Earthquakes shattered the continents, toppling entire regions into the rising water. Now, humans live packed into stack cities. The only ones with any space of their own are those who live on the ocean floor, the Dark Life.
Ty has spent his whole life living deep underseas, helping his family farm the ocean floor. But when outlaws attack his homestead, Ty finds himself in a fight to save the only home he has ever known. Joined by Gemma, a girl from the Topside who has come subsea to look for her brother, Ty ventures into the frontier’s rough underworld and discovers some dark secrets to Dark Life…secrets that threaten to destroy everything.
Dark Life is a book full of harrowing adventure, sea pirates and a whole lot of excitement. Ty lives on the ocean floor, his family part of the pioneer project to relocate the planets population to the ample space under water. The seas have risen and made land space incredibly scares – Topsiders live packed into skyscraper complexes, often in single rooms. But the ocean floor isn’t all peace and farming. Pirates have been attacking, and there are rumours that living in the deep is changing children, giving them abilities that are not normal. Along with Gemma, a girl from Topside, Ty is racing against time to battle pirates and prove that living Dark Life isn’t hurting anyone. And therein lies the adventure! Which is done spectacularly.
Kat Falls does surprise really well. It’s like, you know you should know these things, but you’re just not sure. The pirates/bandits are the main plot of the story – Ty, his family, and the rest of the pioneers are tasked with catching the pirates. Gemma, the girl from Topside, shows up around the same time looking for her brother. So it’s like, you know her brother has something to do with the pirates (I mean come on, they have to be connected, right?) but you just can’t figure it out until right at the climax of the plot, when you finally clue in right before the author says it out loud. Likewise, the sub-plot of the Dark Life giving the kids who live under water special abilities goes the same way. Little hints and clues are left along the way and they finally add up right at the end. It’s wicked. Now, with all this adventure, you know the plot is moving at a nice pace – sometimes, I felt some parts were a little rushed and bumpy. It was easy enough to disregard, though, for the overall writing and story. And Ty totally made the book for me =)
I thought the characters were done really well. I adore Ty. He’s so capable and mature, but you know he’s hiding secrets. He tries to play by the rules but he always ends up breaking them in order to help people and hopefully save the day. He loves his family, he works hard – Ty is just a good guy. Adventurous, loyal, fun, a little dangerous but sweet and he has a tragic past. Gemma is a great female character; she’s strong and self-sufficient, but knows when she needs help. She’d do anything for her family and friends and has a little bit of a sneaky attitude to her (in a good way). The only thing, is I just didn’t connect with her as much as I wanted to. I should have – there is no reason not to – I just…didn’t. I think it’s because Ty had already stolen all my attention.
In the end, Dark Life left a smile on my face, and a wish for a sequel. Oh, and the need to watch the move Water World again =P