Thursday, July 25, 2013

Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell

Imagine that you've suffered a horrible accident but have come through with only minor injuries. You're lucky, but you begin to notice that everything around you is different than you remembered. You're friends are not your friends anymore. People who never gave you the time of day are all of the sudden scrambling for your attention. Even your family has changed - your parents were separated and are now living together under the same roof, having never split up in the first place. And while some things have changed for the better, some things are definitely worse. But the most horrifying part of it all is that you don't know how you got here or why your own memories are so different from reality. 

This is the story in Paul Blackwell's teen debut, Undercurrent. Callum barely survives a tumble into the local Crystal Falls - a fall that's killed many others before Callum went in. He can't remember the specifics of the accident itself, but at least he's come through it ok. That is until he realizes how different everything around him has become. 

Undercurrent is ok. It's an interesting concept, but not an original one. Of course it doesn't have to be as long as the author's particular take on the concept is original. The problem is that Undercurrent is not a particularly exciting or original twist on the concept. In fact, it brought to mind last year's Through To You by Emily Hainsworth, which I didn't cover here on the blog but I did post a brief review on Goodreads if you're interested.

The two books are similar in a lot of ways but Callum and his friends never really came to life the way Hainsworth's characters did for me in reading her book. Blackwell's story had so much possibility but ultimately (and sadly) fell a bit flat for me personally. That's not to say that Undercurrent is bad by any means, just that it didn't live up to my expectations or what I felt was its ultimate potential.

Rating: 3/5

1 comment:

Christina said...

Oh, I loved Through to You. I'm torn on whether to read Undercurrent. Hmmm. Even the covers are sort of reminiscent now that I think about it. Sideways through waterrrrrr!