Series: Undertow #1
Publisher: Self Published on October 1, 2013
Reading Challenges: 2014 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge, 2014 Rewind Challenge
Amazon • B&N • The Book Depository • Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old Eila Walker’s new home has defied the brutal Atlantic for over 160 years. Abandoned since her 4th great grandmother Elizabeth vanished, the town legend declares that she drowned . . . or was struck by lightning.
Unbeknownst to the town and Eila, however, is that someone does know what really happened to Elizabeth, and he has returned, determined to protect the last surviving Walker from a history of violence.
But what starts out as a quest for redemption, evolves into something more and soon young guardian, Raef, is forced to reveal the truth to Eila. As hidden secrets about their warring
families come to light, Eila begins to realize that she may be their best shot at survival, even if it means following in her grandmother’s fearless footsteps to save her killer bodyguard.
“He sat down next to me and flicked his head signaling me to come closer and I slid carefully next to him. While his eyes may have changed, I believed his heart to be true. I trusted him. It was that simple.”
“Raef looked almost ill at the mention of my near demise. He turned to his brother, ‘Did you find a body?’ A…BODY? WHAT THE…” Kian nodded, ‘It got dragged out oward the west beach. MJ and I took care of it. Good work by the way.’ ‘Did you say MJ?’ I asked, floored. Did my ice cream hurling pal help move a…BODY?”
This is actually the second time that I have read this novel–the review that I wrote for it the last time got lost on my old computer. But I had no qualms about reading it again because I loved it the first time!
“‘What…was that?’ I asked, the fear giving way to awe. Raef lowered the mirror, content that I apparently wasn’t going to flip out. ‘The truth of what we are,’ he replied. ‘Which is?’ I whispered, leaning closer as if the walls would spill our secrets. ‘Dangerous,’ he replied.”
Undertow was unique. It introduced new paranormal creatures. The Mortis: soul-stealing demons. The Lunaterra: genetic rivals of the Mortis. It was unlike anything that I have ever read and I loved that Conway was able to carve out her own little section of the paranormal genre. As I mentioned, this was my second time reading this novel, but it still got my heart pounding just like it did the first time. This novel was filled with action and the main characters fighting evil and whoever/whatever was after Eila. There was everything you could think of: fights to the death, attempted kidnappings, betrays, you name it, it was probably there. It kept me positively glued to the Kindle app.
“I had lived my whole life believing in one type of world. Where monsters stayed in fairytales and legends are only resurrected by Hollywood. Now I d been drop-kicked into the real world, where nothing’s impossible. I guessed ignorance could be bliss, because my reality really sucked.”
Eila was thrust into a world where people were out to kill her after someone bought her 4th grandmother’s house and signed it over to her. Eila was definitely a tough girl to take all that was thrown at her so well. She was strong-willed and determined to get everyone out of the situation alive. She was also self-less in that she warned her friends away because she did not want them hurt on her behalf. She was willing to risk herself for her friends and I loved that about her. She took things in stride and became a bolder, stronger, and braver person in this novel and I can’t wait to see how else she evolves in the upcoming novels.
“He was more to me than a way to survive. Every last molecule of my design pulled me toward him, illogically, like an undertow, towards salvation…or potential death.”
Raef was intent on protecting Eila. I loved Raef from the very moment he appeared in this book when I read it the first time. Something about him just made me feel safe. He was absolutely determined to keep Eila safe. Regardless of what he was, he was a truly good person on the inside and that shined through. He was seeking redemption for the things that he did and I feel as if he definitely earned it. He was caring and charming. I loved reading his character.
“I looked back down at Raef, who was still kneeling next to me. ‘Thanks, by the way, for jumping in after me.’ Raef reached out and caressed my cheek with his wide hand, ‘Always, Eila. Always.’”
The romance in this novel was pretty slow-building. They started off as just friends which I loved, even though you could definitely see the attraction. I liked that it wasn’t an insta-relationship. There was that friends period where they actually got to know each other a bit. I also liked the actual soul-deep connection between them. Usually it feels corny, and there were a couple of points in this novel where it did as well, but for the most part, it felt real. Even though they were complete opposites, DNA enemies, I still loved them together because they were so well matched. I am really interested to see where their relationship goes, especially after Undertow‘s ending.
“‘Thanks a lot MJ,’ hissed Ana coldly. ‘Way to give the girl a heart attack.’ ‘I’m sorry alright but I mean, what did she think grabbed her?’ said MJ, desperate for a bit of forgiveness. ‘The Little Mermaid?’”
There were a few other characters that were large parts of this novel: Kian, Ana, and MJ.
Kian was Raef’s brother and the same kind as he was. At first he kind of gave me the chills (bravo, Conway: many characters can’t make me uncomfortable) at first but I warmed up to him as I saw him more. Past his exterior personality, he was really caring and just as protective as Raef. I really want to see more of his story especially concerning Ana.
Ana was tough. She had walls around her that we saw past just a little. I am really interested to see more of her under the mask. She was there for Eila and refused to back down no matter how dangerous things got.
MJ was goofy. He was definitely the comedic relief at times. He’s the first Cape Codder that Eila meets and I loved him from the beginning. He was supportive and funny and just overall great.
Re-reading Undertow had no negative effect on how I thought about it–in fact, it made me love it even more (and I usually hate re-reading books!). It was an exhilarating novel about new and unique paranormal creatures that kept me holding on the entire ride. I can’t wait for Storm Front!