Shortlisted for the 2017 Aurealis Awards
‘The Undercurrent is gripping and action-packed…Paula Weston has created an ambitious thrilled that presents us with an alarming look at Australia’s near future and where our technological advances could be taking us.’ Readings
Eighteen-year-old Julianne De Marchi is different. As in: she has an electrical undercurrent beneath her skin that stings and surges like a live wire. She can use it—to spark a fire, maybe even end a life—but she doesn’t understand what it is. And she can barely control it, especially when she’s anxious.
Ryan Walsh was on track for a stellar football career when his knee blew out. Now he’s a soldier—part of an experimental privatised military unit that has identified Jules De Marchi as a threat. Is it because of the weird undercurrent she’s tried so hard to hide? Or because of her mother Angie’s history as an activist against bio-engineering and big business?
It’s no coincidence that Ryan and Jules are in the same place at the same time—he’s under orders to follow her, after all. But then an explosive attack on a city building by an unknown enemy throws them together in the most violent and unexpected way.
Paula Weston, author of the much-admired Rephaim series, returns with a standalone work: a futuristic thriller that is only slightly futuristic—but utterly and undeniably thrilling. Great writing, heart-burning characters, probing questions about where technology is taking us—and a plot that zips and zings like an electrical current itself. This is a great young-adult writer at the peak of her powers.
Paula Weston is a Brisbane-based author. She has more than twenty years’ experience as a professional writer—first as a print journalist and then as a government communication and media specialist. She co-owns a writing/design consultancy.
‘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 meaningful without being saccharine and the plot races along with impeccable timing…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.’ Books+Publishing
‘A fast-paced, sensational ride, which screams “read me”.’ Scott Moore, South Australian Weekend Review
‘The Undercurrent is a real rollercoaster of a read, packed full of thrills and tension and non-stop action. The characters are captivating and nuanced. The plot is fast-paced and high-powered. Most importantly, it is a tightly written and eminently satisfying standalone book.’ Booktopia
‘A readable and believable dystopian tale of nuclear energy, genetically modified crops, and corporate greed, further enlivened by a budding romance.’ Age
‘The Undercurrent presents a compelling portrait of a young woman finding agency and purpose that will appeal to both an adolescent audience and older readers.’ Otago Daily Times
‘When it comes to speculative fiction, Paula Weston can deliver, and deliver, moreover, on recognisably Australian soil…The Undercurrent is a well-written suspense thriller, political mystery, family saga, slow-burning romance and, above all, prescient picture of our own far-too-possible future.’ Magpies
‘Late for dinner, late for work, late late late. Thanks so much, Paula Weston. I picked up Shimmer and forgot everything else.’ Adelaide Advertiser
‘Superbly written, action-packed fiction with interesting, brilliantly flawed characters.’ Fictional Thoughts
‘Some books you crave. You keep returning to the cover art and re-reading the blurb, you stalk the authors’ Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads profiles in the hopes of gleaning morsels of information…you count-down to release day. Paula Weston is something special indeed.’ ALPHA Reader
‘Weston has written a high-voltage story full of explosive action and a zing of romance. The Undercurrent is a fast-paced, thrilling, futuristic action-packed YA novel that will have you zapped to your seat.’ Nadia L King
‘The Undercurrent is action-packed and thrilling…There is romance, family drama and mystery that all blend well to keep the pace flowing and the plot moving.’ Obsession with Books
‘Paula Weston raises the bar for an intelligent, page-turning speculative young adult thriller full of complex issues and wonderfully varied and sculpted characters worth caring about. A superbly written book with a gorgeous cover that will make you think and learn and hide away until you’ve read the last page.’ Kids Book Review
‘Paula Weston has done it again. The Aussie who blessed us with the Rephaim series doesn’t miss a beat as she unveils a new cast of well-rounded, flawed and believable characters in a fast-paced tale…Another page-turner!’ SA Weekend
‘A cleverly constructed tale of mysterious and uncontrollable powers, government cover-ups, love and duty from the author of the classic Rephaim series.’ Adelaide Advertiser, Favourite Books of the Year
‘Paula Weston has done it again. The Aussie who blessed us with the Rephaim series doesn’t miss a beat as she moves away from the world of half-angels in this new thriller. Weston unveils a new cast of well-rounded, flawed and believable characters in a fast-paced tale…Weston tackles important issues without letting the pace drop in another page-turner.’ Daily Telegraph
‘This LoveOzYA Sci-Fi is sure to please with its sweet romantic subplot and poignant back drop of a not-so-distant future Australia.’ The Adventures of Sacakat