Aug 062014
Review: The Darwin ElevatorThe Darwin Elevator (Dire Earth Cycle #1) by Jason M. Hough
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Published by Random House Audio on Jul 30, 2013
Genres: Adult, Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction
Format: Audiobook from Library
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

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.

This book was disappointing. I was expecting a thrilling space story with aliens. But there wasn’t much space, and no visible aliens. Instead, it’s a military themed story about humans fighting each other.

The story starts as centered around Skyler Luiken, a pilot immune to the disease that has ravaged most of the world. He and his immune crew scavenge parts from areas outside the protected circle at the base of the space elevator. While I liked Skyler and his continual self-doubts and esteem issues, his crew were much more enjoyable. In particular, his second in command Sam is a fierce woman who knows how to get what she wants.

As the story progressed, I found myself waiting and wanting more to happen. Maybe my expectations were flawed, but I expected more aliens and more space action. I did find the very human political power wrestling to be understandable, but it was a little dry and predictable. I wanted to be blown away by something new, and I wasn’t.

I listened to the audiobook, and found myself intrigued and confused by the accent of the narrator. The story is set in Australia, with a wide range of characters from many parts of the world, but the accent of the narrator felt a little too traditional British for the story. There weren’t any British characters, and while Australian accents were born from British ones, they are quite different. The narration pacing and tone were fitting for an action story, but the accent just kept bothering me.

Overall, this was a story that didn’t fit my expectations, and so I just couldn’t get into. This was a very military themed story with an obvious bad guy. If there was emphasis on space or aliens, I probably would have enjoyed the story more, but as it was, I just found it a little boring.

  2 Responses to “Review: The Darwin Elevator”

  1. Yeah . . . I don’t think this one is for me either, and I’ve had it on my watchlist, so THANKS.

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