Monday, May 23, 2011

Dark Life by Kat Falls

Ty lives in a world of the beautiful and strange; of new and old; of safety and danger.  He lives in the ocean, four hundred feet under the surface, on a homestead with his parents and sister Zoe.  At fifteen, his dream is to one day own a homestead under his name.  But for now, he makes good use of his time exploring near the dangerous, dark, lifeless areas of their ocean wonderland.  When Ty makes a journey to a forbidden place and finds an abandoned sub and a frightened Topsider (the name for those still living on land) named Gemma, he is sucked into a mystery and a terrible accident involving his neighbors and the ocean's most terrifying group of men - the Seablite gang.  If he doesn't do something - and quick - every homestead under the water's surface could be in danger, and his whole world might turn upside-down.


My thoughts -
WHY did I not keep reading this when I picked it up first a year ago?!  Ok, I seriously enjoyed this book.  When I won this book in a giveaway, I was so excited to start it back up again.  I was expecting it to be good - and instead I got great.

I really loved almost everything about this book.  The one thing, however, that didn't quite live up to the rest of the book, was the world building.  While everything else was close to perfect, the less-than-300 pages of this book didn't hold very much detail about the world Ty and his family and friends live in and why they're there.  You get the gist of it, but I felt there could have been more.

Kat Falls has a really neat, clean writing style that I enjoyed.  (Although, with her future books, I have to remember to read a little slower to get in all the descriptions - I missed some important details because I was going so fast!)  Her word choices sometimes made me stop and go, "Oh wow, she's good."  And I loved all the technical terms that she used for underwater equipment.  It made it all seems so much more real.  I was really amazed that this is her debut novel, and boy oh boy am I excited for Rip Tide!

Character notes -
I loved the way the author built the characters in this story.  They were very charming, or evil, or intimidating, or funny.  Ty was an extremely likable guy who I fell for in chapter one.  He was a young boy at the beginning - but by the end of the book (over a course of two days) he was...older.  More mature.  I adored this change in him, seeing him go from boy, always wanting to explore and be his own man, to actually being that man.

I loved all the side characters as well.  Gemma is a great, strong character with lots of tough 'tude.  She complimented Ty's character perfectly and only added to make this book all the more enjoyable.  Also, Zoe and Hewitt made me laugh out loud quite a few times.  At young ages, they both had stark personalities with crazy ideas about life that made me laugh out loud.

Story notes -
What a story!  Like, from front to back, every scene was riveting, or fascinating.  The entire book is filled with action - it doesn't stop before the end, like, slow down to wrap things up.  It goes and goes and goes, until the last page.  It totally took me by surprise.  And there was quite a bit of mystery mixed in, which I loved.  It was like, action, fantasty, dystopia, and mystery.  I don't know why but that mixture of genres hit me as just really really cool.  And I seriously thought I knew what the answer to the mystery was, but...well, let's just say I was surprised.

The end was really well wrapped up, but it definitely leaves you hanging for more.  The character interactions added to the story and left a lasting impression on me.  It's been at least two weeks since I finished it and I still remember it all so clearly!

One word/phrase to sum it up (final thoughts) -
The word vigorous comes mind when I think of this book.  I looked up the definition online and what came up was, "Strong, healthy, and full of energy."  That word is seriously nutshelling this book.  I highly recommend this to all readers, of all ages, can you not love a book full of action, adventure, a touch of (clean) romance and mystery, underwater guns, saloons, outlaws, and really really great characters!  It really is a gem o' the ocean.


  1. So, I'm developing this theory that all Ty's are of a likable nature. And, you know, if they are incredibly handsome that's just a bonus. A huge bonus.
    Ehem, back on topic! Falls sounds like a great writer, therefore I'll be sure to check this one out. Great review! (:

  2. Awesome! I've had my eye on this book for a while now, but I haven't gotten a copy yet. Glad to hear that you really enjoyed it! :) I look forward to reading this.

  3. Ok, you've convinced me. Adding it to my TBR now. Thanks! If you like something I'm pretty much just going to add it to my TBR from now on :P

  4. This book is on my TBR pile. I can't wait to start on it after reading your brilliant review! Thank you!

  5. Gina/Scot CallawayJanuary 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Oh, yes, I read this one last year.  I thought it was entertaining.  I haven't read Rip Tide yet, but I should.  I like your one word summary, "vigorous" is very suiting.  Nice review!  PS: I thought Gemma was a great MC.

  6. Thanks for the comment!  And yes, I looove Gemma, and even more now that I've read "Rip Tide".  Definitely check it out. :D