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Dark Life

(Dark Life #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  13,941 ratings  ·  1,675 reviews
A thrilling futuristic adventure set deep undersea, Dark Life follows the settlers of the world's first subsea settlement as they defend their homesteads against a brazen band of outlaws.

Set in an apocalyptic future where rising oceans have swallowed up entire regions and people live packed like sardines on the dry land left, DARK LIFE is the harrowing tale of underwater p
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Scholastic Press
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Roman Johnston No but I think they should make one. It was an excellent read.
Sydney Kurzawski I've read a lot of good, books, but this is by far one of my favorites. Definitely read it. I know someone said 12 and up, but I would actually recome…moreI've read a lot of good, books, but this is by far one of my favorites. Definitely read it. I know someone said 12 and up, but I would actually recomend 11. I read it at 10, but I was a really advanced reader.(less)

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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,941 ratings  ·  1,675 reviews

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Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: YA and sci-fi readers
Recommended to Bookwatcher by: Kika
Shelves: sci-fi, teen-ya, favorites
Marvelous book! My 5 stars and my applause

(no, I'm not a guy... I just like this animated gift )

Well, without spoil the story I can say some things...

* All the story is Ty's POV. I enjoy this wise choice of the writer. It's so rare to read a YA book with a guy as narrator. I love Ty voice.

* Gemma, the main female character, is so brave! Looking for her brother she affront all her fears without second thoughts! SOOOO BRAVE! Love her!

* The adventure of this book never ends! True! My advice is: ta
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I adore books with a setting that's basically another character. And this book did it so well!

Ty and his family live under the ocean on a farm. A fish and kelp farm! With bubbles for fences and a jellyfish-shaped house. And yet, Kat Falls managed to stay away from the Bubble Guppy vibe and keep it feeling legitimately scientific.

The character interaction was wonderful. Many YA books come across as angsty and overdone in their relationship dynamics, but this was fun and believable. The target a
Mitchel Broussard
May 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
We've all had our fill of dystopia-infused YA literature in the past couple of years. From the trilogy that seemed to have sparked its massive popularity much like the books that sparked the vampire craze, it's been hard to distinguish the rest of the pack from poor imitators. Dark Life, the first novel by college professor Kat Falls, is no imitator: here is a true, original, fun and fascinating dystopic tale fueled with imagination, relatable characters and a beautifully realized undersea setti ...more
Montzalee Wittmann
May 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Dark Life (Dark Life #1) by Kat Falls is a futuristic book in which the world is so crowded that some folks live in the sea. They have settlements there complete with crops and everything. Weird but cool but not very believable. This story is about an orphan that runs away from a cruel orphanage and ends up meeting a guy who lives in the sea. He takes her down to show her his home. There is corrupt government, gang of trouble makers, and people after the girl. I liked the idea and the plot was ...more
Abby Johnson
Jan 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blogged
In a future America where rising seas have claimed much of the land, leaving Topsiders to pack themselves in tiny stacked apartments, some people have taken to the ocean. These pioneers live on the ocean floor, farming the sea and sending crops to the government in exchange for their homesteads. This is where Ty Townsend has lived all his life. He was the first child to be born in the undersea community of Benthic Territory and he loves it there. But when outlaws threaten the safety of the settl ...more
Finally! It took Scholastic forever to get this book out to me. Anyway, once I read it I'll quickly write a review for it.


Well I've finished the book and now I must write a review.

To be quite frank I thought the book was boring. It takes place sometime in the future, after some terrible natural disaster I believe. The oceans have taken over most of the land, so many people have been forced to live under the sea. That sounds pretty good huh? I thought so! But this book is kinda like a Western,
May 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-books
I tried to read this book once before, more than a year ago. Somewhere around page 100 I stopped because I couldn't really get into the story.

Felt a little bit the same this time and figured out why. This book could be more describing, since the main character, Ty, is living on the bottom of the ocean. I just couldn't picture the submarines, the homes and the trade station and lower decks. I've never really seen those things, so it was and still is, hard to see the whole picture in my mind.
Neal Shusterman
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read this over a year ago, and the world keeps coming back to me. Definitely worth the read. Kat Falls has build a compelling and believable world.
C.P. Cabaniss
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was somewhat of a random check out for me. One of the reading challenges I was doing had a task that required a book that was set under water. While browsing online for books that would fit that, I stumbled upon this and my library happened to have a copy. And I really liked it.

The idea of the underwater settlement was really interesting and I found the explanation about how things worked to be fascinating. The ocean has always been alluring to me, so books that use it as a large focu
Xiangyu Chen
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
WARNING: NEVER Mess With the Deep Ocean

“Balls of red light dangled from the jaws of vapor fish; jellyfish shimmered like pink clouds; and gulper eels, with their neon spots, streaked past like comets” (Falls 297)

The deep ocean, dark and mysterious, is thriving with life, all kinds of life. In the book "Dark Life" by Kat Falls, the ocean is rising, and the deep ocean is becoming even deeper... Being the first to born at the bottom of the ocean, Ty always feels a little different. Living with his
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was ok
This didn't grab me at all, I did not care about the characters and the plot and honestly I feelt a bit bored. Bit disappointed as I thought this would be an entertaining apocalypse book but in the end it wasn't for me. ...more
Yin Chien 인첸
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't fathom why I took so long to reach (read) this book - it has been sitting on my to-be-read shelf for so long. I'm so glad I finally read it, because it's superb! Dark Life is set in a futuristic world where the rising sea-levels have sunken most of the lands and scientists and pioneers are starting to test the possibilities of living under the sea. Of course, most people still prefer to live on land, even though they are forced to cramp with each other due to the limited spaces.

Ty is
There is some seriously cool world-building going on up in here. I'm glad I squeezed finishing off this book in between watching Easy A with my family (pretty awesome) and trying NOT to watch Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (all music by Burt Bacharach...nuff said). Kat Falls' first novel is set underwater in a future where most of our land is under the ocean and the majority of people live in crowded tenement blocks. Ty, the teenage protagonist, is the first child born in the underwater colo ...more
Brenda Lower
Ty is a pioneer, but instead of going west, like the old days, his family went deep! As the water levels rise and space on land grows more and more precious, people have started going under the sea. Ty knows nothing but living underwater. He is much more familiar with the life that thrives in the darkness of the deep sea than he is with sunshine and stars.

One day, Gemma shows up from the world above and changes everything in his life. She seems so vulnerable alone, searching for her brother tha
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: scifi and dystopian fans, kids and big kids!
I usually don’t want to read anything about the ocean, so I wasn’t that excited to be starting this. It was just a short book I could listen to. What a surprise! Get this: What's left of the world is overpopulated to the point where people have to buy space just to be alone for a few minutes. People don’t even have their own bedrooms!Think Original Star Trek: The Mark of Gideon. Underwater, the settlers are entitled to claim 100 acres at age 18.

Gemma lives on the surface, and she’s gone to the u
Christian Minor
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In a world taking place undersea after the oceans rose and earthquakes caused whole regions to fall into the deep, deep path below, humans live packed into stack cities. They barely go outside because sunlight can cause 3rd degree burns all over. As a result, some pioneers staked out a living on the ocean floor. Ty was born and raised in the deep. He was the first to be born in subsea underwater. By the way he’s not pleasant to hear the whole experiment may fail due to a gang of outlaws that ha ...more
Hope Baugh
Jul 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't had time to keep up with recording on GoodReads what I've been reading, but last night I finished reading the hardcover edition of Dark Life, by Kat Falls, and I LOVED IT. I want to tell everyone about it! It is a fast-paced, suspenseful, action-adventure story set vividly on a post-apocalyptic ocean frontier. Cool homes, cool vehicles, and cool creatures! The hero-narrator is a courageous, 15-year-old, ocean-born boy with a secret gift that scares him, but the runaway orphan girl who ...more
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 10 or 11 and up- a scifi type adventure
Post global warming- the new frontier is under the sea. Pioneering scientists and adventurers are using some amazing technology that makes use of physics and biology to farm fish, some livestock (!) and sea plants.
These farms have been in existence for almost 20 years now and children have been born under the surface and grown up underwater. These kids have extranormal abilities, all different, all wonderful and all a secret, the kids never tell or display their gifts. The oldest among them has
Emily Housworth
May 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am not the target audience for this book (young teens) so this review may not reflect the true merits of this book. This book wasn't bad by any means, but I was just not able to connect with the story or care about its characters. I never felt like, oh man, I just gotta keep reading to see what happens next! I did, however, enjoy the unique underwater setting and the world that the author created, but the plot just didn't grip me. I would have enjoyed more character development, as well as a m ...more
Sonja Arlow
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Very Young Teens
Shelves: 2014-read, dystopian
2 ½ stars

YA novels are always a gamble but as this story takes place in such a unique setting I decided to give it a go.


Great chunks of land have slid into the ocean due to global warming and everybody is crammed into skyscrapers. Space becomes a sought after commodity.

A brave few live under the sea and grow the food that keeps humankind alive. Ty is a teenage boy who was born and raised on the sea floor, and he's developed some unique abilities while growing up under the deep blue s
Sarah AlObaid
Nov 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
3.5 stars

I absolutely loved the idea of it. The whole post-apocalyptic, living-subsea, developing-supernatural-powers theme got me really intrigued. You can see that the author put so much thought into it, and at times i found it genius. However. At other times, it was just confusing. I didn't like the plot very much, i thought it was kind of dull. Also, some parts didn't fit in or didn't make any sense. Wasn't a huge fan of the author's language. I mean, she clearly had an amazing idea, i don't
Alison Strandell
Apr 27, 2016 rated it liked it
The concept is really cool... a futuristic world where the ocean has been colonized because the "Topside" is maxed out of resources due to overpopulation. I like Ty, Gemma, and the action that ensues. I read this aloud to students and appreciate how there is a sequel, Rip Tide, for those who are interested. I wanted to read this book because the author, Kat Falls, came to YMS in the past for a visit. Ultimately, Dark Life just doesn't totally do it for me. For example, the moon pools, sub-sea st ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The world has changed, the seas have taken over a large portion of the land. Because of this people are crammed into tighter and smaller spaces with over population and food shortage being a significant problem. However, a small group of pioneers has chosen to colonize and farm the expanding territories under the sea! Ty's family is one of this group, farming and supplying the "Topsiders" with much needed food. Ty loves the freedom of the ocean and is determined to stake his own claim as soon as ...more
Tom Malinowski
Imagine a western set in the future and underwater. Due to the East Coast sliding off....people have migrated to the deep waters for colonization. Being born underwater could though effect any offspring into supposedly having a Dark Gift...powers to adapt to the seas. Gemma, a Topsider, goes below to find her brother. Ty, knowing only the sea life, is all to quick to help her.

Outlaws, underwater flexible homesteads to adapt to the water, a saloon type truly is a great wester
Ruby Rose
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
I loved this one! Ty and Gemma are on two missions, one to find the outlaw leader Shade, two to find Gemma's brother who is supposedly a prospector. They meet the "Albino" Shade multiple times as he tries to catch Gemma and kill Ty, before they discover a tragic backstory to the seabite gang (outlaws) that includes Doc, who knows too much. This book is a must read about home, love, and trust. Good for 7th grade and above. I do not recommend for under 12 years of age. ...more
Kay Marie
So I'm not going to rate this because this book was literally made for middle schoolers and I feel weird. I'm working on a house project and I was in desperate need of an audiobook and I quickly glanced at the cover and the description was like yeah yeah yeah looks good. Did not take long for me to realize that this book while considered young adult they mean like legit young adult. Not hunger games young adult. But I think if I was 11 and read this book I would have been super into the series. ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this audio book. I really like the idea of living under the sea. And if it turns you into ocean X-Men? Even cooler.
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Dark Life, The Little Mermaid in reverse.

Whether you believe climate change is man-made or not is immaterial, the point is it exists inside this book. Anyway, uniquely set “Under the Sea” in a starkly plausible dystopian future with a plot which delves deeper into this unsettling world. Unfortunately, I could’ve done without the tacked-on romance.

Fish out of water, young Ariel Gemma meets Prince Eric Ty on her mission to find and join her long lost elder brother after they were separated in an o
Alyssa Wallner
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ty is a pioneer, the first person to grow up under the sea. He meets a girl from the topside, above ground, were everyone is packed tightly together because the ocean levels have rose to such a great height. Her name is Gemma, and she goes back to Ty's underwater home with him. While she is there, she notices things that make her wonder if the rumors are true; that some people that live in the sea have a "Dark Gift", or mysterious powers that came from living beneath the surface. Meanwhile, outl ...more
Feb 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, galleys
Jeez, I swear, Goodreads really did not want me to find this book. In fact, I wouldn't have if I hadn't looked it up now on a whim. So since I'm no longer in directly-post-reading review mode, I'll copy-paste the review I wrote for YALSA since I got this as a galley through the public library. And then I have just one note to add...

Ty has lived in the deep sea all his life on his family’s underwater farm in Benthic Territory. It’s more freedom than they’d ever find Topside, where land is at a pr
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Kat Falls lives in Evanston, IL with her husband, theater director Robert Falls, their three children, and a whole slew of pets. She grew up in Silver Spring, MD, attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as an undergrad, and went on to receive an MFA from Northwestern University, where she now teaches.

Kat is the author of the middle-grade science fiction novels, Dark Life and Rip Tide, which she

Other books in the series

Dark Life (2 books)
  • Rip Tide (Dark Life, #2)

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