Ty is the first of his generation to have been born ‘below’ and has lived all of his life beneath the waves.
He loves his life and the space he has compared to the Topsiders, who are lucky to have more than one or two rooms to share for entire families. At the age of fifteen, he’s already making plans to stake a claim for his own 200 acres of sea-bed to live on and farm.
There are rumours that children like Ty and his friends are affected by the pressures living deep beneath the surface have on a body, especially young bodies that are still growing. Rumours that it is causes, defects or ‘Dark Gifts’.
When he meets a top-side girl, Gemma, who has runaway to search for her brother, he resolves to help her look for him, because (and please excuse my pun) Gemma is very much a fish-out-of-water, and liable to get herself hurt, by wandering into a situation she has no clue about.
Only, there’s a feared band out outlaws about, raiding the settlements and the council supply routes to the topside, when the council decide to cut off the settlements until the outlaws are caught, all Ty’s plans for his life, may be for naught if they are forced to go live top-side.
If the outlaws are to be stopped and Ty to have his future. If he is going to help Gemma, reunited with her brother, then Ty is going to need every thing at his disposal, including something he has tried to keep very quiet about himself. The rumours of Dark Gifts are true…
Being a bit of a dystopian fan, I had seen a little bit about this one over the last few months and was lucky enough to win a copy from The Book Smugglers back in August.
I knew I’d be keeping it to read during YAD2 and I’m pleased to say it is one of my favourite reads so far!
It’s an action backed book, with a new thing or twist for Ty and Gemma to deal with ever chapter, from run in’s with the outlaws, to rescuing Ty’s neighbours, to just making it from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’. I say this because, Kat Falls does a great job of depicting life down below the surface.
Just living there can be an adventure, and some of my favourite action in the book is just watching their shared joy as Ty and Gemma catch a ride off some sea-creature or other.
Ty and Gemma make a great couple, Ty’s solid and dependable, and Gemma’s impetuousness make for a great partnership, they fall into an easy friendship, and are soon close enough tease each about their differences. They both have a very entertaining streak to their humour. It’s a friendship – and yes indeed more - that reminds me a lot of Kate and Matt’s from Kenneth Oppell’s ‘Airborn’ trilogy, and as they are one of my favourite YA couples this is definitely a good thing.
Yes, the real life physics of living so far underwater are pretty much ignored, and a healthy suspension if disbelief is needed because of that, but you know what? When an adventure is this much fun, I really don’t care!