Friday, July 12, 2013

UNDERCURRENT by Paul Blackwell

Paul Blackwell

Rating: F
Release Date: 07/23/13
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 on the book:
Harper Teen is one of my favorite publishers. I almost always enjoy every thing they publish, and I end up buying 90% of the books that I review by them. However, sometimes they publish a dud, and Undercurrent is their dud for the season, at least in my opinion. Callum is a detestable character. The secondary characters as well as the plot are under-developed, and the writing is subpar. This is a book that I'd recommend checking out from the library before buying. Some people loved it, and some people hated it. I'm one of those who hated it. 

Callum (first off, I hate his name. It sounds like some gross body part/organ/deep sea creature) has no real emotions whatsoever. I could not connect to him at all. I finally figured out what's wrong with him... like another reviewer stated, he's a sociopath, plain and simple. He has no remorse and is extremely self-absorbed. I could not stand him. Someone wants to kill Callum? Well get in line, buddy, because so do I. He is one of the worst written characters I've ever read. The secondary characters are cardboard cut-outs and filler characters. They all seem exactly the same, and they are all incredibly dull. Everyone in this book has the same voice, and that voice is obnoxious. I couldn't bring myself to care about any of them, which made finishing this book a torturously boring experience. 

The plot, which is about parallel dimensions really falls flat and is extremely under-developed. It doesn't really feel like there is a plot at all for most of the novel. Callum just kind of wanders around aimlessly while acting annoyingly arrogant and stupid. It wasn't hard to figure out what was going on, but good ol' Callum couldn't figure it out. Maybe if he'd pulled his head out of his butt he could have seen what was going on. ANYWAY, the ending also sucks. There is no fulfilling conclusion in this book. Oh no, it's as if Blackwell just got tired of writing and decided to stop about 3/4 of the way to the end. This is one of the worst endings I've ever read. 

As I stated, I really wouldn't recommend this book to anyone, but since some people actually liked it, you may want to check it out from the library and see if you do, too. If you do try it, I hope you enjoy it more than I did. 


  1. I actually didn't find the novel that bad. I actually really enjoyed the ending and Callum's character too. I think the author ended the novel that way because there's going to be a second book.

    1. Yea, I know that's why he ended it that way, but it still, in my opinion, was an awful ending. It could have been handled much better.

      Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed it more than I did.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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