My last post featured an adventure trilogy set in the air — here’s the first book in a new undersea adventure series.
Dark Life, by Kat Falls (lexile: 690; AR book level: 4.8; 297 pp)
“I peered into the deep-sea canyon, hoping to spot a toppled skyscraper. Maybe even the Statue of Liberty. But there was no sign of the old East Coast, just a sheer drop into darkness.”
The world has changed — global warming and rising sea levels have caused the east coast of the U.S. to slide into the ocean. The remaining “Topsiders” are crowded into “stack cities,” but a few brave pioneers have established undersea colonies, their aquaculture providing food for everyone above and below the water.
The narrator of the story is 15-year-old Ty, the first child born to the pioneers of undersea Benthic Territory. The ocean is the only life he’s known, and he hopes one day to own his own underwater farm. However, the ocean colonies are being threatened by a band of seemingly invincible pirates, as well as the oppressive Commonwealth government on the land above. Into the tale arrives Gemma, a Topsider orphan girl who’s come to the deep hunting for her brother, who may have some connection to the pirates. From the opening pages you’ll find action, danger, and adventure. And there are hints that the pirates, Gemma, the government, and even Ty are guarding secrets. Are the rumors true that children raised undersea possess strange abilities?
The story is fast-paced, with suspense, mystery and just a bit of romance. And the technology the author has envisioned for living under the sea is brilliant and fascinating as well. Dark Life is on the nominee list for the 2013 Rebecca Caudill award, so lots of kids across Illinois will be reading it in the next year. As soon as I can get to it, I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, Rip Tide.