Thursday, April 18, 2013

Undercurrent by Paul E. Blackwell

Good reads Summary
Undercurrent by Paul E. Blackwell

In this suspenseful teen thriller with a touch of the otherworldly, perfect for fans of Neal Shusterman, a boy goes over a waterfall and wakes up to find himself in a twisted version of the life he knew.

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.

My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

UNDERCURRENT touches on a number of intriguing concepts alternate realities plus dark sides then getting what you never asked ask for… except only one of them is completely tackled. What aspect? He’s taken a fall, woken up to a town that sees him in a totally different light and treats him thus. My biggest frustration though is how it takes him forever to see things for what they were … instead it’s him constantly not accepting that maybe just there’s something more than just him having fallen and hit his head. FOREVER because even beyond the half way mark, he’d still react as he had been reacting early on SO that  I just wondered were there an award for being purposefully dense, would he take it? Most Def.

So there I was with the feeling that he should have been doing something other than what he was.  (that is, going with the flow, simply exclaiming, “Hey that’s different!” with little else.) I was expecting a bit more action once the facts had been absorbed (because obviously with all signs pointing to it you’d think he’d get recognize the difference as the outcome not just of some head trauma except that last bit… again: forever.) A good bulk of the book passes before things got real for Cal and consequently it took a longer while for things to pick up for me.

But even with his head buried in the sand, the life he was living (yet strangely enough was going along with anyway) was so very far from what his old one was. No longer little brother of scary guy, he was the scary guy; no longer the not quite popular one, but rather the opposite. The differences were striking; making his reaction all the more odd to me: there’s a lack of urgency here when my inner self was screaming at him to do something, (to do anything), actually NOW, kid!

Then there’s the not wholly unexpected dark aspect that came out. Popular kids and dark sides do tend to go matchy-matchy in YA don’t they? So there’s a scary/dark aspect to his new reality that’s more clearly laid out close to the end of the book. It was interesting; it was intriguing and I found myself paying closer attention when previously I’d been skimming. I truly do wish this was the focus rather than tit being a whole lot of Cal being dense… maybe, I would have enjoyed UNDERCURRENT a bit more. To make matters worse, there’s the fact that things end abruptly; consider, it had taken more than three quarters of Cal and I to click, then all of a sudden: ‘The end’? Aw, come on!

Thank you, Edelweiss!

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