An Audible Editor's Pick of 2016 and An Audible Best of 2016 Science Fiction.
More than two centuries after World War III poisoned the planet, the final bastion of humanity lives on massive airships circling the globe in search of a habitable area to call home. Aging and outdated, most of the ships plummeted back to Earth long ago. The only thing keeping the two surviving lifeboats in the sky are Hell Divers - men and women who risk their lives by diving to the surface to scavenge for parts the ships desperately need.
When one of the remaining airships is damaged in an electrical storm, a Hell Diver team is deployed to a hostile zone called Hades. But there's something down there that's far worse than the mutated creatures discovered on dives in the past - something that threatens the fragile future of humanity.
©2016 Nicholas Sansbury Smith (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I really wanted to enjoy this book as the premise sounded so good. However, after forcing myself to listen to hours of this I don't understand what all the good reviews are for.
The good: RC Bray is on his usual high form and I can't fault that. The idea is good, a different take on the post world scenario.
The bad: I wanted to understand about living on the airships. So much potential with the upper and lower decks. This is hardly touched up except for cliched comments.
The hero worship (main character) is dull and predictable with no depth. This is the kind of tough guy I imagine a 15 year old boy would like (like watching an Arnie tough-guy film).
There is one part with a child who goes from hating the main character to loving him in a single paragraph. There should have been so much tension but.. nothing.
The monsters are described well but makes no sense, they just appear. How did they evolve? Why had they not been seen for hundreds of years? Again so much opportunity lost in place of tough guy lead character.
This book could have delivered so much but was flat and boring.
I downloaded this book mainly because RC Bray was reading it. As a result, I expected to be okay at best. However, never have I ever been so glad to be wrong.
It was a great book. Really entertaining and over before I knew it. Leaving me feeling a whirlwind of emotions like any good book should.
Really looking forward to the next instalment.
This is one of the best books I have ever listened to. A word of advice though..... don't start listening to this book at night, I couldn't turn it off or fall asleep. So thank you Nicholas Sansbury Smith, its now 9am and I'm an exhausted slobbering mess with spots floating before my eyes, I hope you're happy. Amazing book, but I am now going to fall into a coma. I almost forgot (exhortation) R. C. Bray did an amazing job with this book, honestly couldn't have been done better.
The setup is a bit far fetched, but if you can dismiss the constant background nagging of your own mind that it is impossible for humans to live in the sky, the book FAS fantastic, and Mr Bray narrates brilliantly as always!
Firstly don't go into this book expecting huge things , it's a fairly simple story told very well with great characters .
Yes there are a few plot issues that you could easily pick holes in if you so wished , but I genuinely enjoyed going along for the ride with this one, and was well into the story by the end .
One of my favourite books done by my favourite narrator. Finished the 10 hour book in less than a day and a half. It was unbelievably engrossing. Highly recommend.
Great narration by the always excellent RC Bray and an intriguing post apocalyptic premise but takes survival against the odds to a whole new (and wholly depressing) place. Between the starving people, the riots, the ship barlely afloat and the monsters there's not much left to live for!
A more upbeat ending for for X would have been nice.
The narrator is what kept me listening otherwise would have given up - he made a decent book better
Tin was a great if unrealistic character
I will when the second book comes out to get back up to speed
Yes his writing is enjoyable
He is the best narrator out of any on Audible
So others may live (US Coast Guard moto)
If you like RC Bray or you enjoy post apoc books give it a listen, its worth the credit.
Hell divers ranks 2nd on the books that I have read so far
X was definitely my favorite character for sure ! Alex came close with his evil attitude
Every single book I have listened to has been by R. C. Bray, I have tried to listen to other narrators however I just cannot get into their voice. He does it perfectly
The scale and magnitude of Chi-Cago being the way it is now is awesome and being able to imagine it is breathtaking
Absolutely an awesome book. Couldn't have asked for a better listen.
Listening to audiobooks while taking wildlife photos. Instagram: @mikedicksonwildlife
Given some of the 5 star reviews posted for this, I was expecting a lot more from this audiobook.
Sadly, I felt that it was an average story, with an average performance. Nothing special or compelling.
"Give the Hero a Break, please?!"
I love R. C. Bray! I listen to anything he narrates. I'm a huge fan of his. Once again he did not disappoint.
OK. That's out of the way.
I argued with myself about my rating here. I devour fast paced, non-stop action books. My library is full of them. But... I don't want to give away any spoilers. Hmmm...
Everything is perfect here, except. I kept hoping for redemption for these last souls. I clung on for the whole book! I wanted to internally clap and fist bump in the air. I wanted to feel that relief you feel when the hero triumphs. Instead, I waited, I waited and I actually cried at one point.
So you see, I had a very hard time rating this. I loved it and at the same time I felt like I was dangling onto the action, one foot on the cross , the other off kind of feeling. WHEN am I going to be able to root as they meet their goals!! Oh god!! Another person dies! Please stop, stop !! Another sad scene! For the love of God.....isn't there ANYTHING to brighten this great book?!
I'm not used to crying while listening to a pseudo military action packed book!
Sigh, near the end I cried B_llsh_t! I was so pissed, I actually said," Oh come on for god's sake DONT DO THIS TO ME"!!!
Great action, sad book. Would say more but I really don't want to spoil this.
"Pitch Black meets The Hindenburg"
One of those books where you just find yourself saying "Oh for god sake, really?"
When you start with an already very improbable - but really pretty cool - premise of all that's left of humanity surviving aboard an ancient airship, you have to be careful not to pile too much more unbelievable horse crap onto that load without losing your reader.
But this book just blows through all the warning signs, and just piles it on, then piles on some more, then more, then a little more, .... just a touch more, and... and... and finally... finishes off with one last gob of unbelievable garbage, leaving me just wanting it to be over.
This was a modestly good action story, that's The highest praise I can give it. No intricate science woven into the storyline, no overwhelming sense of wonder upon finishing the book, no deep secrets revealed. It will probably make a great blockbuster summer movie someday but for now it's just a so so story with lots of action kept alive by a great narrator.
I want to like this book. It had an interesting setting but it just never really managed to capture and hold my attention. Nothing was particularly bad but nothing really stood out and shined either.
"Good idea for a story...rough execution"
The book was ok. However, the writing almost exclusively relied on one cliché after another. The characters lacked any sort of depth and acted with strict superficial motivation. Young adult genre writers need to understand that most young adults can appreciate complex literary technique... writing good characters requires complexity!
Nothing surprising about this book. If you listen a lot then you know how it is when your minds drifts for a couple of minutes, and you have to rewind to make sure nothing was missed. Well, I didn't have to rewind while listening to this book. Not because my mind didn't drift, but because I knew there was nothing to worry about.
True "airport fiction".
The idea behind the story was not a bad one, but the execution and in particular the characters were very cliche. I mean the lead characters name is X! All the standard macho action stuff applies here...tough stoic good guy, life or death missions, etc....
"A struggle to finish"
I have read a lot and not every book is a gem. This looked interesting in a steampunk way. The premise is cool but the story is not cohesive because the science fiction part makes leaps I just can't believe.
The class system irks me in a way that I don't find to be very real. This crew has pretty low standards all around and tolerate a lot of dissent.
In order to enjoy this book, I would need to turn my mind off. The premise remains an interesting one so if you do not have high expectations for logic, than this may be enjoyable for you.
"Great but hard to swallow"
Well written, good character development and an excellent narrator; what this booked lacked to become a 5 star listen was a glimmer of hope! Well, that and the secondary characters feel pretty flimsy. I'm not one to need my books to have a storybook endings but some hint of a possible future would go a long way to making it feel like this story has somewhere to go.
"The premise had potential..."
I would give a one star rather than two if that kind of thing didn't always feel like a bit of an exaggeration. Even bad books can be good. If you really like grim, "space soldier" types of stories, this might appeal to you. But for me it was just a really cool idea that seemed to end up wading into marketable norms. It was a wonderful setup, followed by a big let-down. If I hadn't gotten my hopes up for a good story I probably wouldn't have been this disappointed. It's filled with pages of life or death situations and catastrophe, all jammed together in succession from the very start. Just has this studied grimness to it that didn't ever let up and ended up losing my interest after a while. Not a lot of "lateral movement" in the plot. I loved the idea of the divers and the ships and stuff, and the dives through the fried skies were really cool, but once you get down to the damaged Earth, things just start to get a little cliche...a little predictable and, thus, unbelievable. That's when I started to ask myself if the whole "sky divers with helium balloons" thing made any sense at all. The direction things began to take felt like something an author might settle for if he's out of ideas, or just so lazy that he appropriates things from other sources in a passionless way. That's my take anyway. You may love it, you never know. Seems like a certain niche of readers have enjoyed it a great deal. At any rate, the voice actor was really well suited to this book.
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