Pages: 297 (ARC)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 29th April 2010
When the oceans rose, entire continents were swallowed up by the rising water. Now humans live packed into high rises on small tracts of land, while those willing to forge new frontiers settle deep beneath the waves.
Ty has lived under the sea his entire life, helping his family to farm the ocean floor. But when outlaws attack, Ty finds himself in a fight to save the only home he has ever known. Joined by Gemma, a girl from Topside who is looking for her missing brother, Ty ventures into the frontier’s rough underworld - and discovers some very dark secrets. Secrets which threaten to destroy everything…
A world where the deep can be dangerous, the darkness can be deadly and sometimes it’s all you can do to stay alive…
Dark Life is a sparkling debut that captivated my imagination from first word to last. Kat Falls is a major new YA talent.
The first part of Dark Life that I have to gush about is the breathtaking imagery. Benthic Territory is where the east coast of America has collapsed into the sea and Ty is forever searching for relics. While doing this, avoiding doing his chores and fighting for his home, Ty encounters fearsome, arcing dolphins, barnacled whales, luminescent jellyfish and incredible fish. It’s full of life, colour and vibrancy, even in the total darkness of the ocean floor. And if I had to choose between being a Topsider or a pioneer, I’d be right with Ty living in a jellyfish-look-alike house. So amazing!
My next gushing object if Ty himself. He’s one of those rare truly good guys tht get hidden by the likes of a girl’s bad boy favourites. Ty has an overwhelming passion for the ocean and it’s creatures, not only because it’s his home, though that is part of it, but because he realises how wondrous, dangerous and diverse it is. But he also has a reckless streak that’s bordering on stupidity. He’ll be first to rush off and do something risky to protect his home and those he cares about. And he gets embarrassed and blushes around girls. And he glows which is pretty damn awesome.
You know, I think that this is the first dystopian novel that actually sounds okay to live in. So if there’s an apocalypse tomorrow, you know where I’ll be hiding! But, seriously, the effects of climate change and global warming are very topical at the moment they’ve been remained in books, films and TV shows over and over again, and yet, Kat Falls has managed to dream up a vision of the future that’s completely original. Can you tell how much I love this yet?
I believe Dark Life to be the beginning of a series, and though I think it works beautifully as a stand-alone novel, I’m waiting anxiously for another chance to read Kat Falls’ writing.