In their words:
'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 ...'
In other words:
Dark Life is set in a future in which Global Warming has swallowed up most of the land. Some people cling to the small remaining patches of land in ever-increasing sky-scrapers. Others take to the seas.
The science of this is mostly glossed over; people breathe in ‘liquigen’ just before leaving air. This allows them to breathe and also appears to alleviate effects of water pressure. In short, anyone can go underwater. The dangers arrive with what is an alien environment.
Dark Life actually manages to make a life under the sea sound tempting. In a world we know so well, the sea is a whole new frontier. Complete with some underworld pirates, an unsympathetic government and a group of children with strange secrets, it is a clever, exciting and compelling read. There is a relatable and diverse cast of children and teens, fighting to protect the homes that their parents have worked so hard to create. I loved the government cover-up aspect and the elements of mystery, though some parts are predictable.
I loved this world that Kat Falls has created and hope she’ll revisit it soon. With its unusual setting, interesting characters, layers of secrets and surprising powers, Dark Life is a book I would heartily recommend. It’s accessible to young teens while not alienating older readers. It actually makes me wish I’d been born under the sea myself a little bit!
Publication date: 29th April 2010
Category: Slightly futuristic dystopia
Thank you to Simon and Schuster for providing me with a review copy.