The Darwin Elevator (Dire Earth Cycle)
Jason M. Hough
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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
She heard a series of shouts and rustling, then a loud click. The connection went dead. The alarm stopped, too. Tania tried to reestablish the connection, but it failed with an error. She tried the security desk to no avail. “Fighting … my God, Nat, there’s fighting.” “We’re mutineers,” Natalie said. “What did you expect—” “I never wanted anyone to get hurt.” “The feeling is mutual, hon.” The room fell silent as Tania struggled to think of a plan. She felt Natalie’s expectant gaze.
Blackfield. “Shit,” said a grunt to Skyler’s left. “There any fighting left to do?” “Most of his staff and mercenaries fled,” Sobchak said. “Platz was the last one on the station, our men said. Gotta give the old goat respect for that.” Some of the men smirked at that. Skyler did not. “Where’d they all go then?” “That’s what everyone wants to know,” the corporal said. Odd, Skyler thought. He took a chance. “Where’s Blackfield?” “Took a squad to Anchor, in case the enemy ran there. If not,
slurred. “What the point of this bloody station is.” Before Neil could object, the man collided with the crate of Sonton handguns. The lid came loose and floated open. “Stay away from that,” Neil said. The words sounded ridiculous, weak. “The hell?” the man said. He picked up a pistol and studied it, alcohol-fueled confusion plain on his face. “Guns? What … what the fuck, Platz?” Be calm, Neil urged himself. Think. He shot a glance in the direction Kelly had gone, and found no sign of her.
austere décor, a trait she’d never paid any thought to before. Visible pipes and ducts laced the walls, unpainted. Flat areas were used to store things in custom bins bolted to the surface. Little thought had been spent on the aesthetics. Compared to what she’d seen of Platz Station, it all seemed rather mundane. Natalie nudged her. “This is Storage,” Tania said to the group. “Or Red Level, as we call it. The central hall on each level has a different colored floor, since they tend to look
pondered the idea while they attached the compartment to a climber. She sat alone in the austere cylinder as it lurched onto the thread. When Russell Blackfield entered the cell, goon squad on his heels, Skyler balled his fists. A fight was suicide, he knew. They were outnumbered and outgunned. They were naked, too. That didn’t help. Skyler had been in tough situations with his crew plenty of times, but he couldn’t remember being more uncomfortable. Eight hours they’d spent, the three of