Never let them tame you. In the wake of a devastating biological disaster, the United States east of the Mississippi has been abandoned. Now called the Feral Zone, a reference to the virus that turned millions of people into bloodthirsty savages, the entire area is off-limits. The punishment for violating the border is death. Lane McEvoy can't imagine why anyone would risk it. She's grown up in the shadow of the great wall separating east from west, and she's curious about what's on the other side - but not that curious. Life in the west is safe and comfortable . . . just how she likes it. But Lane gets the shock of her life when she learns that someone close to her has crossed into the Feral Zone. And she has little choice but to follow. Lane travels east, completely unprepared for what she finds in the ruins of civilization . . . and afraid to learn whether her humanity will prove her greatest strength or a fatal weakness. Kat Falls brings you to the very edge of civilization and dares you to jump.
- Hardback | 375 pages
- 150 x 215 x 31mm | 499g
- 24 Sep 2013
- Scholastic Press
Praise for DARK LIFE: "There's no denying the nifty premise, solid characterization, and tense moments that contribute to a cinematic reading experience. Falls's undersea world warrants further exploration." - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY "Falls creates an interesting reality in her new novel. . . . Based on the young ages of the characters, this book will appeal to middle grade readers, who will enjoy the novel's mystery and suspense. It is a definite must-read for SF fans." - VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES "A Western . . . with plankton instead of cows, harpoons instead of six-shooters and submarines instead of covered wagons . . . and a few plot twists keep the tension high. A thrilling conversion of the classics to one of our newer frontiers." - KIRKUS REVIEWS "The exotic setting and well-conceived details about undersea living, along with likable characters and a minor surprise at the end, will keep readers turning the pages." - BOOKLIST
About Kat Falls
Kat Falls is the author of Dark Life and its sequel, Rip Tide. A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, she holds an MFA in screenwriting from Northwestern University, where she now teaches. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three children.
Our customer reviews
When I heard of this I knew Id read it because it sounds so different. Lane lives behind the wall. She has heard the tales of the East. She has heard about the Feral Zones and like everyone else, to her its just a story. She knows the history of why the wall was there but it still doesn't prepare her for whats outside. The Fereae virus has decimated the world. It caused animals to go feral and turns people into savage animals, literally! The wall in the West was built, by the same company who created the virus, to keep out the ferals. When Lane finds out that her father is a fetch (someone who illegally goes into the zones to fetch items and sell) and is now on the run from the government she is shocked. She is told that unless her father fetches a certain something he will be killed. She has no choice but to go into the heart of the feral zone to try and find him. Ok, this book was awesome!! The idea that the people are actually turning into different animals is so unique. Also the virus is mutating people into different mixtures of animals. When lane sees her first Manimal she is shocked. She knows now that the "fariytales" her father told her every night are true and he was secretly preparing her in case she ever had to go there. She sees people with tails and fur and different animal parts on them. I loved Lane. Her character starts out so afraid of dirt and infection that she has hand sanitizer on hand at all times but soon realises that that's the least of her worries. Her father made her take all kind of survival classes when she was growing up and she is so thankful for them but will they really help her survive, especially when she is up against cunning, vicious animals. Everson and Rafe were another thing I loved. Everson is a soldier who patrols the border between the Wall and the Feral Zone. He finds Lane trying to cross and instead of turning her in he tries to help. Rafe is at the total opposite of Everson, he is rough and wild and grew up in the zone. Everyday for him is a struggle to survive. He is hunting a vicious rogue Manimal,that is ripping out the hearts of his victims, when he comes across Lane. He knows he father so decides to help her locate him. What follows is an action packed, fight for survival, fast paced book. The world Kat Falls has created is unique and dangerous. I love the concept of the people being bitten and turning into mishmash animals. The author draws you in with her descriptive writing. It had plenty of twists and enough mystery to keep me satisfied. When I read the ending though I was so sad but hopeful they can fix it. I definitely cant wait for book 2 to see where the author will take it.show moreby natalie cleary
Kat Falls gave me so much more than I was expecting in Inhuman. I knew I needed this book the moment I saw its beautiful cover, I thought it would a fun post apocalyptic read full of danger and (maybe) some sort of infected zombie-ish creatures, but what I got was an incredibly imaginative fantasy and an entertaining adventure. The plot of Inhuman isn't exactly what I'd call realistic, what with the talking half men/half animals and all. But this book has got some of the most entertaining dialogue I've read in a long time (thank you, Rafe), and it's realistic to the situation which keeps the crazy storyline grounded in reality, at least enough that it doesn't seem so far fetched while you're reading. Somehow Falls was able to write a story that, in the hands of any other writer, might have come off as ridiculous. The love interests (yes, there are TWO, but don't get your panties in a bunch about it) are both swoony enough that you won't know who you're rooting for. Everson commands your attention the moment he steps on the page, but then again, so does Rafe. These two boys are as different as different gets, yet they both really care about Lane. I love how, even though there's a love triangle, Falls set it up in a way that's less angsty and more fun. Both boys have different things to offer, but neither is exactly clamoring for Lane's love and attention. There are more important things going on, like finding a cure to a highly contagious plague or (if that's not enough to distract you from the romance) a vicious serial killer who's ripping people's hearts out. Despite those issues though, there's always room for some romance and that's exactly what Falls gives us. By the time this book is over you'll have switched teams quite a few times before finally throwing your hands in the air and letting the chips fall where they may. (And then you'll pull all those chips back to you and place them on one of those boys because Whoo! What an ending!) Inhuman might seem like any other post apocalyptic/dystopian at first glance, but once you pick it up you won't be able to turn away. With twists and turns, non-stop action, and a wonderfully written plot that ties everything together perfectly, Inhuman is a book you'll want to have gracing your shelves for years to come. I know I'll be in a state of book hangover until the sequel is released!show moreby Pretty In Fiction
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Scholastic and Netgalley.) 16-year-old Lane lives in a dystopian society, where beyond the boundary wall live people who are known as 'feral' - part-human, part-animal hybrids. When Lane is picked up for possibly being infected (having the disease that turns people feral), she soon learns that the reason is that her father has been going across the boundary to the old city of Chicago to bring back priceless art works. One woman has evidence of him crossing the boundary, and offers Lane a deal - get her father to retrieve something for her from Chicago, and she'll make the evidence go away. Given only 5 days to find her father, get the item, and get back behind the boundary wall, Lane is on a tight schedule. Can she find the scientist who supposedly knows where her father is? Can she find the item the woman has asked for? And can she do it without becoming infected herself? This was an okay dystopian novel, but it felt like a bit like a fairy-tale-mash-up. Lane was an okay character, although I did think she was maybe a little dumb at times. I didn't quite get how she could figure out that the stories her father had told her, were really about what was on the other side of the wall, but then not figure out that the strange creatures he'd talked about where also real and on the other side of the wall. Logic missing. The storyline in this book was a bit of a strange one. At times it felt like we really were in some kind of a dystopian future, and then at other times it felt like some kind of fairy-tale world. At times I got hints of 'The Wizard of Oz' - a tiger-man who is going around searching for a heart (the tin-man), and a girl who is looking for a scientist who will tell her what she needs to get home (Dorothy), never mind that they were traveling along a road (admittedly it wasn't made of yellow bricks but we can't be too literal). Not forgetting the feral and very vicious monkey type things, which reminded me of the Wicked Witch's flying monkeys. Then there were hints of 'Alice in Wonderland' - Lane having to crawl through small spaces, and then a very self-important, and nasty-piece-of-work Queen, who kept ordering people killed (I was waiting for the 'Off with their heads!' line!), who reminded me of the Queen of Hearts. There was even a 'Beauty and the Beast' angle worked in there - 'the beast has to win her heart', which was unexpected and quite clever. I did feel that this book lost its way a little in the middle, and I did find some of the middle bits a little boring, but thankfully it picked up a bit at the end. The ending was then alright, but again, I thought that Lane had been exceptionally stupid as it turned out. There was quite a lot not wrapped up at the end, leaving more to be explored in further books, but I wouldn't want to read these back-to-back. That boring part in the middle stopped this from being anything more than an okay read for me. Overall; and okay dystopian fairy-tale-esque story. 6.5 out of 10.show moreby Sarah Elizabeth