Heidi's Reviews > Dark Life

Dark Life by Kat Falls
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's review
Jun 30, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: abandoned-ya-series, ya, dystopian-post-apocalyptic, fantasy
Read from June 28 to 29, 2010

This is one of the most original dystopian YA novels I've read in a while. It's set sometime in the future, after rising oceans waters have caused much of the East Coast to slide into the sea. While most people live crowded and stacked on what little land is left, a handful of pioneers have established underwater colonies on the ocean floor. The book's teenaged narrator, Ty, was the first child born into one of these settlements (and he's developed some rather unique abilities as a result). When Ty crosses paths with a girl from the Topside, Gemma, who is searching for her brother, a grand adventure begins.

I think the tween set (Percy Jackson fans in particular) will embrace this, although the story may be too simplistic for older readers. It was for me, but I liked the book anyway because the author does such a fantastic job of worldbuilding (from the settlers' jellyfish-like homes, to the bubble fences around their farms that keep the livestock in and the sharks out, to the liquigen that allows them to breathe deep underwater, to the "shine" they've developed from a diet heavy with phosphorescent fish). It's a sustainable, self-sufficient, slightly surreal society, not at all based on hard science, that I am totally enthralled with nonetheless. I eagerly await more.

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