Nicholas Sansbury Smith takes readers on a roller coaster ride straight into Hell, where the fate of human kind is left in the hand of a few:
After more than two centuries following WWIII poisoned the planet and forced the remaining human population to live on massive airships that circle the Earth, humans are in danger once again. Most of the ships have fallen from the sky with failing technology with easily accessible parts to fix the problems, there is now only a couple left. The only way to keep the ships running is to salvage what they can from which is turned in to a Hell where is where the Hell Divers are needed to complete these missions. X is the best and most experienced Hell Diver, he has completed the most dives and missions (most only make it to 7 Dives before they die). When one of the remaining ships is damaged in a storm they call for help, all of the human race may be doomed and it is up to X and the rest of the Hell Divers to try and save them.
This is the first book I have read by Sansbury and it blew me away. It is a sci-fi/post apocalyptic book and sci-fi is something I usually stay away from, but the premise sounded really different and interesting so I took the plunge; I'm so glad I did. This was a real page turner and you'll want to read this book in one sitting, it was really hard for me to put this one down. It grabs hold of you from the very beginning and never lets go. There is very little let up on the action sequences on both Earth and the Hive, though on the Hive it much more political kind of suspense as the Captain tries to deal with no only the impending doom of the other ship but that of her own as well. Sacrifices need to be made and not everyone is happy about the decisions that she makes.
The world building was really well done and the description of not only the mutated monsters on Earth but the landscape and hardships that the Hell Divers had to endure while on the surface was well written.There are certain situations that you feel the weather and cold they have to endure and in the case of one of the Hell Divers his struggle to survive on nothing. There is also the extreme radiation that they have to deal with on each dive that adds in another element of danger that they need to be aware of. I also did not think that this book was too sci-fi for me, I liked that it was more of an apocalyptic book than a sci-fi book. I never felt like I was not able to understand what was going on or the machinery or weapons that the Hell Divers and the Hive rely on. The idea of the Hell Divers is extremely inventive and not something I have read, or even heard of being done in books before, so Sansbury's imagination hits a home run in this book
This book had an awesome main character. I mean how can you not love X even with his flaws he does what he has to do so that the human race can survive. Talk about selflessness. He is there to serve the greater good of humanity. He doesn't know when his next or last dive will be but he never shies away from that responsibility. I liked that Sansbury had X become more humanized than this thing of legend to the other people on the ship, with him having to take care of Tin. It gave him even more of a purpose than before and a now reason to try to get back at all costs. I could read a many books with X or someone like him as the main character.
All I can say is What an ending! It was not one that I saw coming which I think every reader loves in this type of book. So I guess you can say (and probably tell) that I am excited for the next book in this series, the summer and this book release cannot come fast enough. I'm also going to check out the other series that Sansbury has to offer.Sansbury really impresses with this book.