June 21, 2012

Dark Life - by Kat Falls

It is the future, and the world has had some problems, and things aren't what they used to be.  Oceans rose, earthquakes toppled cities, and humans live crowded into tall buildings in big cities on the coasts.  The surface of the earth is no longer safe for farming, and humans need to eat, so the government (The Commonwealth) has started a colony of experimental farms on the bottom of the ocean.  This is the story of those colonists and their fight to survive their challenges, including attacks by the notorious Sea Blight Gang.

Our protagonist is 15-year-old Ty, the first boy born undersea, who dreams of having his own sea-bottom farm one day.  Problems occur and Ty realizes that he is going to have to fight if his dream will ever become reality, and his unlikely partner is a Topsider (their term for folks who live on land) named Gemma, a spunky girl with a mission of her own.  These two have a number of adventures, battle their fair share of nasty folks and creatures, and... well, I can't tell you how it ends up, can I?  Trust me that it is worth your time to read their story on your own.

This is a wonderful new series that takes on a new landscape and introduces some fascinating characters, both good and bad, and somewhere in between.  You will love reading about the technology these pioneers use to survive and farm the sea floor, but you'll also find the descriptions of the post-climate-change Earth fascinating.  I liked this book so much that as soon as I finished it, I went out and bought six copies because I know my fourth graders will want to read and discuss it as much as I do.  Do yourself a favor, and get yourself a copy, too.

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