Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction/Adventure
Size: 320 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in Dark Life series
Source: ARC through Amazon Vine
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got an advanced reading copy of this series through the Amazon Vine program. This is the second book in the Dark Life series by Kat Falls. If you liked the first book,Dark Life, I think you will really enjoy this book too. This book is fast-paced, action-packed and full of wonderful sea life and technology.
Ty knows life under the ocean is dangerous but when he and Gemma stumble upon a township chained shut on the ocean floor and full of dead people they know something horrible is happening. When Ty’s parents are kidnapped while out selling their catch the plot thickens. Now Ty and Gemma will have to outsmart legal and illegal government groups in order to uncover the mystery of the sunken township and get Ty’s parents back alive.
For some reason I keep hoping that this series will be more about living under the sea and what it is like than about government conspiracy. I am not sure why I keeping hoping that. This book is definitely more of a conspiracy type mystery than anything else. There is some cool discussion about underwater technology and there are some encounters with dangerous sea creatures; but most of the dangerous encounters involve people who are trying to take him and Gemma out so that they don’t spoil their plans.
Ty and Gemma are fairly likable if not completely engaging characters. They have a bit of a romance going off and on throughout the book; this is hampered by Gemma being terrified of being undersea (which is Ty’s home). Both are very capable and noble characters that strive to do the best they can. Ty can be reckless at times, but usually not stupidly so.
The plot moves very quickly, making the book tough to put down. The mystery is very well done and takes a number of unpredictable twists and turns.
I would recommend for older middle grade set (probably 10+ years old) just because the story is very violent at times. There is a lot of people killing each other or getting mauled by sea life, also threats of torture.
Overall this was a solid addition to the Dark Life series. It is full of action, adventure, and mystery. The story is more focused around a conspiracy going on between two groups of humans than anything else. Think of this as an undersea conspiracy thriller of sorts. The characters are solid, but not completely engaging. The plot has some nice twists and turns that keep the reader on their toes. This book was more violent than the first, so just something to be aware of. I personally like the series but am not completely in love with it just because I am not a big conspiracy thriller fan. Those who love ocean adventures and thrillers will find a lot here to love.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– 100+ Reading Challenge