Friday, October 28, 2011
Age Group: Middle Grade
Published: August 5, 2010 by Simon & Schuster Children's (originally published May 1st by Scholastic)
Format: Paperback, 304 pgs
Dive deep into the vivid underwater world of Dark Life!
The oceans rose, swallowing the lowlands. Earthquakes shattered the continents, toppling entire regions into the rising water. Now, humans live packed into stack cities. The only ones with any space of their own are those who live on the ocean floor: the Dark Life.
Ty has spent his whole life living deep undersea. When outlaws attack his homestead, he finds himself in a fight to save the only home he has ever known. Joined by Gemma, a girl from Topside, Ty ventures into the frontier's rough underworld and discovers some dark secrets to Dark Life. Secrets that threaten to destroy everything.
Mini-Review: The beautiful cover and great premise were not enough to counter the lackluster prose and voiceless characters, but all is not lost.
I originally found this book as a hardcover but had to wait until it was cheaper to buy it (yay college!). I saw it on the shelf and fell in love with the cover and the idea that life has become so harsh on the surface that people are living on the ocean floor. It was fascinating.
Once I started reading, it was hard to keep reading, but I am one of those people who has to finish a book unless I just hate it from the beginning. I'm glad I kept going. The writing isn't bad and the characters, while fairly predictable, are interesting, but I felt like the entire thing was being read to me by the teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It was monotonous. The characters were there, but the voice that should have leaped off the pages wasn't. Until the last third of the book.
When things start getting really intense in the plot (which sadly was also fairly predictable, but it is for younger readers so keep that in mind), the characters finally start to sound like you think they would. It's as if the drama breathed new life into them. The last third of the book was how I hoped the entire thing would have been, but I'm glad it got better and redeemed itself. Not sure if I'll be reading any more in the series, especially if I have to struggle through the first half or more, but time will tell.
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