Undertow by KR Conway
Paperback, 1st, 398 pages
Published October 11th 2013 by Conway
Age Group: YA Paranormal
Series: Undertow #1
Source: ecopy from Author
Luckless Eila is unknowingly the last of her kind: Rare. Gifted. Breakable. Stunning Raef is her kind’s historic enemy: Soulless. Lethal. Lost. A legendary death 160 years before would set their lives to collide, forcing a beautiful killer to become a savior, a simple wallflower to become a warrior, and ruthless destiny to become a death sentence.
High school senior Eila Walker knows that good luck skips over her like an Easter Bunny on Speed. So when she inherits her grandmother’s million-dollar Cape Cod home, she is downright shocked. And yeah, her new town isn’t perfect: the cheerleaders are heinous clones, the local undertow can kill ya, and her Great Grams was supposedly fried by lightning in the harbor square. Still, Eila is hopeful her luckless days are in the past . . . until history decides to repeat itself.
A self-proclaimed loner and previous-social reject, Eila thinks she’s hit the jackpot when drool-worthy Raef O’Reilly becomes her friendly, yet weirdly protective shadow. But being hauled beneath the waves by an unnatural undertow slams the brakes on bliss – especially when Raef storms to her aid with coal-black eyes and iron-like strength.
Eila, entirely freaked, demands an explanation and Raef comes clean, revealing that neither of them are average humans but rather the genetic remnants of an angelic pissing-match gone wrong. Eila supposedly can channel the power of human souls, while Raef is quite adept at stealing them. Even worse, the legend about her ancestor isn’t such a myth, since Eila’s grandmother was one kick-ass warrior until her lightning-like power backfired. A power that is written all over Eila’s DNA.
Now sought by Raef’s own family for her destructive ability, Eila must trust him to watch her back. But when a quest for information goes terribly wrong, Eila is suddenly left with only two options: become a weapon for the enemy or follow in her Gram’s fearless footsteps to save those she loves. Unfortunately she needs a willing enemy to ignite her suicidal energy and the only one she trusts has been guarding her butt and scorching her lips.
I like paranormal books that have a good mixture of creatures, and Undertow certainly had that. There is a lot going on in this book. I loved the mix of mystery, action and romance, and KR Conway even managed to throw a good bit of humor into the story as well. Overall, it was really well done. I think a lot of that had to do with a great group chemistry going on between all of the main and secondary characters. Eila, Raef, Ana and MJ are such an interesting and surprisingly tight knit group considering how short of a time they had to get to know each other.
Eila starts the story off packing up and moving to a small new england town where she mysteriously inherited an old family house. I kind of wish she did a little more digging into the house and why she got it when she got there but she seemed to get swept up in the start of school and everything else that was happening that it just got pushed aside. But other than that, I really enjoyed Eila. She is tough and resilient. She has a lot thrown at her in a short period of time. She didn’t know anything about anything paranormal when she got to her new house and then it seemed to be popping up everywhere she turned. But still, she didn’t back down from anything new and scary. It helped that she had a great group of friends surrounding her. And her friends each had secrets of their own that I enjoyed finding out about. As soon as I first met MJ I knew that I would like him. He has such a great sense of humor and he was just fun to be around.
Raef was someone that I was unsure about at first. The book starts out with a flashback and so I had this idea in my head that Raef was the bad guy, but around Eila he didn’t seem to be. I wasn’t sure what to believe for a while, but eventually he won me over. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing in this book so I’m not going to say much more about that.
The romance in this book has a very natural feel to it. I loved the progression of it, and there were certainly more than one swoon-worthy scene. There is a ton of stuff that goes on in this book. And it all takes place very quickly. I would have liked to seen the timeline stretched out just a bit. I think that would have made it seem a little more realistic as far as the group of friends went. Eila is a new girl in town and she becomes so close with Raef, Ana and MJ so quickly, and they go to great lengths for her. If they knew her for just a little longer that would have made their bond even better for me. But that won’t be an issue at all in the next book. I’m excited to read the next book. There was no cliffhanger ending on this one, but there is still plenty to happen in the Undertow series. Undertow is a good start to a promising series.
I have been a journalist for 15 years and serve on the Board of Directors for the Cape Cod Writers Center. I also drive a 16-ton school bus because I am ENTIRELY NUTS.
In addition to working jobs that should come with a warning label , I hold a BA in Psychos (Forensic Psych), torment the tourists about Jaws, and occasionally jump from the Town Neck bridge in an attempt to reclaim my youth.
I live on Cape Cod with two smallish humans who apparently are my kids, my fishing- obsessed husband, two canines (adept at both flatulence and snoring), and a cage-defiant lovebird that sleeps in a miniature tent. Nope – that’s not a type-o. The bird is quite the indoor camper.
Eila and Rafe both sounds characters that I would enjoy and with a good mystery to it too. I’m in. Great review.