Please note: I have not read Dark Life by Kat Falls, any spoilers are unintentional.
Building a world in which humans living under the sea seems feasible takes skill, which it seems Kat Falls has in spades. Rip Tide, sequel to Dark Life is a roller coaster of a book, filled with action from beginning to end. You do not have to read Dark Life to be able to follow along with the events in Rip Tide.
Ty is a teen boy, the first to be born in an underwater colony. His parents are settlers and raise underwater crops. Rip Tide opens with Ty and his friend Gemma looking for a place to hide the crops and uncovering a submarine full of dead people in the middle of the underwater junk yard. Ty’s parents decide to trade with the undesirable population, known as Surfeit people, surfs for short, and end up kidnapped. This leads to adventure for Ty and Gemma as they race against the clock to find Ty’s parents.
I loved this under water thriller. Rip Tide was fast paced and impossible to set down. I thought Kat Falls did an excellent job with setting – by this I mean, making the ocean seem inhabitable for humans. She also shows adaptation to living in the ocean via gifts that some have, Ty, for example, can use sonar. And yet, Kat Falls also maintains the sense of vastness that the ocean gives.
Rip Tide raises important questions of what is right and wrong. The reader sees examples of vigilante justice versus waiting for the law. Readers must question if it is ever okay to take justice in one’s hands. The book also shows that people are not always what they seem. Some characters seem villainous, but actually are more complex than that and end up doing the right thing. Whereas other characters look to be upstanding citizens, but are totally corrupt. I also liked how Rip Tide deals with class systems, and shows what the underclass, the Surfs, will do to survive. We see how Ty and Gemma judge and assume the worst of the surfs because they are from the underclass.
However, at it’s heart, Rip Tide by Kat Falls is an action adventure book with larger themes. I think that it would make a strong pick for reluctant readers, as there is never a dull moment.
Disclosure: Received for review via Amazon Vine.
This is a CYBILS nominee.