Readers are quickly plunged into Lyric’s world where three years earlier 30 0000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean dwelling warriors emerge on her beach in Coney Island. The Alpha now live in a containment camp on the beach and Lyric’s home has turned into a police state where angry protesters, who want the Alpha, gone roam the streets. When six Alpha teenagers are integrated into the public high school, and Lyric is coerced into befriending Fathom, the Alpha prince, her family’s complicated web of hidden truths threatens to unravel.
I picked up this book after reading the star review on School Library Journal and I am glad that I did. I was immediately drawn to the protagonist and narrator Lyric. A heroine who is strong, smart with just the right amount of snark. The action in the novel is nonstop and kept me reading well past my bedtime. Lyric’s family's secret is hinted at but not revealed until well into the novel and that adds to the suspense. As well, there is a sharp political commentary and strong parallels to the treatment of minorities. It reminded me of the movie District 9 at parts but then, this idea of outsiders fitting in is a common theme but what makes this book different is the outsiders. Readers don’t know what the Alpha want. Should we see them with their strange powers as a threat or is humanity a threat to them? The supporting characters are well rounded and readers will be rooting for them throughout.
I highly recommend this novel and hope the next in the series is released soon. Anyone who enjoys action, suspense with the added bonus of a bit of romance, should pick up the novel Undertow by Michael Buckley.