The Undercurrent (Paula Weston, Text)
Jules De Marchi just wants to live a normal life—but it’s a bit hard when there is an electrical current running beneath her skin that she can’t entirely control. She let it go once, and the consequences still haunt both Jules and her mother Angie. When a job interview goes very wrong, Jules is dragged into the machinations of Paxton Federation, a company responsible for driving many farmers out of business with their monopoly of the market, and, Angie suspects, for the death of Jules’ father. The Undercurrent has everything you could possibly ask for in a YA novel—illegal human experimentation, military groups for hire, companies with hidden agendas, government mismanagement of environmental threats, romance, X-Men-style abilities, a nuanced mother-daughter relationship and non-stop action and intrigue. The characters are endearing and believable, the romance is meaningful without being saccharine and the plot races along with impeccable timing. Paula Weston conjures a frighteningly believable vision of near-future Australia in this incredibly timely read. The Undercurrent is a worthy companion to beloved Australian speculative novels such as The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn and John Marsden’s ‘Tomorrow’ series.
Meg Whelan is the children’s book buyer at the Hill of Content Bookshop