Friday, April 15, 2011

Dark Life

Dark Life
By Kat Falls
Scholastic Press, 2010. 297 pgs. Teen fiction

In a future world, Ty has spent his whole life living under the sea, and he loves it there. However, problems threaten to change his way of life: a group of bandits, called Seablite, attack ships coming in from the government, and the government threatens to cut off all supply shipments if settlers don't form a posse and track them down. At the same time, Ty meets a Topsider, Gemma, who has some underwater to look for her brother, and Ty, who hasn't ever had any other teenagers to hang out with, quickly becomes involved in her search--and in trying to keep her, and others, from discovering that he has a dark secret: people have speculated that children of the sea settlers has special powers, and while Ty does indeed have a dark gift, he doesn't want anyone to know.

This underwater western-style book mixes in adventure, dystopia, and a hint of romance. The ending is resolved a little bit too quickly, with not quite enough attention and detail given to Gemma's brother or her future, and Ty and his sister both have a chance to display their special talents, but the climatic scenes where they do that are wrapped up in fewer than twenty pages, making it a little rushed for my tastes. Additionally, the romance could have been built up a little bit more; it's introduced rather abruptly, and while I believe that a 15-year-old boy has been falling for the girl all along, the story doesn't really show that. (Maybe that's a plus for male readers, but as a female reader, I'd have liked a little more to show that he's interested, rather than just a retrospective "oh, yeah, I've wanted to kiss her since I met her" thought.) All in all, though, readers looking for an adventure will like this one.

3.5 stars.

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