The Darwin Elevator

The Darwin Elevator

4.0 46
by Jason M. Hough
     
 

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Jason M. Hough’s pulse-pounding debut combines the drama, swagger, and vivid characters of Joss Whedon’s Firefly with the talent of sci-fi author John Scalzi.
 
In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Jason M. Hough’s pulse-pounding debut combines the drama, swagger, and vivid characters of Joss Whedon’s Firefly with the talent of sci-fi author John Scalzi.
 
In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures. The planet’s refugees flock to Darwin, where a space elevator—created by the architects of this apocalypse, the Builders—emits a plague-suppressing aura.
 
Skyler Luiken has a rare immunity to the plague. Backed by an international crew of fellow “immunes,” he leads missions into the dangerous wasteland beyond the aura’s edge to find the resources Darwin needs to stave off collapse. But when the Elevator starts to malfunction, Skyler is tapped—along with the brilliant scientist, Dr. Tania Sharma—to solve the mystery of the failing alien technology and save the ragged remnants of humanity.

Praise for The Darwin Elevator
 
“A hell of a fun book.”—James S. A. Corey, New York Times bestselling author of Abaddon’s Gate

“[Jason M.] Hough’s first novel combines the rapid-fire action and memorable characters associated with Joss Whedon’s short-lived Firefly TV series with the accessibility and scientific acumen of [James S. A.] Corey’s ‘Expanse’ series.”Library Journal (starred review)
 
“The best part about alien stories is their mystery, and Jason Hough understands that like no other. Full of compelling characters and thick with tension, The Darwin Elevator delivers both despair and hope along with a gigantic dose of wonder. It’s a brilliant debut, and Hough can take my money whenever he writes anything from now on.”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles
 
“Newcomer Hough displays a talent for imaginative plotting and realistic dialogue, and the brisk pacing and cliffhanger ending will keep readers enthralled and eagerly awaiting the next installment.”Publishers Weekly
 
“Jason M. Hough does a great job with this huge story. The world of Darwin and the Elevator is deliciously complex and satisfying. Skyler, Tania, and all the other characters are delightfully drawn and fun to spend time with. . . . The story unfolds with just the right balance of high adventure, espionage, humor, and emotional truth. . . . As soon as you finish, you’ll want more.”Analog
 
A debut novel unlike any other . . . This is something special. Something iconic. The Darwin Elevator is full of majesty and wonder, mystery and mayhem, colorful characters and insidious schemes.”SF Signal
 
“Fun, action-packed and entertaining . . . a sure contender for science fiction debut of the year!”Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
 
“Claustrophobic, intense, and satisfying . . . I couldn’t put this book down. The Darwin Elevator depicts a terrifying world, suspends it from a delicate thread, and forces you to read with held breath as you anticipate the inevitable fall.”—Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of Wool

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this impressive first installment of a planned trilogy, mysterious aliens plant the lower end of a space elevator deep into Darwin, on the northwestern coast of Australia. Five years later, a virus breaks out, leaving Earth denuded of all but scattered remnants of feral “subhumans.” Proximity to the elevator provides immunity for human survivors living in Darwin and along the elevator itself. A small number of those survivors are naturally immune to the virus, including Skyler Luiken, a Han Solo–like aircraft captain who scours the infected Earth for salvageable bits of civilization. The credible dystopian setting is peopled with sympathetic and improbably beautiful heroes and heroines who are forced by circumstance to take arms against a power-hungry prefect and a corporate tycoon willing to betray his planet for personal gain. Newcomer Hough displays a talent for imaginative plotting and realistic dialogue, and the brisk pacing and cliffhanger ending will keep readers enthralled and eagerly awaiting the next installment. Agent: Sara Megibow, Nelson Literary Agency. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
“A hell of a fun book.”—James S. A. Corey, New York Times bestselling author of Abaddon’s Gate

“[Jason M.] Hough’s first novel combines the rapid-fire action and memorable characters associated with Joss Whedon’s short-lived Firefly TV series with the accessibility and scientific acumen of [James S. A.] Corey’s ‘Expanse’ series.”Library Journal (starred review)
 
“The best part about alien stories is their mystery, and Jason Hough understands that like no other. Full of compelling characters and thick with tension, The Darwin Elevator delivers both despair and hope along with a gigantic dose of wonder. It’s a brilliant debut, and Hough can take my money whenever he writes anything from now on.”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles
 
“Newcomer Hough displays a talent for imaginative plotting and realistic dialogue, and the brisk pacing and cliffhanger ending will keep readers enthralled and eagerly awaiting the next installment.”Publishers Weekly
 
“Jason M. Hough does a great job with this huge story. The world of Darwin and the Elevator is deliciously complex and satisfying. Skyler, Tania, and all the other characters are delightfully drawn and fun to spend time with. . . . The story unfolds with just the right balance of high adventure, espionage, humor, and emotional truth. . . . As soon as you finish, you’ll want more.”Analog
 
A debut novel unlike any other . . . This is something special. Something iconic. The Darwin Elevator is full of majesty and wonder, mystery and mayhem, colorful characters and insidious schemes.”SF Signal
 
“Fun, action-packed and entertaining . . . a sure contender for science fiction debut of the year!”Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
 
“Claustrophobic, intense, and satisfying . . . I couldn’t put this book down. The Darwin Elevator depicts a terrifying world, suspends it from a delicate thread, and forces you to read with held breath as you anticipate the inevitable fall.”—Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of Wool
 
“Hough writes with irresistible energy and gritty realism. His puts his characters through hell, blending a convincing plot with heart-stopping action and moments of raw terror as the world goes crazy in the shadow of unfathomable alien intentions.”—Sara Creasy, author of the Philip K. Dick Award–nominated Song of Scarabaeus
 
A thrilling story right from the first page . . . This book plugs straight into the fight-or-flight part of your brain.”—Ted Kosmatka, author of The Games
 
“If you enjoy high adventure with a kick-ass crew, I suggest you take Hough’s Darwin Elevator for a ride.”—Warren Hammond, author of KOP Killer

Library Journal
An alien plague has transformed most of humanity into mindless savages. Only the Australian city of Darwin remains a haven for the survivors, protected by a space elevator built by the departing aliens that emits a plague-suppressing aura. Piloted by Skylar Luiken, who is immune to the plague, the airship Melville conducts exploratory salvage missions to collect essential resources, but malfunctions in the Elevator force Luiken, his crew, and a brilliant scientist, Dr. Tania Sharmam, to seek a technological solution—a journey that takes them to the heart of the alien's master plan for humankind. VERDICT Hough's first novel combines the rapid-fire action and memorable characters associated with Joss Whedon's short-lived Firefly TV series with the accessibility and scientific acumen of J. S. Corey's "Expanse" series (see above). Second and third volumes (The Exodus Towers; The Plague Forge) are slated for publication this August and September; space-opera fans should take advantage of the opportunity to read the entire series as a whole.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345537126
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/30/2013
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
282,716
Product dimensions:
4.44(w) x 7.34(h) x 1.19(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Advance praise for The Darwin Elevator
 
“A brilliant debut, full of compelling characters and thick with tension.”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles
 
“This book plugs straight into the fight-or-flight part of your brain.”—Ted Kosmatka, author of The Games

Meet the Author

Jason M. Hough was born in Illinois, but grew up on the mean streets of suburban San Diego, California. In 1978, at age six, his parents took him to see Star Wars, and so began a lifelong love of sci-fi and all things geek. He later worked for a decade in the videogame industry as both a 3D artist and game designer. Today he lives in Seattle with his wife and two sons. In his spare time he likes to build Lego spaceships with his boys and other similarly grown-up pursuits.

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The Darwin Elevator 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 46 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't count the number of times over the past few days this book almost made me miss my stop on the train. Grabbed me and didn't let go. Captures the wonder, dread and excitement of the human remnant in the face of an intervention they can't even begin to process. What do the Builders really want?
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Clear your calendar for this one! Put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door and get ready for one action-packed, fast paced and intriguing read! The Darwin Elevator by Jason Hough is a trip into the future in a post-apocalyptic world decimated by a “virus” delivered by unseen space aliens, who were ‘benevolent’ enough to create a “safe zone” in Darwin, Australia. Few are immune to the virus, those exposed become crazed zombie-like creatures, those not immune must stay within the “aura” of Darwin, which becomes overrun with citizens and short on the basic necessities of life, food, water, clean air. The conflict between those who seek to find a means of survival, those who want absolute power and those who profit off the disaster is brutal. With the world now in total devastation, the answer to “why” this happened has not been found, but someone may have the key to help unlocking this mystery hidden away in a secret vault. Is it time to share what he knows? What secrets has he kept and WHY??? Heroes are often found in the most unlikely places, who will champion humanity? 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not perfect but a damn good read none the less.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars 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.
Sailon More than 1 year ago
The Darwin Elevator sucked me in and kept me there to the end! Darwin, Australia is the last human city on the planet. An alien ship appears and builds an elevator to outer space. Eleven years later the humans of the earth start to transform into mindless animals, all the humans of earth except for Darwin, Australia...where the elevator is located. Somehow the elavator emits a plague suppressing energy, even if someone is infected if they stay within the city walls they don't loose themselves to the mindlessness of the animal impulses. As you can imagine, this causes a political nightmare, power plays and mechanization to gain control of the elevator and the city. Neil Platz had initial control of the elevator and the property surrounding it. Allowing a council to have power is a mistake he will regret. Seeing the power play coming against him, Neil enlists Dr. Tania Sharma in a secret mission to uncover the alien's true agenda.  Skyler Luiken is the captain of an airship. He and his crew are completely immune to the virus that caused the outbreak. Venturing into the world beyond the walls to obtain supplies to keep Darwin running is a very profitable but deadly business...although the virus won't effect them the de-evolved humans will rip them to shreds if they allow themselves to be captured. Through a twist of fate and meddling on Platz's part. Skyler's and Tania's paths intersect bringing key components for Platz's plan together. Wow! This book blew me away. The genuine and realistic characters literally jump off the pages in this action packed adventure. I was completely caught in the web of Jason M. Hough's writing, glued to the pages as the story masterfully unfolds. What a brilliant story of a post apocalyptic world were humanity struggles to survive against its environment and themselves. Without a doubt this is definitely re-read worthy story and a book for my favorite shelf. This ARC copy of The Darwin Elevator was given to me by Random House Publishing Group - Del Rey Spectra in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication on July 30, 2013. Written by: Jason M. Hough Series: Dire Earth Cycle Sequence in Series: 1 Paperback: 496 pages Publisher: Del Rey  Publication Date: July 30, 2013 ISBN-10: 0345537122 ISBN-13: 978-0345537126 Rating: 5 (FAVORITE READ) Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic  Age Recommendation: Adult
Anonymous 3 months ago
Max is a girl
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book and the rest of the triology. Great fun to read, not too serious, good sci-fi novel/action novel. Just buy it and enjoy the ride.
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KiplingKat More than 1 year ago
The setting is your standard post-apocalytic zombie-infested world paired with space stations, but the political intrigue around the root causes and mystery it presents are very interesting. Compelling too is the action which had even for this jaded reader on the edge of her seat. The characters are good, a bit stock but with more human underpinnings. It was nice to see a standard action hero with a few insecurities who is not in control of every situation, and feels his failures keenly. The only unsatisifying thing is the end which resolves the story but not the mystery. I guess that is addressed in later books in the series, but I would have liked see more of the aliens' motivation explored.
hikinmike More than 1 year ago
Held my interest. Good read. Hope to obtain the sequel.
Alebelly More than 1 year ago
Literally, stayed up all night and called in work sick to read it straight through. I'm exhausted. Incredible read, absolutely loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Captures your attention and never lets go!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont waste you time. Nothing but a power struggle in a space station. Forced myself to finish it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well thought. Insteresting sci-fi story, deep character development and great action. I strongly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty good sci-fi novel, though not groundbreakig. Neat world that the author has come up with. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A pretty smart thriller and very addicting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a lot of plot depth to this trilogy but if you enjoy fast paced action you should enjoy them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago