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''Dark Life'' is a series of books written by author Kat Falls. She describes it as a combination of Wild West Pioneers, the ocean, and the ''ComicBook/XMen''. There are currently two books, ''Dark Life'' (2010) and ''Rip Tide'' (2011).

It follows the adventures of Ty, an undersea pioneer, and his friend Gemma, a "Topsider" looking for her missing brother. Together, they explore the undersea wilderness, encounter a gang of outlaws, and find out some of the dark secrets of their world.
!!This work contains examples of:
%%* ActionGirl: Gemma
%%* {{Adorkable}}: Ty has his moments.
%%* AfraidOfNeedles: Ty.
%%* TheAlcatraz: Seablite Prison.
%%* AloofBigBrother: Shade to Gemma.
* AnAesop: "Don't judge a book by its cover" is a pretty prominent theme.
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Zoe, especially given the nature of her Dark Gift.
%%* ArtificialGills: The liquid oxygen.
%%* BaldBlackLeaderGuy: Shade--sometimes.
%%* BaldWomen: Mel the bartender.
%%* BattleCouple: Ty and Gemma
* BattleStrip: Shade's sharkskin vest. Camouflage skin works better when it's uncovered.
* BewareTheQuietOnes: Pretty.
--> "Pretty doesn't say 'stow it'! He just throws a knife at your head and calls it a warning!"
* BioluminescenceIsCool: The settlers develop a bioluminescent shine from eating certain species of fish.
** Also, a number of real bioluminescent creatures make cameos: Jellyfish, green lanternsharks, lanternfish, a siphonophore, algae plumes...
* {{Bizarrchitecture}}: The settlers' houses are shaped like jellyfish or other invertebrate sea creatures, because those shapes deal with the water pressure better.
* BribeBackfire: Mayor Fife and Captain Reevis. He pretends he was [[BlatantLies "fanning himself"]] with the money.
* ByNoIMeanYes:
--> Ty: Are you going to throw up?
--> Gemma: No! [{{Beat}}] ...maybe.
%%* TheCaptain: Captain Reevis.
* TheCavalry: When all of the settlers show up to rescue the surfs.
* ChekhovsSkill: Ty's ability to communicate in sign language comes in handy in book 2. Also, when Tupper points out that many creatures with biosonar can also use it to stun creatures.
%%* CharmPerson: Pretty's hypnosis.
%%* ComingOfAgeStory
* CoolBoat: The Spectre--it's a submarine shaped like a shark!
%%* DarkAndTroubledPast: The Seablite gang.
%%* DarkIsNotEvil: Dark Life, Dark Gifts.
%%* DarkSecret: A number of people have these.
%%* DeterminedHomesteader: The pioneers.
%%* DeterminedHomesteadersChildren:
%%* DisasterScavengers: The Surfs.
* DoesntTrustThoseGuys: Ty about the surfs in book 2, and the surfs about the pioneers.
* {{EMP}}: Part of how the Seablite gang escaped--thanks to Eel's Gift.
* EverythingsBetterWithSparkles: Eating bioluminescent abyssal fish gives the settlers shiny skin.
** BishieSparkle: Gemma seems to think this of Ty.
* ThreateningShark: At least, when they think you'd make a good meal.
** Or alligators.
%%* EvilAlbino: Shade--sometimes.
* ExactTimeToFailure: Courtesy of Hewitt. His Dark Gift is AwesomenessByAnalysis.
* EyeTropes
** KaleidoscopeEyes: Part of Shade's Dark Gift.
** MonochromaticEyes: Shade can do this.
%%* FakingTheDead: Shade/Richard.
* FantasticSlurs: The TitleDrop "Dark Life" for the mutated people.
* FarmBoy: Ty--though their crops are various varieties of seaweed and their livestock are fish.
* FishOutOfWater: Many.
** Gemma--with undertones of BlitheSpirit.
** Ty, in the stack cities.
** The Seablite Gang, pretty much everywhere.
* FlashbackNightmare: Ty, about his time as a medical experiment.
* ForcedIntoEvil: The surfs. As soon as the coercion stops and the misunderstandings clear up, they're friends.
* FormFittingWardrobe: The dive skins. Justified as they are futuristic divers' suits and most of the series happens underwater.
%%* FreakinessShame: Gemma about Ty's Gift.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Zoe and her menagerie. Her Dark Gift prevents them from hurting her.
%%* FutureSlang: "Glacial!" "Let's make wake."
* GlobalWarming: The setting is based on much higher ocean levels, the remnants of coastal cities on the sea floor, and the lack of available land for anyone who wants to live on the surface.
* GoodWithNumbers: Hewitt. This is a result of his Dark Gift.
* TheGovernment: Uncaring at best. Trying to take over everything and leave the settlers in a rut, at worst. TheyWouldCutYouUp is the reason everybody with a Dark Gift does their damnedest to keep it secret.
* GuysAreSlobs: Eel is, anyway.
--> "You mean the bunk the stinks so bad even ''you'' won't sleep in it?"
%%* HandicappedBadass: Gabion (mute).
* HandSignals: All the pioneers know sign language, since they can't speak with Liquigen in their lungs.
* HandWave: Decompression? What decompression? They have Liquigen, they'll be fine!
%%* HappilyMarried: Ty's parents.
%%* HeartwarmingOrphan: Gemma.
* HollywoodChameleons: Shade's Dark Gift. Interestingly, his power is based on the octopus--which really ''can'' do this, quite a bit better than a chameleon.
* HonorAmongThieves: The Seablite gang. Pretty much has evolved into TrueCompanions by the events of the story.
* IceKing: Pretty earns the description "human freezer-burn".
%%* IGaveMyWord: Shade to Ty.
%%* IJustWantToBeNormal: Ty.
%%* IJustWantToBeSpecial: Gemma.
* {{Jailbait}}: Twenty-three-year-old Jibby keeps hitting on fifteen-year-old Gemma.
* JustifiedCriminal: Both the Seablite gang and the Drift surfs. Trying to survive in an uncaring world, and in the case of the Seablites because they can't afford to risk being discovered by the government.
* JustLikeRobinHood: The Seablite gang eventually gets to the "stealing from the rich" part.
* KidHero: Ty and Gemma are both 15.
* KissOfLife: After Gemma drowns in book 1.
%%* LargeAndInCharge: Shade.
%%* LuminescentBlush: Quite literal, in Ty's case.
%%* MadDoctor: Doc Hudson.
* MagicalDefibrillator: Zoe uses her electrical ability to revive a drowned Gemma in the climax of book 1.
* MagicByAnyOtherName: Dark Gifts -- mutant abilities, based on actual sea creatures' capacities mostly, but some go straight into artistic license (how would a human evolve a natural sonar?) and others (like Zoe's) are plainly absurd.
* TheMedic: Pretty to the Seablite gang. Very much ''not'' your [[IceKing stereotypical]] [[BewareTheQuietOnes medic]]...more of a ClosestThingWeGot.[[note]]His powers actually make him more suited to be the ''counselor'' of the group.[[/note]]
* MeaningfulRename: The Seablite gang, though we don't know all of the meanings yet...
** Shade: Can change the color of his skin--which, as a bonus, allows him to cultivate a reputation of being able to vanish like a ghost.
** Eel: Electrical powers.
** Pretty: Hypnotic powers...plus being the resident PrettyBoy.
* MetaOrigin: Dark Gifts are the result of the intense pressure of undersea living.
%%* TheMovie: In production!
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: "Ratter" is sure to be a pleasant fellow, right?
* NarrativeProfanityFilter: Ty doesn't let us know exactly what was said.
* NoOneGetsLeftBehind: Ty promises Gemma this.
* NotNowKiddo: Ty and Gemma go straight to the authorities with news of Shade...and are told to go away.
* NoSocialSkills: The Seablite Gang, according to Shade.
* NoWaterProofingInTheFuture: Very much averted. Everything is designed with the possibility of water (not to mention the pressure) getting to it.
* OceanPunk: The waters have taken all coastal cities, many NewOldWest tropes are applied to the settlers of the sea, the governments are constantly trying to short-change and backstab everybody, technology has made it so anybody can afford their own UnderwaterBase (although it's not ''cheap'', hence the rebirth of the DeterminedHomesteader), and in between all of this people are being born with superpowers that allow them to thrive in the depths of the sea with ease... and said government would kill to get.
%%* OfficialCouple: Ty and Gemma, of course.
%%* {{Outlaw}}: The Seablite gang.
%%* ParentalAbandonment: Ty and Zoe, for most of book 2.
%%* ParentsInDistress
* PastimesProvePersonality: Angelic little Zoe...collects a menagerie of poisonous, sharp-toothed, or otherwise incredibly dangerous sea creatures.
* PhysicalScarsPsychologicalScars: The Seablite gang. Their time as medical experiments in Seablite left them with plenty of both.
%%* PlayingWithSyringes: Seablite prison.
%%* PluckyGirl: Gemma.
* {{Portmanteau}}: Liquigen (liquid oxygen).
* PowerTattoo: Shade, when he feels like it.
%%* PromotionToParent: Richard to Gemma, more or less.
%%* TheQuietOne: Shade.
* RedBaron: Shade, maybe Hatchet. The rest of Seablite's chosen names are somewhat less intimidating.
* RuinsOfTheModernAge: On the seafloor after massive landslides.
* TheSavageIndian: The Surfs play this role in the "Western" setting--at least at first.
%%* SaveTheVillain: Ty and Shade--Twice!
* SeaMonster: Of the real-life varieties: Red Devil Squid, giant sharks...
%%* ShockAndAwe: Zoe's ability.
%%* ShutUpKiss: Ty and Gemma, once in each book.
%%* SonicStunner: Ty, eventually.
%%* TheSpeechless
%%* SubmarinePirates: The Seablite gang.
* SunkenCity: Any city that is coastal in our time.
* SuperSenses: Ty's biosonar. Gemma's hearing.
* SweetPollyOliver: Gemma dresses up as a boy at one point.
%%* TattooedCrook: Shade.
* TheyWouldCutYouUp: Why Ty makes the younger kids keep their Dark Gifts secret.
%%* ThickerThanWater: Gemma and Richard.
%%* TrueCompanions: The Seablite Gang.
%%* UnderwaterCity
* UnderwaterRuins: The remains of the coastal cities of our time.
* UnusualPetsForUnusualPeople: Zoe holds a variety of outrageously dangerous sea life (such as snakes) as pets. Her power of animal control keeps them from being harmful to her.
* VigilanteExecution: What the settlers try to do to Shade.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Gemma: Heights. And the ocean, for a while. Ty: Doctors and anything medical.