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Most Helpful Favorable Review
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
Post Apocalyptic Drama in Space!
Jason Hough has created an enthralling world, gritty and dark, terrifyingly realistic and eerily plausible! Why couldn’t there be aliens far superior to humans? He has cleverly left me wondering why this has happened, even as the action and emotional upheaval is going on all around me. I felt as if I was there, as each scene played out on my mental screen, the tension mounting with each page. I became personally invested in what happened to each character as I “listened” to the banter, the arguments, the plotting and scheming and “saw” the horrendous fates some will face. There were times when I needed to ‘split screen’ my brain, because, just like in the real world, things were happening simultaneously in several places! Jason Hough depicted every flaw, every human trait, good or bad, and he allowed heroics to shine through, sparing nothing! I loved this book and MUST see this saga through to the end!
This ARC copy of The Darwin Elevator was given to me by Random House Publishing Group - Del Rey Spectra in exchange for my honest review.
posted by DiiMI on July 11, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
3.5 Stars The Darwin Elevator is the first novel in a science f
The Darwin Elevator is the first novel in a science fiction/dystopian series that jumps into the future where the world is reeling after the scourge of an alien plague. Darwin, Australia is the only city left on Earth, and all those not infected are flocking ...
The Darwin Elevator is the first novel in a science fiction/dystopian series that jumps into the future where the world is reeling after the scourge of an alien plague. Darwin, Australia is the only city left on Earth, and all those not infected are flocking their for refuge. The main character, Skyler Luiken, is one of the few humans who is immune to the plague. He is the leader of a team of immunes who searches the wasteland for resources that can be used in Darwin. When the Elevator unexpectedly breaks down, Sklyer and a scientist named Tania Sharma, are teamed up to figure out what's happening to the elevator and save what's rest of their world.
This was a really fast paced and fascinating debut novel that shows the real talent of the author. The plot wasn't completely original, but the author worked in intriguing aspects to liven the story line and set it apart from others in the genre. I liked learning about the future world and what happened to it, especially the alien plague. The science behind the Darwin Elevator was really interesting and detailed, but not confusing like I thought it might be. The characters are well written, especially main character Skyler and the gorgeous and brilliant scientist Tania. They both have unique personalities with their own strengths and weaknesses, which complement each other nicely. They work well as a team and I liked to watch the relationship between them grow. The writing was very well done with vivid detail and descriptions that made it feel like I could easily see what was happening if I closed my eyes. There's a ton of action mixed in with the science fiction and dystopian aspects, so it has a lot of crossover appeal for fans of several genres. I'm interested to see where the next installment will take the characters and what might happen next. Definitely recommended for fans of fantasy, action, science fiction, and dystopian fiction.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
posted by StephWard on August 18, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 22, 2014
And the stupid shall inherit the Earth¿ (spoiler alert) The Good
And the stupid shall inherit the Earth… (spoiler alert)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The Good: The premise for the book is excellent, the mysterious, absent alien “Builders” arrive bringing a space elevator and a plague, for unknown purpose and according to their own timetable. Humans undertaking dangerous missions to scavenge in subhuman (sub) infested ruins to keep the remnants of the human race alive. It’s an interesting take on the zombie apocalypse genre. The writing (grammar, spelling, dialogue) is solid and easy to read.
The Bad: The characters are just not compelling. The main character, Skylar, is not smart and frequently makes incredibly bad decisions (some would call them ‘non-survivable’ decisions in a post SUBS world). Skylar is ex-military, made his way halfway around the world while the SUBS virus was destroying the population, and has been scavenging in subhuman territory for over 5 years. If he went on just one scavenging trip per week, he would have been on more than 250 trips and fought hundreds if not thousands of subs, but in combat he is laughable at best and continually makes extremely poor tactical decisions. He is forever dropping his gun, forgetting his gun, getting beaten up, tripping, falling, and daydreaming while in hostile territory. As he is the protagonist, I want to route for him, but he is just too stupid and too much of a wimp to garner my support or empathy.
The only two characters in the book with above average intelligence are Neil Platz and Prumble the fence. Platz lies to and manipulates everyone around him and gets murdered by Blackfield, the corrupt governor in Nightcliff. Prumble loses everything and has to go into permanent hiding to avoid being imprisoned or killed by Blackfield.
Blackfield (the main villain) is a crass, brutal idiot who likely murdered his way to being the boss of Nightcliff (and eventually the entire length of the elevator cord). He badly mistreats everyone and has no redeeming qualities. The hardest thing for me to imagine is how he stays in power and why one of his abused underlings hasn’t shot him, put some rat poison in his booze or arranged for an accidental slip to occur on one of Blackfield’s group battlement runs.
I just couldn’t bring myself to care about any of the characters; they aren’t very believable. They aren’t particularly smart, funny, tough, special or especially good at what they do. To me, characters don’t need to be superheroes or even unique, but they should be reasonably smart, competent or there should be something special about them if you want me to believe in and empathize with them.
The combat scenes in the book aren’t very good. The author should have done a lot more research on combat, tactics and firearms before incorporating them into a novel. A good content editor or peer review by a seasoned military author/advisor would have helped tremendously.
This book is set in the year 2283, 270 years in the future, but the only evidence of any ‘future’ technology is ‘thorium reactors’ and ultracapacitors’ (super-batteries). There are no discernible advances in agriculture, weapons, robotics, cybernetics, medicine, information systems, nanotech, genetics, or spacecraft/space based industry among other fields. When I think back to the massive leaps in technology that we have had in the last 270 years, I find it very hard to believe that 270 years from now humanity and the Earth will not be very different (even without alien contact). This book would have been more believable if it was set 30 years in the future instead of 270 years.
I hope that this review doesn’t sound too harsh. Overall the premise and story were excellent, but the characters and combat sequences need some serious work. For a first novel it was good and shows definite promise for future books.
Posted December 11, 2013
Quick Pagan Romance
Knight's tale is a quick, mystical, Pagan-friendly romance set at a Winter Solstice retreat. Amber and Tristan are well- rounded characters, but we only get a superficial feel for the rest of the coven (I could definitely see them getting their own stories). I only have one real complaint with the text: the awkward sentences; some lines are so oddly composed that I had to stop and rearrange the words so that they flowed more smoothly; that pulled me right out of the story.
Recommended to fans of Erzabet Bishop, or anyone looking for an Arthurian-themed romance. -- lyradora
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Posted October 30, 2013
Posted February 10, 2014
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