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 Aging and outdated, most of the ships plummeted back to Earth long ago.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.
Narrator Interview: vimeo.com/188195570/ad4a958906
©2016 Nicholas Sansbury Smith (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
A man with a child in his ears - @ShutterSpin.
Definitely an interesting take on mankind striving to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Humanity is confined to two aging rust buckets of airships well past their prime by a surface world left irradiated by war. Keeping them in the air and surviving is a constant battle and depends on the Hell Divers successfully scavenging from an increasingly hostile planet.
RC Bray, well here he delivers us the skies so I might as well praise him to them. As usual. Getting dull . . . Why can't he release a bad one so I can suggest his standards are slipping or something like that?
The story moves fast and is certainly an exciting one which is why the book has deservedly got a lot of positive reviews. I thought the ending was particularly poignant and very well done. I can understand why some people have had a problem with it but stepping back to imagine the beautifully lonely picture the author paints with it is a moment of real literary grace.
For me though while I'm very likely to continue with the series it wasn't quite a five star listen There were just a few too many holes in the rationale behind the plot for it to be perfect and the characters lacked a bit of depth.
Hell Divers is a hell of a book. Nicholas imagination has no limit!
If you enjoy post-apocalyptic thrilling books, then this one is for you!
RC Bray is a fantastic narrator who will drag you along with his unique voice.
I can't wait for book 2 to come out!!
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.
Mr Bray, as usual, gives his customary excellence, but the book itself is middle of the road in the genre, where there are many more - and better examples - available. I won't be continuing the trilogy.
it was ok. just... its ok for stories to spend a bit of time slightly back from the precipice. you know? it's like.... when the fifth unfathomably contrived concurrent extinction event gets underway one starts to question their effectiveness.
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.
"GUINEA PIG MEAT"
I DON'T KNOW WHAT I SAW, BUT I DON'T EVER WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN
Scary, Adventurous, exciting and puts you in the middle of the action. Smith has really come up with a winner here. His apocalyptic world is filled with scary eyeless mutants, that want to eat you. It is has these huge electrical storms and no sun light. A little over 500 humans are surviving barely, on an airship that was not meant to be home to anybody. My first review of a NSS book was damaging and just not good. I am glad I gave this author a second chance. This book will put him on the map. NSS has built two great worlds. One is the destroyed earth and the other is in the air. The writing is so well done, that you feel you are there.
WHAT ARE THOSE MUTANT F'S DIGGING FOR?
I really like the mutants in this book. I love the diving even more. The characters are a bit cliché, their are no light moments and this will never be considered a classic piece. None the less, this entertains 100% of the time. At the time of this writing, this is number Uno for Sci-Fi contemporary. That is because it was a daily deal. It will fall below Martian, Bob and Expedition, but it will hang around the top ten for a long time. In July, when the sequel comes out, it will probably start as number one, so you might as well get this read now.
What can I say about this guy that I have not already said? I feel sorry for Science Fiction, Horror, or adventure writers that can't get Bray to do their narrating. His name alone, sells audio books.
"A unique apocalyptic experience!"
I just randomly stumbled across this book while looking for something to use my credits on and I'm happy that I decided on this.
At first I thought it would be a generic apocalyptic story that included aliens or zombies as humanity attempts to survive but what I heard/read was a much different tale than what I am accustomed to.
A short background on the story without saying to much is that this story takes place a few hundred years in the future after a catastrophic nuclear war breaks out on Earth leaving the land destroyed and radioactive. Uninhabitable by human life, humanity takes to the sky in the very machines that doomed their world. In these large flying vessels, the last humanity has struggled to survive. Everyone has their role on the ships, one role in particular is the job of a Helldiver. Whose purpose is to deploy down to Earth's surface and scavenge the land for parts and supplies to keep the ships afloat. This job is only for those brave enough to give their lives to ensure the safety and continuation of humanity on the ship. The story focuses around a few main characters on the ship and switches between them in each chapter. The main focus is of course on the Helldivers and their missions to the surface during a time when the fate of humanity on these ships hangs in the balance.
This is a tale of hardship, survival, and duty.
The author really keeps things moving throughout the book and I was entranced the entire way through. The narration by Mr. Bray was superb.
I'm really looking forward to the next iteration in this story which comes out later this year.
If you're looking for a different apocalyptic experience, try out this book.
"Smith did not fail to deliver"
The earth as we know and loved it has been nearly destroyed by humans. Floating above the clouds and well above the radiation levels, two airships – Ares and The Hive contain the only living humans. All others are gone, fallen to the earth in crashes leaving no survivors. All too often, the airships need supplies that only the war-ravaged and nearly destroyed earth can provide – parts to maintain the ships.
The ships are self-sufficient, crowded and depending on who you are – life can be pleasant or hellish. Not only does The Hive have to attempt a rescue mission over Hades (a particularly deadly area of the world) but their ship is falling into ruin. Hell divers are the men and women who dive from the airships and fall to the earth to scavenge what the ship needs to stay afloat. X is one of the best but he carries so much baggage that one wonders if he still has it in him.
Action packed, X and his crew must find the necessary parts to keep their ship afloat while the captain faces her own difficulties. Residents are recruited younger and younger to be engineers, hell divers and more – there is no childhood anymore! Diving to the planet from the airship, is dangerous given the electrical storms and other conditions that mother nature throws their way. While on the planet, X not only loses his best friend and becomes a surrogate father but he comes face to face with deadly vicious monsters that have mutated into unspeakable horrors that enjoy human flesh. The Hive must fly, X must return with the needed supplies and the human race must survive – but is it too late?
Nicholas Sansbury Smith brings the injustices of society, mistakes, and fallacies of humans to the forefront and mixes in unimaginable monsters with razor-sharp nails and teeth.
I thoroughly enjoyed Smith’s Extinction series so I was looking forward to this series with anticipation and excitement. Smith did not fail to deliver – Hell Divers is an exciting action packed book that is well written and developed fully. Rich in detail, the characters are fully developed along with the plot. Everything moves together – in a fluid-like manner leaving no questions or holes.
Smith is a rare and unique story-teller; one that can grow a story into a very skillful piece of writing capturing the audience’s attention and interest.
R.C. Bray, narrator performs this oral narration perfectly. He captures the roughness and personality of each person; he plays his voice as if it were a musical instrument – concise and with the correct tone inflections and emotion. He embraces the book and allows the book and its characters to shine.
If you enjoy action and well-written stories of the apocalypse, then don’t miss out on this one. It is riveting!
There were no issues with the audio production or quality.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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"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.
"Five Stars for action, not literary greatness"
It is what I wanted! Dystopian & with a bit of twist, & a very high degree of action. Narrator R C Bray is great for the voice of Xavier. This is the first in series, but I probably won't get more 8-ish hour segments for a full credit because of "cost benefit analysis." Someday they might combine into a package for a better deal.
"Amazing Until the End "
I can't really complain about the narrator. It was a good performance. Story really pulled me inside. But it was very disappointing in the end. It might be a little spoilery but it made me feel both disappointed and annoyed. It's not about wanting a happy ending. I can handle sad stories. But that was not the way to do it. I gave it 4 stars just for the sake of story to that point.
"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.
"Ordered Book 2 before I finished Chapter 4"
Dark gritty sci-fi... great story concept. Interesting characters that I actually care about.
Not done yet but I listened to Chapter 1 four times.
Grit my teeth and Hang-On!
R.C. Bray is great! Best narrator I've experienced yet.
emotionaly scared for life
its so brutal and grabs hold of you and wont let go
"wow.. just wow"
This is the first book from Nicolas Sansbury Smith and it was absolutely amazing. I started this book the night of Feb 28th, and could not stop listening. it drew me in and made me want to know what was happening next to X, or to Tin. I don't believe I can wait to find out what happens next so the second book is a must after finishing this one. but overall I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the post apocalypse genre.
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