Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Review: Undercurrent by Paula Weston

The UndercurrentUndercurrent

Author: Paula Weston
Publisher: Text Publishing
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 383
Release date: 31st July 2017

Synopsis (Goodreads): Eighteen-year-old Julianne De Marchi is different. As in: she has an electrical undercurrent beneath her skin that stings and surges like a live wire. She can use it—to spark a fire, maybe even end a life—but she doesn’t understand what it is. And she can barely control it, especially when she’s anxious.

Ryan Walsh was on track for a stellar football career when his knee blew out. Now he’s a soldier—part of an experimental privatised military unit that has identified Jules De Marchi as a threat. Is it because of the weird undercurrent she’s tried so hard to hide? Or because of her mother Angie’s history as an activist against bio-engineering and big business?

It’s no coincidence that Ryan and Jules are in the same place at the same time—he’s under orders to follow her, after all. But then an explosive attack on a city building by an unknown enemy throws them together in the most violent and unexpected way.

Paula Weston, author of the much-admired Rephaim series, returns with a standalone work: a futuristic thriller that is only slightly futuristic—but utterly and undeniably thrilling. Great writing, heart-burning characters, probing questions about where technology is taking us—and a plot that zips and zings like an electrical current itself. This is a great young-adult writer at the peak of her powers. 

Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

Paula Weston’s Rephaim series is one of my all-time favourite YA series! So I was extremely excited to receive a review copy of Undercurrent from Text Publishing. Even more excited to see that I had been quoted on the back of the book (happy dance!).

One thing about this book that shocked me is how realistic it actually was! I can see everything happening in this book actually coming to fruition in the not too distant future which is really alarming.

Undercurrent is a book about eighteen year-old Julianne De Marchi who was born with an electrical current beneath her skin; she struggles to control it and has no idea why she is so different; after an incident at her school she has been watched, monitored and threatened but when an opportunity for work arises with a company that put her activist mother out of work she is eager to go for an interview not knowing her life that day could be at risk.

Ryan Walsh is part of a privatised military group and has orders to watch over Julianne, not aware of her capabilities he is shocked (literally) by his orders and her abilities; he is also surprised by his attraction towards her.

The plot was fast paced and I was never quite sure who could and couldn’t be trusted; we have large corporations, activists against bio-engineering, the military and big business all wanting to use Julianne for one reason or another. The reasoning behind her ability was explained well and I liked the futuristic spin on it all.

I enjoyed Paula Weston’s writing style, there was a lot of Australian lingo in this book which may/may not be confusing. It is a fast-paced thrill ride filled with mystery, action and a frightening look at our future with advanced technology, human experimentation and large corporations changing the way in which we live; extremely scary in this day and age.

I liked the initial interactions between Julianne and Ryan but my interest between them tapered off when he was returned to his family farm to keep her safe. The romance wasn’t at the forefront of the story thankfully because it wasn’t a romance that I fully appreciated. I also didn’t really like the inclusion of Ryan’s family drama, I didn’t feel it was necessary to the story-line at all.

If you go into this book expecting it to be anything like the Rephaim series then you will be sorely disappointed because there are no similarities at all; even the writing style feels completely different.

Overall, Undercurrent is action-packed and thrilling! There is romance, family drama and mystery that all blended well to keep the pace flowing and the plot moving.

Thank you to Text Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Undercurrent by Paula Weston.

Paula WestonAbout the author: Paula Weston is the author of the Rephaim series (Shadows, Haze, Shimmer and Burn). The Undercurrent, a stand-alone speculative thriller set in near-future Australia, will be released by Text Publishing in August 2017.

Paula worked as a print journalist for many years before becoming a government media and communication specialist. Today she also co-owns a two-woman communication and design agency.

She grew up in regional South Australia and now lives in Brisbane, Queensland, with her husband.

1 comment:

  1. Reading the sypnosis alone, this one sounds like an exciting read. Haven't read anything from the author yet but I think I'll be checking her out soon. Great review Sharon :)


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