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A race of sea-creatures come to Brooklyn in this blockbuster of a book that’s as smart as it is awesome. Three years ago, 30,000 Alpha came out of the ocean and onto the beach of Coney Island. Was it an attempt at invasion, or a seeking of refuge? That’s still undecided, and the Alphas mostly stay to their encampment on the boardwalks. The novel opens on the first day of the Alphas being assimilated into the public school system. A lot of parents don’t want their students going to school with these creatures. A lot of students don’t want to be. A lot of the Alpha’s don’t feel too hot about it either. And a whole lot of people don’t want to see any mixing of the humans and the Alphas at all. Lyric, Bex, and Shadow, three high school students, are among the many entering the school. Amidst huge swarms of protesters. Guided by military escorts. The Alphas aren’t a people to be pushed around, either—they come from a culture of honor and battle. A force to be reckoned with. Doesn’t stop many humans from wanting to reckon. Lyric is assigned to be a tutor to Fathom, an Alpha prince. They don’t take to each other. But a lot of things are changing, mostly by force, and quickly.
Buckley looks beyond the monster-movie epic battles (while the book indeed has those, too) to the heart of human nature and the messy social and political complications that arise when one race is faced with the challenge to co-exist with another. He creates a whole complex world. What happens to each culture when faced with assimilation? What fears are conjured up? And, oh yeah, how epic will the battles be? Very.