Dark Life

ImageBy Author Kat Falls
Scholastic Press 2010
297 pages,
ISBN 978-0-545-17814-3
Age: 12 and up
Reviewed by Anne Hill

This debut novel is a young adult science fiction adventure set in a post-apocalyptic future. The east coast of the United States has slid into the sea and intrepid colonists have started farms on the sea bottom. Ty, a fifteen year old son of colonist scientists, is looking forward to turning the age of majority and staking his own claim. However, all is not peaceful with a girl runaway from the surface arriving to seek her brother and send Ty’s hormones into overdrive, a scary gang of raiders attacking settlements, and consistent rumours abounding about the mutations allegedly occurring in the teens who have grown up on the ocean floor. The characters are well drawn and the action moves as we watch them grapple with questions of family, normality, prejudice, scientific ethics and adolescent attraction while saving their colony and proving that life is possible down in the deep.