Rip Tide (Dark Life) by Kat Falls

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Rip Tide (Dark Life) by Kat Falls

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Satisfying follow-up to one of Bookbag's favourites of 2010, Dark Life. It advances the overall arc a little more and the characters quite a lot more. We love this world and think you will, too.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: August 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1847387624

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Our favourite Dark Lifer and his Topsider friend are set for another post-apocalyptic adventure in this follow-up to Dark Life. Ty and Gemma discover a township chained and sunk on the ocean floor, every one of its hundreds of residents murdered. But before they can begin to unravel the mystery, another crisis takes centre stage.

Ty's underwater colonist parents are planning to sell their crops to a Surf township. This is a controversial decision on their part as the Surfs - short for surfeits - are known to be dangerous. After all, what do they have to lose? Their floating townships have seen their rations cut in half by the Topsider assembly and the colonists won't let them fish in the Benthic Territory. It turns out to be a risk too far by Ty's parents: they're abducted as they're making the deal.

Can Ty and Gemma find his parents? Or those responsible for the massacre on the township? To do so, they'll need to join up with the notorious Seablite Gang, avoid Captain Revas of the Seaguard and risk their lives against both desperate villains and sea monsters...

I love the idea of an undersea world. And I love a good bit of dystopian fiction, especially with a Western motif. So this Dark Life series ticks my boxes very well and I was really looking forward to this second book about Ty and Gemma. There's less of the scene-setting and more of the chasing and fighting, so it was an even pacier novel than the first in the series. This perhaps made it slightly less attractive to me - I wanted a bit more oceanic lyricism - but I don't want you to think that's any more than a personal nit-pick because I still enjoyed it thoroughly.

The overall arc of the story - about corruption and discrimination in a post-climate change world - is fleshed out a little more and the relationship between Ty and Gemma develops quite a bit, with all the misunderstandings that accompany a teenaged love affair. These two are both such sympathetic characters. They're both brave and impulsive but Ty is reserved while Gemma is forthright. They are similar enough to be compatible but different enough to provide just enough conflict to satisfy the reader.

Is there going to be a book three? I hope so. I'll definitely be reading it. I hear there's going to be a film, directed by Robert Zemeckis, no less. I'll be watching that, too!

My thanks to the good people at Simon & Schuster for sending the book.

You shouldn't really read Rip Tide before reading Dark Life. Helen Dunmore's intensely romantic Ingo series is all about a subsea life. Fans of novels about dystopian futures will also enjoy Momentum by Saci Lloyd.

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Buy Rip Tide (Dark Life) by Kat Falls at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rip Tide (Dark Life) by Kat Falls at


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