to enter my most recent giveaway for a copy of Looking for Alaska by John Green, which you can find here. Unfortunately though it's U.S. only, but I'll have a new International giveaway coming soon...


1 comment:

  1. I got this one as an ARC but never got to it. Not sure I want to read it now.