Rip Tide is the sequel to Dark Life, a YA scifi written by Kat Falls. I read Dark Life last year and got sucked into the author's vision of a future planet covered with water (a la Waterworld) and humans that grow gills. Falls's book didn't get a whole bunch of press - or at least if it did, I missed it - but it has a few things to recommend it. It's from a boy's POV, it's pretty clean language-wise and it doesn't focus too heavily on romance. Yeah, I know that can be a bummer for a female audience but frankly, there just isn't enough out there in YA for guys... that's a topic for another post.
Anyway, the first few graphs of Rip Tide:
Easing back on the throttle, I slowed the submarine's speed. The light-streaked ocean around us seemed vast and empty, but I knew better. We were heading into the biggest trash vortex in the Atlantic. A piece of history could broadside us at any time.
Sure enough, a shape swirled out of the darkness, glimmering in the sub's head beams. Gemma leaned onto the viewport. "A bicycle," she said with amazement. "Just like in old photos."
"That means we're almost there," I told her.
"We're hiding a wagon full of crops in the open ocean?"
"In the middle of the trash gyre," I explained. "Genius, right?"
Red: time indicator - the characters are in a submarine, which tells us this takes place in the 20th century at the earliest. Then Gemma mentions that bikes are pictured in old photos, which propels us past the present and into the future.
Green: setting - we're not only in the Atlantic, we're in a trash vortex. Since we wouldn't call our oceans a 'trash vortex' today, this solidifies the clue that we're in the future. Even if I hadn't read the first book, my mind would combine lots of water + trash = a global warming future.
Blue: occupation/reorientation - The characters are in a submarine but Gemma mentions a wagon full of crops...which the sub must be either pulling OR Gemma is calling the sub a wagon, meaning it is used as farming equipment, meaning farming is done underwater. This solidifies the setting in our mind. It also tells us that our characters are involved with growing crops.
Pink: mystery/why we keep reading factor - Why in the world are these two hiding crops in a trash gyre? (What is a trash gyre??) What kind of world allows them to not only grow crops underwater, but then forces them to hide what they've produced.
Have a great week!