Publisher: Text Publishing
Release Date: July 31st 2017
Genres: Action & Adventure, New Adult, Science Fiction
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 is a #LoveOzYA author I’ve seen a lot of, but haven’t read before now. And I must say I really enjoyed THE UNDERCURRENT! Especially since it is set in a very near future Australia (only 20 or so years in the future), and features locations that I’ve visited myself. And not just big cities, I’m talking obscure country towns I’ve stopped at for breaks on road trips (Coonabarabran is a frequent stop of ours! I couldn’t believe it when I saw it in THE UNDERCURRENT)
Standalone New Adult Sci Fi
I can’t think of many New Adult sci fi/ fantasy novels I’ve read (all the clear NA books are contemporary romances set in college I swear), let alone standalones! THE UNDERCURRENT has certainly given me a want for more standalone novels like it. It’s short, fun, and a great read that doesn’t focus heavily on the romance like most stereotypical NA novels do. The experience was refreshing.
Interesting power not entirely explored
Julianne’s electricity is not a power that I’ve seen in novels before, and one that is very useful and interesting… if she’d had more of a chance to play with it. But this is the downfall of a standalone: less time to explore the powers and the world. We do get to learn more about the powers over the course of the novel, but never the chance to watch Jules test her limits.
Dips in the middle
The start and end of THE UNDERCURRENT are full of suspense and action, but there is a lull in the middle. Most of this is due to the nature of the plot. This story doesn’t just follow Ryan and Jules, but also Jules mum, Angie, and Ryan’s boss, Major Vass, as they split up. Angie and the Major are following leads in a domestic terror threat, while Jules and Ryan are forced into hiding. A lot of this middle section is uncovering plot points and exploring character things rather than action.
A fun read
It may have lulled, but I still really enjoyed THE UNDERCURRENT overall. I can’t entirely explain why. It was just what I wanted at the time and managed to grab me. I was up until 1am reading the first time I opened it. Paula Weston is definitely an author I need to check out again. If her other books are anything like THE UNDERCURRENT I’m in for a great time.
THE UNDERCURRENT was a read I enjoyed a lot more than expected. Being a standalone, there isn’t as much sci fi explored as I liked. But I did love the Australian setting, a lot of which was familiar to me, and the characters.