Raging Sea by Michael Buckley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I compared the first book to The Vicious Deep, but this one takes a far more apocalyptic turn more reminiscent of Falling Skies. The East Coast is gone (and, in at least one case straight out of the first Independence Day, a city gets nuked - "may our children forgive us"), and now, Lyric and her friends are traveling west, into more desert-y parts of the country - exactly what you would NOT expect for a story about war between humans and merpeople.
On the one hand, the story's pretty strong awareness of its tendency to fall victim to YA romantic tropes (to the point where there's a line from Lyric saying how she's "living the worst YA book ever" or something similar) is something that, by rights, shouldn't work. After all, awareness of its soap-opera nature was actually a major factor in why I stopped watching Quantico after seven episodes (that and the fact that, really, soaps and terrorism? There's a reason why I didn't even finish the first season of Homeland either.) And yet, because of Buckley's gift for high action and horrifying creature violence (the Falling Skies connection comes in because of an Alpha type that bears a suspicious resemblance to the Harnesses in its primary method of attack), it just feels like it comes with the territory.
Strangely, this book actually dials down the sociopolitical commentary of its predecessor - especially given how the current political climate is such a farce that some in my Twitter feed are breaking a cardinal rule of the internet and engaging the trolls. However, the suspense continues to build up over the course of this middle book, and it all leads up to a terrifying cliffhanger.
So, definitely give this a read, especially if you enjoyed Undertow or The Vicious Deep. However, I'll still never forgive Buckley for killing off Shadow.
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