Hell Divers

Hell Divers

4.5 24
by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

See All Formats & Editions

Nicholas Sansbury Smith is the bestselling author of the Orbs and Extinction Cycle series. He worked for Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management in disaster mitigation before switching careers to focus on his one true passion -- writing. A three-time Kindle All-Star, several of Smith's titles have reached the top 50 on the overall Kindle bestseller list


Nicholas Sansbury Smith is the bestselling author of the Orbs and Extinction Cycle series. He worked for Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management in disaster mitigation before switching careers to focus on his one true passion -- writing. A three-time Kindle All-Star, several of Smith's titles have reached the top 50 on the overall Kindle bestseller list and as high as #1 in the Audible store. Hell Divers, the first book in his new trilogy, will release in July 2016. When he isn't writing or daydreaming about the apocalypse, he's training for triathlons or traveling the world. He lives in Des Moines, Iowa, with his dog and a house full of books.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Smith's (Orbs) underwhelming post-apocalyptic series opener, the last surviving humans live in two giant airships circling a radioactive Earth. The implausibility of the situation is only increased by the introduction of the Hell Divers, who jump to the surface to scavenge for supplies and send them back up to the ships. When seasoned diver Xavier "X" Rodriguez encounters a new breed of monster, the increasingly necessary dives become even more dangerous, just as the second ship, the Ares, is badly damaged in an electrical storm. On board X's ship, the Hive, class tensions are coming to a head as lowerdeckers fight for equality. Exposition dumps, stilted dialogue, and sentimentality in place of character development make it hard to find a reason to keep reading, but military SF readers and fans of The Last Ship will find enjoyment in familiar ground. Random digressions into religion and philosophy further confuse the narrative, and toward the end, it starts to feel like a video game with complicated win conditions. Agent: David Fugate, Launch Books Literary. (July)

Product Details

Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
The Hell Divers Trilogy , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Sansbury Smith is the author of several postapocalyptic books and short stories. He worked for the state of Iowa for nearly ten years before switching careers to focus on his one true passion: writing. When he isn’t daydreaming about the apocalypse he’s likely racing in triathlons around the Midwest. He lives in Des Moines with his family and several rescued animals.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Hell Divers 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Silk-Serif 8 months ago
Xavier Rodriguez, the most senior Hell Diver with the most dives survived, has seen almost everything the world could throw at a Hell Diver team, but nothing has prepared him for his most recent jump. It isn’t just the nuclear radiation that could kill them all, but the creatures that X christens Sirens. Sirens are bloodthirsty creatures that have evolved to be impervious to the high levels of radiation that renders Earth uninhabitable. Humanity is not prepared to face creatures made of teeth and speed that particularly seem to enjoy human flesh, but when the Hive is gravely damaged in a storm when attempting to aid the ill-fated sister ship Ares, the Hell Divers have no choice but to visit the most dangerous city on Earth, Hades. Inevitably, it seems, Hades is also monster central. X and his team must rely on Ares Hell Diver Weaver navigated the long forgotten streets of Hades, but can they survive long enough to locate the precious supplies their family and friends above so desperately need? Meanwhile, in the air, a rebellion breaks out among the lower deckers that threatens to ground the Hive for good. The Hive is losing altitude, a social unrest explodes into violence and the Captain struggles to keep the ship from entering a dangerous electrical storm that imperils everyone aboard. Hell Divers is an action packed ride that delivers a gritty and exciting tale about human survival and desperation. Hell Divers is an adrenaline rush with plenty of bullets, life threatening situations and exceptional world building to make a story that is easily immersive. Plus, the Sirens are seriously creepy. When I first read the synopsis of Hell Divers my reaction was “meh”. The story sounded terribly boring and it had hints of steampunk in the mix (I don’t hate steampunk, but it’s not really a preferred genre either). I’m incredibly glad that I decided to request Hell Divers on NetGalley since the synopsis definitely did not do this novel justice. This is a novel that fits the military driven horror mold more so than steampunk dsytopian fantasy that the synopsis initially lead me to believe. Smith delivers plenty of suspense and human interest to develop a plot that is exciting, but also has an undercurrent of social commentary. I mean, lower deckers vs upper deckers, the fall of civilization due to nuclear winter, the importance of history and the lack of knowledge about the “world before”? Whether or not Smith meant it, I definitely loved the various aspects of this novel that could have been discerned as slightly more intellectual in nature. There were a few aspects of Hell Divers that bothered me: The ending was a giant let down for me. Sorry. Also Tin’s acceptance of X was too easy and required a bit more struggle for it to be believable. Finally, the love interest was a character that I repeatedly prayed to the literary gods would die a horrible death because of her history with the main character, but thankfully the romance department is tertiary to the actual plot. I had a positive experience and found Smith’s writing both engrossing and entertaining. I enjoyed the unique take on the usual “end-of-the-world” trope and the use of a multiple story line approach to further develop a world that will only become more interesting as the series continues. I suggest reading Hell Divers because it’s an extremely exceptional change from the usual post-apocalyptic novels. The synopsis does NOT do it justice!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Amazingly fun! A mix of post apocalypse and a dystopian society. I can see this becoming a movie! Absolutely loved the concept and the well developed characters. A definite must read!
Anonymous 3 months ago
This was a great new twist to the Dystopian, end of the world style books. Full of fresh ideas, great characters, and if you have read anything else from this Author, you know that the storyline, and plot are all first class as well. Beautiful descriptive writing, that will draw you into the story, and not let you go. Don't start this book, if you don't have some time on your hands.. Because once you do, you will not be able to put it down.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I loved this book about a post apocalyptic earth. How the remaining humans survive is creative and I love the characters. It's a thrilling read and kept me on the edge. I can't wait to read the next book! If you like post apocalyptic books and monsters you'll love it!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Another brilliant post apocalyptic story from the author of the extinction cycle. The story pulls you in and keeps you until the end. It really makes you think about our world and what could happen if we forget that we need to take care of it. The characters really show you what we can do as a species if we work together. The depth of the storytelling is absolutely amazing and the details in the work paints a picture in your mind like no other. I look forward to the rest of the series and what is in store for the characters
EmpressReece 7 months ago
"Today we dive so humanity survives!" That is the motto of the Hell Divers who risk their lives to dive to the earth's surface to scavenge for parts to keep their last two surviving airships in the air. Pretty cool slogan huh?!! Well that's just a taste of a very amazing book! It was creative and intense and there was never a dull moment. I totally loved the airship setting and the dives to the surface. Smith paints such a vivid picture that I felt like I was transported to another world for a little while. Another thing I loved about the story- there weren't any cheesy love triangles in it. The plot stayed focus on the divers and the survival of the airships. This story really just hit all of the right notes with me and is one of the best books I've read this year. If you like post-apocalyptic stories, then you don't want to miss this one! The author is truly at the top of his game and I can't wait to see what he has planned for the rest of the series! *I received this ARC from NetGalley & Blackstone Publishing in exchange for an honest review! Thank you!
wclan 3 months ago
A post apocalyptic book similar to The 100 but with much more action. The story is based around a group of people that call themselves Hell Divers. These people are tasked with parachuting down from the upper atmosphere to earth to collect needed parts and supplies to save humanity. However the divers have now encountered a new threat. Aside from the immense radiation, uncontrollable weather, and a devastated landscape. Dealing with the new threat presents a whole new set of difficulties unlike the HDs have never seen. I went into this book with hesitation. I normally go more for the zombie military end of the world books. This book did not disappoint. Nick does an awesome job developing his characters and giving back stories. I hope that he continues to write in this universe as I am anxious to find out the fate of team raptor!
Proudfoot73 3 months ago
Stand up straight. Suit up. For tonight we dive into Hell! The Gist: Set 250 years after World War 3 has all but decimated humanity, A brave few live on Airships. Surviving on scraps and constantly battling furious storms to keep afloat, They send down to the surface Hell divers so humanity can survive. What works: This is an exceptionally thrilling and well crafted book, the action never lets up. The characters are suitable flawed but with good hearts, we have monsters that prowl the surface, villains and heroes. The author wrote the best selling extinction cycle series and he steps it up several notches with this new exciting book. The book is fast paced but gives you some breathers, the dialogue expertly captures the bleak and haunting nuclear wasteland, I loved the way the author describes what the character's see and feel, it really transported me into the nightmare. When you create a post apocalyptic world it needs to be believable and it totally is. What doesn’t work: I simply can not fault this book, I tried to get pedantic over something but couldn’t. Overall: A perfectly crafted post apocalyptic thrill ride, with plenty of action and military bangs and even a few jump scares. An epic movie in the making, Just call me for the casting. You’ll love it. Hands down one of the best books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. 5 out of 5 stars.
T1F968 3 months ago
Hell Divers is one of the best books I have read in recent years. This book is filled with great action and fully realized characters and was an absolute joy to read. The author has created a variety of characters that are fully realized and make you care about all of their fates. There are characters that represent the lower classes in the air ship as well as more privileged people. The author has created the world so well that I felt I was living the story instead of reading it. This story is a great mixture is dystopia, sci fi, thriller and monster movie. The action is very well drawn and is very tense but the slower parts on the ship are just as riveting. No part of the book was boring in any way. I just found this to be a wonderful story that I read through very quickly. I am excited to read the next book in the series and I highly recommend it.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Really enjoyed this book. It was definitely a different take on the post-apocalyptic genre, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Unique creatures, too. I'm thoroughly looking forward to the sequel.
Anonymous95 8 months ago
Nicholas Sansbury Smith has done it again! This story delivers his distinctive rapid-fire action, powerful characterizations and ingenious new twists on familiar tropes. He has masterfully created not one, but TWO desperate worlds. First is the ravaged earth two hundred fifty years after nuclear holocaust. The other is roughly twenty thousand feet above the planet’s surface in massive dirigibles never designed with long-term human housing in mind. There’s a great deal going on here and it all plays out magnificently. My favorite character, Xavier “X” Rodriguez, is the perfect anti-hero. Self-absorbed. Tormented. Flawed. His skydiving scenes are breathtakingly realistic. Even my husband, who has thousands of jumps under his belt (albeit never into a post-apocalyptic nuclear stew) was very impressed. We both highly recommend this intrepid new series.
Yalonda 3 months ago
This is edge of your seat, heart pounding action right here, folks! X marks the spot! The only negative I've got is I have to wait till 2017 for Book 2. It's a dystopian world with nasty, ugly creatures. "We dive, so humanity survives". Get yours today, you'll love it! Mr. Smith once again takes you on a roller coaster ride. :)
alw0830 3 months ago
Another great book by Nicholas Smith! Hell Divers keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering just how can we survive such a hostile and chaotic apocalyptic world. Even the success or failure of the hero is a guessing game since all the rules have changed. A must read.
AMeyers11 3 months ago
Love it! Where's book 2?!?
Doc1949 4 months ago
Hell Divers is everything you will expect from N. S. Smith. A great author with a wonderful imagination.
Paul McCain 3 months ago
Prepare for a post-apocalyptic thriller unlike any other you've ever read. Without giving away anything, let's just say that this book will leave you hanging, big time. Relentlessly dreadful, this book plumbs the depth of what human qualities drive us on even in the fact of a nearly no-win situation. Character development is rich, the action is intense, the suspense is nearly unbearable. Pick this one up and start reading and you will be unable to stop. I'm a big fan of the author's EVOLUTION series, but I read this book first. Get it. Read it. You won't regret it!
Anonymous 3 months ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters were likeable and its because they are flawed. The main character has a drinking problem and you find out why as the book goes on. The action sequences are really well executed and extremely tense. I couldn't put the book down and the author has done an amazing job writing this book. The descriptions of an earth destroyed was easy to imagine and sends a strong message about the way us humans abuse the earth. I cannot wait to read the next book UN this trilogy. I highly recommend this book and if your already a fan read it and then read it again!
Anonymous 3 months ago
'They dive so humanity survives!" Hell Divers is a new, modern and bold take on post-apocalyptic science fiction. This book reads at a break-neck pace and is action packed but also has intriguing characters you'll find yourself attached to. I love this author's Extinction Cycle Series as well. Can't wait for Hell Divers 2.
FabulousandFun 3 months ago
Loved it!
Anonymous 4 months ago
I like
MatthewSBaker 8 months ago
*I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review I’m proud to say I’ve been reading Nicholas Sansbury Smith’s work since before he was picked up by a publisher. His tales are not only inventive, they are fast-paced and just downright fun. Fresh off the heels of the ORBS series and the EXTINCTION CYCLE, Smith offers us a new vision of the post-apocalypse with HELL DIVERS. But this time, the world was not decimated by aliens or a virus…this time, we destroyed it ourselves. I have to confess: HELL DIVERS is my favorite series Smith has written thus far. It has just as much tension and action as the priors, however this one has a bleakness the other two did not contain. Perhaps because this book starts off AFTER the apocalypse, whereas the others start before. HELL DIVERS is written well, and the whole book flows at a nice pace. The prose is crisp, and the dialogue is believable, as are the people that speak it. The overall bleary tone of the story is set very early on, and this dark atmosphere carries throughout the book. In regard to characters, they are diverse and fleshed out well. Smith writes them in a way that lets the reader get to know them intimately. We get an immersive feel for what they are experiencing, from the at-that-moment action to their longings to know what life was like before the world was destroyed. This allows us to mesh with them, and we therefore care about what happens to them. The story is original and well thought out. I really like the concept of a select group of individuals who have to skydive to the burned out surface for supplies. I just hope my assumptions about the ending are misplaced…I can’t remember the last time I ever wanted to be wrong. As a result, I am very intrigued to see where books two and three take the story. HELL DIVERS is another feather in Smith’s cap, and it’s a big win for me as well. If you’re any kind of fan of science fiction or post-apocalyptic fiction, then this is a book you have to check out. Smith once again raises the bar for himself, and I’m eager to see what he does next.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 3 months ago
Let me start by saying I am impressed by anyone who can create/write a book length novel. That being said, I wish the author would have taken a little more time to think this concept out. It sounds cool having the heroes parachute down and then float back up, but come on..... how many 'chutes did they start with? Other than that, this was a fairly good read.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I love post apocalyptic stories. What I found lacking in this one was the lack of forethought. It is not enough to survive. What are they doing to make a better future? This is a rip off of the train movie, Snowpiercer (complete with a bad class system) only a very unsatisfying ending. One start because of the ending. It does have some well developed characters though, just left a bad after taste.
Anonymous 4 months ago
This is like a poorly written James Paterson book; full of stupid actions on the part of characters that are paper thin. Why authors try to make their heros strong and "manly" yet so dumb they would never last one "hell dive" much less over ninety! After less than fifty pages if you are not disgusted by what these "heros" do then maybe you should be reading fantasy fiction! Nice idea defeated by made-up suspense and ridiculous characters. JC