Dark Life (Dark Life Series #1)

( 77 )

Overview


Dive deep into the vivid underwater world of Dark Life!

The oceans rose, swallowing the lowlands. Earthquakes shattered the continents, toppling entire regions into the rising water. Now, humans live packed into stack cities. The only ones with any space of their own are those who live on the ocean floor: the Dark Life.

Ty has spent his whole life living deep undersea. When outlaws attack his homestead, he finds himself in a fight to save the ...

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Dark Life (Dark Life Series #1)

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Overview


Dive deep into the vivid underwater world of Dark Life!

The oceans rose, swallowing the lowlands. Earthquakes shattered the continents, toppling entire regions into the rising water. Now, humans live packed into stack cities. The only ones with any space of their own are those who live on the ocean floor: the Dark Life.

Ty has spent his whole life living deep undersea. When outlaws attack his homestead, he finds himself in a fight to save the only home he has ever known. Joined by Gemma, a girl from Topside, Ty ventures into the frontier's rough underworld and discovers some dark secrets to Dark Life. Secrets that threaten to destroy everything.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It's not “Go West, young man,” but “Go Deep,” in this action-packed aquatic adventure by newcomer Falls. Years after climate changes have devastated the Earth's surface, the new frontier is underwater, where rugged individualists have carved out lives on the ocean floor. “The Topsiders clung to the chunks of oversea land that were still left, and they didn't understand why we weren't clinging, too,” says 15-year-old narrator Ty, part of the first generation born and bred in the so-called Dark Life. When he meets Gemma, a Topsider girl searching for her lost brother among the prospectors and toughs of the region, Ty feels obligated to protect her, especially when they run afoul of the Seablite Gang, pirates who've been preying on local settlers. In their struggle for survival, Ty and Gemma learn the fate of her brother and uncover long-hidden secrets regarding the Deep Life. Though the science and future history are only lightly explored, there's no denying the nifty premise, solid characterization, and tense moments that contribute to a cinematic reading experience. Falls's undersea world warrants further exploration. Ages 9–12. (May)
From the Publisher

"[T]here's no denying the nifty premise, solid characterization, and tense moments that contribute to a cinematic reading experience. Falls's undersea world warrants further exploration."

--Publishers Weekly

"Falls creates an interesting reality in her new novel. . . . Based on the young ages of the characters, this book will appeal to middle grade readers, who will enjoy the novel's mystery and suspense. It is a definite must-read for SF fans."

--Voice of Youth Advocates

"A Western . . . with plankton instead of cows, harpoons instead of six-shooters and submarines instead of covered wagons . . . and a few plot twists keep the tension high. A thrilling conversion of the classics to one of our newer frontiers."

--Kirkus Reviews

“[T]he exotic setting and well-conceived details about undersea living, along with likable characters and a minor surprise at the end, will keep readers turning the pages."

--Booklist

Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
Leaving his home one day to go exploring, teenaged Ty, in typical adolescent fashion, delves farther than his parents would allow. He peers into a canyon, hoping to see a collapsed skyscraper or even the Statue of Liberty. What? Ty's world is nothing like the world young readers would know. Cataclysmic earthquakes have torn continents apart, sending whole land masses sliding into the sea, resulting in a futuristic world divided into two habitats: bits of leftover land, where topsiders crowd together and undersea, with neighborhoods consisting of intricately engineered dwellings. Ty has lived deep under sea all his life. He avoids going topside since his shimmering skin draws too many stares. He rides a mantaboard or minisub instead of a bike and his little sister Zoe keeps oarfish, an octopus and gulper eels as pets. They live on an underground farm where they raise food (aquatic animals and plants). Suddenly even this world is about to change. Outlaws, called the Seablite gang, are headed toward Benthic Township. The Commonwealth, a ruling organization, has declared that they will no longer support Benthic unless the outlaws are caught and brought to justice. Ty meets Gemma, a topsider who has ventured undersea to look for her long lost brother, and he is determined to help her. The two become involved in danger, intrigue, dark secrets and too-close encounters with Shade, the outlaw's leader. Does Ty have something known as "the gift" because he was born subsea? Does the "dark life" alter undersea dwellers? Dark Life is a compelling book even reluctant readers would love. Its finely crafted characters, complex plot and wonderfully imaginative writing make this book a standout, great for reading aloud in family or classroom groups. Reviewer: Judy Crowder
VOYA - Jonatha Basye
Ty has lived subsea his entire life. His family members moved below the water to make a better life for themselves. In this future, the climate changes on Earth have been so drastic that hardly any solid ground exits anymore. Land is a hot commodity, and space is limited. The government, or Commonwealth, is handing out major incentives for those willing to live and work subsea. Ty and his family live quietly, farming on the ocean floor, providing the Topsiders with food and other goods. Unexpectedly a young Topsider runs into Ty and turns his life upside-down. Gemma, a ward of the Commonwealth, is searching for her brother and emancipation from the oppressive boarding school where she lives. Both Gemma and Ty are keeping secrets from everyone around them, but Ty's secret may jeopardize everything that his family has struggled to maintain. Falls creates an interesting reality in her new novel. Humans live on the ocean floor where Liquigen allows them to breathe underwater without suffering any adverse side effects. Children who are born subsea are changing, developing qualities that are impossible to imagine. The society that the author describes is very different. These characters have even coined their own form of slang. Based on the young ages of the characters, this book will appeal to middle grade readers, who will enjoy the novel's mystery and suspense. It is a definite must-read for SF fans. Reviewer: Jonatha Basye
School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—In this futuristic coming-of-age tale, 15-year-old Ty has spent his whole life in a deep-sea colony on the ocean floor. His family and the other pioneers provide fish and other food for the Commonwealth citizens who live aboveground in stacked cities following earthquakes and tsunamis that destroyed much of the Earth. The pioneers chafe under the harsh rule of the Commonwealth, a situation made worse when those who live subsea are charged with capturing a gang of pirates that has been terrorizing Commonwealth ships and pioneer homesteads. Ty is swept up in the hunt for the bandits when Gemma, a "Topsider" orphan, comes to his community to search for her missing brother, who may have ties to the pirates. First-time author Falls has created a riveting adventure story that action fans and reluctant readers will enjoy for its fast pace. Teens will like the budding romance between Ty and Gemma and the marvelous, imaginative depictions of life on the ocean floor. Minor characters, such as Ty's neighbors and younger sister, are fully fleshed out in their few short scenes. Although the identity of Gemma's brother and the subplot regarding his past with the pioneers' doctor are hastily explained and not completely satisfying, this is a small point that doesn't detract from the creative setting, adventurous plot, and likable teen heroes. Readers will cheer Ty on in his pursuit of the pirates and clamor for more tales of undersea life.—Leah J. Sparks, formerly at Bowie Public Library, MD
Kirkus Reviews
The worldbuilding of countless eco-thrillers serves here as the setting for a classic Western. A Western, that is, with plankton instead of cows, harpoons instead of six-shooters and submarines instead of covered wagons. Ty lives below the ocean, in a future in which water levels have risen and Topsiders live cramped together in unbearable conditions. Undersea, any brave settler can stake a claim and build a huge homestead. Ty was born down here, and he loves it. When he encounters freckle-faced Topsider orphan Gemma, he revels in showing her his world, from inflatable houses shaped like jellyfish to beautiful schools of swordfish. If only they weren't in danger from the villainous Seablite gang that keeps attacking homesteads! This caper features a slew of Western standards-the crabby old doctor ("Doc"), the saloon filled with bandanna-clad thugs, the posse of furious citizens-and a few plot twists keep the tension high. A thrilling conversion of the classics to one of our newer frontiers. (Science fiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616578596
  • Publisher: Findaway World
  • Publication date: 6/28/2010
  • Series: Dark Life Series , #1
  • Format: Other
  • Edition description: Playaway Edition
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Kat Falls is the author of Dark Life and its sequel, Rip Tide. A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, she holds an MFA in screenwriting from Northwestern University, where she now teaches. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 77 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(59)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 77 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 12, 2011

    Great book!

    Because of the sea rising, people are packed into cities on what remains of the land. Ty and his family are settlers who live on the ocean floor where they have a farm. When a school of carnivorous fish chases Ty onto a submarine, he meets a "Topsoiler" girl named Gemma who is looking for her brother. Before they can even leave the sub, they have a run-in with a band of outlaws called the Seablite gang. With the threat of the outlaws hanging over them, Ty's parents start to think about moving out of the ocean, leaving everything Ty loves. When I picked up this book, I didn't expect it to be very good. For one thing, I've read a few books that were pretty preachy about global warming. I had also read another book about the oceans rising and it hadn't been very good. When I started reading Dark Life, it didn't take me long to realize I'd been wrong. The way the author described the ocean made me want to go to the ocean and dive in. Zoe, Ty's little sister, was so realistic it seemed like she was going to jump out of the book. I could easily relate to Ty, who, like me, likes wide-open spaces rather than cities. I appreciated the fact that the author kept the book pretty clean and didn't bog it down with lots of bad language like some young adult books I've read. Overall, it was a great book for all ages and there was a cool twist that made the ending really good.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    The ultimate Dark secret book - Highly Recommended book!!

    Well, the point of reading this book is to entertain yourself. This book is an action, science-fiction, and adventure-type story which is worth a read in your spare time. There is plenty of action with gun shooting, blood squirting, painful hitting sentences. This also includes many secrets to find out in the interesting details of the deep, deep Dark Life science with a combination of big underwater world adventures with many clues to find as you read from the very first page to the very last word.
    Once you start reading you will be introduced to a great variety of characters to examine and find out clues that lead to the finished explanation in the drowned East Coast of America. Also you become introduced to the great laboratory of Dark Life science with great secrets to find out.
    Finally, as you become to end, you suddenly find out about an unusual love bond of a Dark Life experienced couple.
    So come and dive deep into the epic world of Dark Life!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 13, 2012

    Safe Book for Your Tween

    The novel plopped me in the middle of nowhere. I was afraid it would be one of those books full of random events which would leave me lost. Thank goodness, it wasn’t. By the end of chapter one, everything had smoothed out, and I was totally on board. An underwater adventure. The setting wasn’t my typical read. However, Ms. Falls did a glacial job with the world building. It didn’t take long for my misgivings about the watery world setting to evaporate. I could almost picture a community under the sea. How I would love to visit a place like that, even if freaky things did happen to my brain because of it. The story was told entirely from Ty’s perspective, a teenage boy, living at the bottom of the ocean with his family. For the most part, I liked Ty. He was practical and water smart, yet still fallible. He also had a bit of child recklessness in him. Not the crazy risk-taking like he was a superhero, but rather the kind I remember as a child–it’s not too bad if I don’t get caught and my parents are overreacting about the dangers. Gemma was the supporting actress in Dark Life. The girl had quite a bit of spunk, which I loved. Where Ty was responsible, she was rash–100%. The only thing which gave her pause was occasional doses of fear. Even then, she wouldn’t let fear keep her from accomplishing her goals. I do have to say, my girl wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box and did her share of stupid thing, dragging Ty along for the ride. She was still a fun character though. Plot wise, we had two going–Gemma’s missing brother and saving the underwater ranches. Ms. Falls was awesome about weaving these two pieces together to form a big picture at the end. The only complaint I had is about the deep POV. As you all know if you keep up with my reviews, I hate being left in the dark when inside a character’s head. There was a lot of that going on when it came to the “Dark Gifts.” I knew Ty had one, as well as his sister, early in the novel. Yet the big reveal didn’t occur until after the halfway mark. On one hand, I could see why Ms. Falls wanted to keep the info as a surprise. On the other, not knowing what the main character knows kind of detracts from the POV, but that’s just me. Others may feel differently. For parents looking for a safe book for your tween or teenager, I’d recommend this one. It had romantic elements which were sweet, and age appropriate behavior for youngsters. I certainly plan on passing this one on to my 13-year-old. There was a bit of violence which drew a sympathy wince or two. Of course, I’m a baby about pain. Do I want more? You betcha! I’m looking forward to Rip Tide.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Awsomness put in a science fiction book it is possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The book is awsome and it grabs the readers attention in the first chapter and they littery got me to read more and it has all these secrets and mysteries that come from Ty and Gemmas adventures witch really had me saying... Ockward? Thats wat made me read the book more because every chapter there is a new secret and thats wat readers want in their books. In every great book theres a great mystery or secret to be found or anwsered. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    So happy they have this

    Great book. This book stole me from life for 2 days.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Cat for TeensReadToo

    Life has become grim in the futuristic world of debut author Kat Falls' novel, DARK LIFE. Climatic and tectonic shifts have caused sea levels to rise and continents to fall, leaving humans fighting for precious space in "stacked cities" of the skies, or submerging themselves in "dark life" on the ocean floor. Ty Townsend is one of those people. As part of the first generation born and raised farming his family's underwater plot , he dreams of reaching his eighteenth birthday in order to claim and farm his own hundred acres. Trouble is afoot, though, as the Benthic Territory and their supply ships are being raided and the settlers terrorized by a ruthless group of bandits. In response, the topside government, the Commonwealth of States, issues a "request" to the territory's inhabitants: help us capture the Seablite Gang and their mysterious leader, Shade. Just in case the threat posed by the bandits isn't enough, the Commonwealth provides three incentives: a halt on all supply shipments, reassignment of the territory's doctor, and no new homesteads until the gang is apprehended. Ty is determined to ensure the realization of his dream, but his love for exploring vast underwater canyons has also thrown him another complication in the form of teenage Topsider runaway, Gemma. While searching the outpost for her missing brother, the Seablite Gang's attacks intensify and hit closer to home than either Ty or Gemma ever could have imagined. It's not long before they realize their best chance for survival and success resides in each other. Despite a slow start, the characters soon plunge right into action. Ms. Falls has created an eerie, haunting world filled with mysterious creatures, nefarious villains, and two genuine protagonists, who are well-supported by a passel of quirky, intriguing secondary characters. Without a doubt, DARK FALLS will satisfy anyone with a dystopian future craving.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    I work in a High School library and have had rave reviews on bot

    I work in a High School library and have had rave reviews on both Dark Life and Rip Tide from the students. I have had students
    searching for more of her books or readalikes with no luck. We will be sure to order the next book available by her. 
    They are very complex, contain romance, sci-fi, western adventure.They capture your interest from start to finish.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    Dark Life

    Dark life is an awesome book about a sub sea pioneer named Ty. I recommend this book to antyone who has a craving for some adventure!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    Good

    I have nit read this book, but it sounds really good according to my friend. She said i should read it...

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    Good book

    It s an awesome book i want to read it again and again

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2012

    This This is a fantastic book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It a great science fiction book for teens and its cool how it took place under the water. It was a very good book!!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Pleasant Surprise: I'm not one to read books in first person P

    A Pleasant Surprise: I'm not one to read books in first person PoV when it's a male protagonist but I really enjoyed this book. The main character, Ty, is passionate about what he believes in and tries to do the right thing, whether his parents and the government believe in it or not. He made reading Dark Life very enjoyable.

    Post-Apocalyptic Goodness: I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic based novels. Whether it be zombies, world war three, or in this case a new underwater society, I'll read it. This was an interesting new take on the aftermaths of the apocalypse. Falls created a whole new world based around the land-living Topsiders and the underwater subsea society, filled with pioneers, outlaws, and a whole world yet to be discovered.

    Lovable Characters: Especially for YA/MG readers, the characters of the novel are easy to relate to. The main characters, Ty and Gemma, are both teens struggling with the same basic things that modern teens deal with. I love the almost innocent relationship between Ty and Gemma that develops over the course of the novel; the same goes Ty and his sister, Zoe's, relationship. I always felt like I was really part of the story, seeing it through Ty's eyes.

    Overall, I liked Dark Life and look forward to the next book in the series.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    Dinobelle

    This book is an excellent book and not inapropriate at all i am 12 years old and i trying to find books that aren't inapropriate which is hard since alot these books are. Hey B&N can you guys put in more apropriate books please ilove reading but not inapropriate books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    dark life

    Great book needs to be longer

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Amazement

    This book kept my attention even on the slowest parts. Every chapter something excited happen, i could not put my nook down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Great Y A adventure!!!

    A setting that literally glows with suspense, danger, eerie beauty, and glorious wonder !!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    Dark Life

    Very nice mix of action, adventure, and romance! Hiley recommended read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Awesome

    I have only gotten half way through and its awesome i usually dont read be cause it cant keep my attention but this one does get ot its AWESOME SAUCE

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    Great

    An amazing sci fiction book. Could not put it down until i was done
    Lina Stei

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Dark

    Awsome

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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