Friday, December 17, 2010
Review - Dark Life by Kat Falls
Bookdepository / Amazon UK / Amazon US
Librarything / Goodreads
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction
Rating: 4.5 stars
Summary: Ty has lived under the ocean for his entire life. Following global warming and the rise of the seas, his family joined an underwater community in hopes of living in the new frontier of the ocean floor. But When Ty meets Gemma, a girl from "topside", who is searching the seas for her brother, she quickly makes his life very complicated. Together Ty and Gemma face dangerous sea creatures and venture into the frontier town's rough underworld as they search for her missing brother. But the deeper they dig, the more attention they attract, and soon Ty and Gemma find themselves being hunted by a gang of outlaws who roam the underwater territories causing havoc, and who seem to have eerie abilities. But Ty has a secret of his own, living underwater for his entire life has meant he has also developed a "special" power. Can he keep it a secret from Gemma and his family or is it time for him to finally tell everyone the truth?
Thoughts: I adored Dark Life. Lately, I've been reading books that have been on my wishlist for eons and have turned out to be extremely disappointing. (The Body Finder is a fantastic example of a book I was in lust with - and like most superficial relationships, it fell apart upon actually reading it.) So, my high expectations for the Dark Life were worrying.
But Dark Life lived up to every expectation. It's science fiction only, instead of space, we've colonised the ocean. The book follows some sort of apocalyptic disaster - the opening of the novel has Ty swimming around what seemed to be the ruins of New York City. But, society had moved on, and the apparent overthrow of the modern world is old news.
Dark Life has action, cool underwater gadgets, a couple of quasi-paranormal abilities and a dash of romance. All the perfect ingredients for a brilliant YA novel. But what made me love it were the things that you aren't thrown at you. Dark Life deals with some pretty serious social, scientific and political issues without seeming preachy. In fact, they are so subtly handled, they can almost be overlooked in favour of the action.
I love, love, love that. Of course, books which wrap up with a take-away message can be great - but I adore the ones that make you stop and think, whilst gently nudging you in a particular direction. Dark Life is that kind of book.
Bottom line? Faaantastic! Read Dark Life if you are looking for something fun yet thought-provoking. Ooh, it also has a male narrator! Isn't it sad that that is rare enough to warrent excitement?