Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Dark Life

Dark Life

Kat Falls
For ages 12 and up
Scholastic, 2010   ISBN: 978-0545178143

Many decades ago the sea levels rose, earthquakes shook the land, and the world became a very different place. Great cities like New York disappeared under the waves, and land became a very precious commodity. People had to adjust to living in high-rise cities, crammed together with very little space or privacy. Some pioneers decided that this was no way to live, and they set about building a life for themselves in a very different environment – under the sea.

Ty was born in one of these communities, and for him life under the sea is the only life worth living. He has no interest in moving to the land where the sun is too hot and where people are packed together like sardines in a can. Instead, he dreams of having his own undersea farm one day where he will grow marine plants and animals to sell to the land-dwellers, the “Topsiders.”

One day Ty ventures out to an area that is off-limits, and there he finds a seemingly abandoned sub. At first, he thinks the vessel is empty, but then he finds a teenage girl, Gemma, hiding in one of the rooms on board. She too came across the sub by accident when she came looking for her brother, who is a marine miner. Ty thinks that the sub was attacked by the Seablight Gang, a group of outlaws that are terrorizing the area. He soon finds out that he was right when the gang come back to collect their prize.

Ty and Gemma are able to get away from the gang for a short while, but then the farm next to Ty's family farm is attacked by the Seablight Gang. Surely if this goes on Ty and the rest of the settlers will have to move Topsoil. Will Ty be able to bear leaving the world that he loves so much and that he had adapted to in unique ways.

This fascinating title is thoroughly captivating, and readers will find it very hard to put the book down once they start reading. With colorful characters and hints that there is more to Ty than meets the eye, this book is a must for readers who like science fiction stories.