Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Dark Life

Dark LifeDark Life Kat Falls

So, I'm not as awesome a writer as Kat Falls, so I can't seamlessly build a world into a story. I'll have to explain the world, then the story.

The World-- there was a massive series of earthquakes and floods and large portions of the US slid into the ocean. The remaining population live in stack cities, with millions of people crammed into a square mile. Space is at an absolute premium. The only place there is space is on the ocean floor, where farmers homestead out land and grow food for the Topside. There's a distrust between those who live Below (derogatorily called Dark Life) and the Topsiders. In addition to a lot of cool technology that makes life on the ocean floor possible, there are also the politics at play. The Commonwealth of States has been under emergency law for the past 20-some years, ever since the Rising. Now, in the Commonwealth of States, All of the forty-five states had two representatives in the assembly to vote on the state's behalf. As a lowly territory, we got on representative who wasn't allowed to vote, and we didn't even choose him.*

The story-- Tensions between the Topside and the Territory reach a breaking point when the Seablite gang keeps hijacking the territory's supply ships. Then the gang starts attacking settlements. Meanwhile, Ty finds Gemma, a Topside girl who's looking for her brother, a prospector who's missing. Then there's the whole mystery of Dark Gifts-- people think that children born below have a Dark Gift, a super power or something because the pressure messes with their brain development. Ty insists they aren't real, but he's also chasing down secrets of his own past, and hoping the territory lasts long enough so he can stake his own claim.

It's kinda hard to explain and there's a lot there, which you don't notice until you're trying to explain it, because what Falls has written is a fast-paced action/adventure/sci-fi fest of awesome. She seamlessly works in all this info about the world and the back story and the politics and Ty and Gemma's relationship and their past and the Seablite gang and how it all ties together and... damn.

It's exciting and fun, but also just really, really good.

According to my sources, there will be at least 2 sequels, and there are definitely places this story can go, especially with the political situation, but it doesn't *have* to have a sequel, but I want one, which makes it a winner in my book.

*So basically... the Benthic Territory is DC. Ok, DC gets to choose their rep, but...

Book Provided by... my local library

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Peaceful Reader said...

I have this on my library shelf but the cover didn't pull me in. Your review did so I might have to take it home for the weekend!

Abby said...

I looooved this book!!! We did a book discussion on it and the kids loved it, too!