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The Darwin Elevator

(Dire Earth Cycle #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  4,617 ratings  ·  618 reviews
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 r
Mass Market Paperback, 472 pages
Published July 30th 2013 by Del Rey (first published July 13th 2013)
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Andrew How the hell is anyone suppose to objectively answer a subjective question such as, "Is this book clean?"

Anyway, I think MOST literature - including v…more
How the hell is anyone suppose to objectively answer a subjective question such as, "Is this book clean?"

Anyway, I think MOST literature - including very good, well written, quality literature - might be uncomfortable for any Puritan prude.(less)

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Average rating 3.68  · 
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
We are the MacHalos and We can't Resist Books with Machine Gun Wielding Hot Dudes on the Cover Buddy Read (WatMHaWcRBwMGWHDotCBR™) ❣

DNF at 50%. This is the second book in a row I DNF at 50%. I think I've been hexed! HALP!

Serial DNFing Mode (SDM™): going strong.

Okay, I shall be lenient and kind-hearted and stuff, and not pull a I Promise this will be a Cut the Crap Express Crappy Non Review but Ha! You've been Had! I Lied! This one Required several Pit-Stops along the Way Thingie (IPtwbaCt
Experiment BL626
CAUTION: minor spoilers

The only thing that kept me invested in the book was the plot. The one character I rooted for died at the end. The other two characters that I liked were purely supporting characters; combined they contributed to less than 10% of the book. Everyone else was unremarkable and nettling. Let’s just say I was a little surprised and greatly disappointed that a few of those characters were still alive by the end of the book.

+ the world building

Good news first, the science fiction
Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf)
I immediately purchased this audio book after I finished Zero World. I loved Zero World so much and wanted to read (or listen to) something else by Jason M. Hough straight away! I heard great things about this series and wanted to delve straight in. While I did not quite enjoy it as much as Zero World, it certainly did not disappoint!

Over 200 years from now, an alien plague has taken over the earth and it is in ruin. All except Darwin, Australia of all places. Darwin was saved because a few year
Nancy Hough
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The pace kept me furiously turning pages till nearly 3am. For a Mama whose bed time is shortly after the babies are put to bed, only an engrossing read can do that. Wishing that the ARC for book 2 was already available.

Disclaimer: Author is my husband, but I'm not usually a SciFi fan and I couldn't put it down
Update after reading:

I totally understand comparing this to Scalzi; they both need to beef up their character development skills and also like to put their characters through hell, BUT, Hough's world building is better. Rating for this is more like a 3.5 but I rounded up since the second half had me on the edge most of the time. Crazy how many characters he killed off though! Tons of stuff you don't see coming as well. And I loved the multicultural cast ... The love interest and one of the side
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Update: my interview with the author about his book, writing process, nanowrimo...

Wow, what a pleasant surprise this was. My thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey for providing me with an e-ARC of The Darwin Elevator in exchange for an honest review. Loved this book! I don't think I've had this much fun with a new sci-fi novel since James S.A. Corey's Leviathan Wakes.

The book takes place in mid-23rd century Darwin, Australia. The city is home to the last bastio
Clear your calendar for this one! Put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door and get ready for one action-packed, fast paced and intriguing read! The Darwin Elevator by Jason Hough is a trip into the future in a post-apocalyptic world decimated by a “virus” delivered by unseen space aliens, who were ‘benevolent’ enough to create a “safe zone” in Darwin, Australia. Few are immune to the virus, those exposed become crazed zombie-like creatures, those not immune must stay within the “aura” of Darwin, wh ...more
Sharon Watkins
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I picked up Darwin Elevator on the strength of an All Things Considered review, expecting a light post-apocalyptic (if there can be such a thing) story. But oh dear, what a mess it is.

Hough starts out with a pretty standard premise - much of humanity has been wiped out or reduced to a "subhuman" existence by an alien visitation, which, for some reason, has also provided the survivors with a means of existence. Unfortunately, from there he goes nowhere. The world building - critical to this sort
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is a difficult one to review. I liked the story and there was a lot of action. But despite all of the action, the plot dragged incredibly. Parts of the story felt forced or not very logical to me.

Some of the characters I liked, some I didn't. They were a bit simplistic at times. It felt as if they came from a clichée bag of standard character types. One bad guy, check, one reluctant hero, check, one manipulative tycoon, check....

Around 100 pages into the book, I put it down for two weeks. I
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Damn, that book was genius! I'll be pounding on the bookstore door the very day the sequel is released!

Why? It's a refreshingly new take not only on a post-apocalyptic story but it's blended with a unique space adventure! It has a crew of characters that range from tough as nails mercenaries to tender hearted dreamers. The heros aren't perfect, and even though the villain is repulsive, the author somehow makes you see his point of view as well. The story is well paced, allowing moments of actio
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Full review at Total Inability To Connect: https://totalinabilitytoconnect.wordp...

I tend to be a fairly narrow reader as far as genres go – I seem to be more in the 75% fantasy range, and 25% “other”, most of which are sci-fi. Unlike most nerds I know, I’ve never been a huge sci-fi guy; sure, I love Star Trek and things of that ilk, but I’m not hanging around quoting Star Wars, or even watching Cosmos for fun. When I do read sci-fi, well, I much prefer the people-centric variety, a more laid ba
The Darwin Elevator is an interesting take on the alien contact puzzle novel because the actual aliens are missing and we are left to guess at their motivations, while the human inhabitants of Earth have to deal with their handiwork. The novel works most of the time, has some daring ideas and good characters, but gets a little bogged down in a predictable political struggle between typical one dimensional power hungry characters.

An alien ship has visited and constructed from Earth orbit a space
Ranting Dragon
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: garrett

I’d be lying if I said that Jason M. Hough hit the ground running with his debut novel. Because he didn’t.

First, he jumped out of the freaking plane, then he hit the ground running.

Darwin, Australia. Humanity’s last beacon of hope and the last remaining human city on Earth. An alien plague has conquered the world, turning the majority of the population into mindless savages. Those who remain have flocked to Darwin, site of the only thing keeping the plague
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-fi fans.
Shelves: dystopia
This is sci-fi heaven!

I first saw The Darwin Elevator when Kevin Hearne (author of Hounded) added it to his Goodreads account. I looked at the cover and saw that he had blurbed it and I added the book to my to-read list with a mental note to keep an eye out for it. Then a few days later I was browsing Netgalley and saw that advance copies were available. I requested one and to my surprise my request was approved. Thank you Random House!

The story in set in a 23-century post-apocalyptic Darwin, Au
Jan 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
I got this title from NetGally for an honest review.

I want to start off with science fiction is not my genre of choice, it’s a rare story that piques my interest. So when I saw this on NetGalley and read the synopsis with all the accolades from other authors I was curious.

I am so glad I did, I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected too. The author is adept at creating characters you love and hate, and I mean really, really hate. I wanted Russell to be punted out of one of the space stations ai
Maria Dimitrova
DNFed at 10%

I can't rate this because I barely got through the beginning. Maybe it get's better latter on but life is too short to torture myself with books that can't hold my interest. I've lost too many hours doing that before so it's time to move on. The story seemed interesting but there's no spark to grab your attention from the start and that's what killed it for me.
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Skyler Luiken captains the Melville, a typical smuggler ship with a typical smuggler crew doing typical smuggler things. At least, that's how it seems, but from the first few moments spent with Skyler, it's obvious that he's anything but the typical cocky captain that we know from scifi classics like Star Wars and Firefly. In fact, Skyler's not a particularly good captain at all because he's too damn nice.

Well, not so nice that he's annoying. No one likes *those* kind of nice people. But he's j
Alisha-Dear Constant Reader
The Darwin Elevator: SciFi lovers look no further.

 photo 58099-Archer-fuck-you-space-gif-Qe8p_zps20003293.gif
Archer kind of looks like the cover photo of Skyler, am I right?

This imaginative, action-packed gem ended my lame book losing streak. I am by nature a scifi lover. Fans of Steven King, George R.R. Martin, and the Firefly series will love this book.

The Darwin Elevator is another dystopian novel, but don't let that deter you. Darwin has something new to offer: a compelling plot, fantastic writing, and characters with substance.

Set nearly 300
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A sci-fi thriller written with pace but with just the right amount of attention to characterization to make me feel like this is a real, fully fleshed out world. The scifi elements were fresh and exciting. The plot was twisting and intricate, which kept the pages turning. And I really came to care about not only the characters on the page, but their struggle to save humanity (sometimes from itself). Overall a really wonderful read. I can't wait to clear my plate to make way for the next two in t ...more
Terence Mayo
Aug 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
The big mystery on this one is why is got such a good review on NPR. This is below average SF and very derivative of other SF works. There's a lot of action and some may enjoy it on that level. It lacks interesting characters, clever plot, and any sort humor. I'd stay away.
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
 photo DireEarthCycle_zps59333d93.jpg
Click Picture to Enter Giveaway Post!
Tome Tender Giveaway

Enter to win
The Dire Earth Cycle Trilogy includes
(1) Printed copy of The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough
(1) Printed copy of The Exodus Towers by Jason M. Hough
(1) Printed copy of The Plague Forge by Jason M. Hough
Open to USA and Canada Mailing Address Only
Contest runs September 24, 2013 - October 8, 2013

The Darwin Elevator sucked me in and kept me there to the end!

Darwin, Australia is the last human city on the planet. An alien ship
I finally got around to reading this one and I could kick myself for not getting to it sooner. Cover to cover it was straight up engaging and exciting. I loved the hero, Skyler, who did much of the narration along with the other many characters who made up this post-apocalyptic thriller. I swear this book has something for everyone. It's gritty and brutal with a survival of the fittest or the luckiest feel to it and yet it takes the time for some character development and for some twisting thril ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Skyler Luiken and his small crew are making a living in the scavenger business. They have a trusted fence and there seems to be no shortage of jobs. It’s also a plus that every member of his crew, including himself, are immune to the SUBS disease that has depleted humanity. Now all that’s left of humanity lives in Darwin, Australia, where a space elevator stands, placed there by the Builders years before, after unleashing
G.R. Matthews
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable read set on a dying earth.
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 wastela
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Aug 16, 2013 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tom or Casey (let me know if you want to review it!)
I'm abandoning this book, because it is just decidedly not for me. I do think it might be for some of you, so I'll share a little bit about it.

The setting - Darwin, Australia, 2023. The site of a space elevator that just... appeared one day, because aliens. They never made contact (that the humans know of) but when a worldwide virus destroyed most of humanity, those living in Darwin were fine. They became immune in a world filled with subhumans (known as SUBs.) They aren't described as zombies,
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
My Goodreads rating on The Darwin Elevator would be 5 stars for the first half and 3 stars for the second. Since I can’t do that the book will get 4 stars.

The Darwin Elevator captured and held my attention for the first half of the book. The plot was very exciting and the characters were well developed. There was great world building, danger and tension. So what happened after the first half to change my rating? To me it looked like the author had those well developed characters acting out of ch
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
So, um, zombies! And aliens! There are both zombies and aliens in this post apocalyptic book! I tell you, it had all the elements necessary to make me happy!

I loved everything here except the very beginning. The first page is the kind that does suck you in, no doubt, but your sucked into a story in progress. By page two with the mention of the climbers, I was a little confused (might have been the headache that plagued me while reading) but I only mean to point out that the explanation of the wo
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this through the GoodReads first reads program.

I really enjoyed this book. I never thought of myself as a science fiction fan. I generally dislike books based in space, but this book took place in space and on land and was a perfect high-tech apocalyptic book.

It kept me engrossed to the very end, although it was hard to become attached to any of the characters. The main character wasn't developed very well I felt, but the action kept me turning pages.

It was a bit hard to get into at
A really exciting adventure story, extremely well told, in the tradition of the best old-fashioned science-fiction. It's got inscrutable Aliens, an alien-built Space Elevator inhabited by humans (who've never met the aliens), and a dystopian society. Plus, it's got zombies! (all the major sci-fi food groups for a healthy diet :)

The brave, square-jawed hero is Skyler, and the author certainly never gives him anything easy. And it's got a great antagonist in Russell Blackfield, the sleazebag petty
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Jason M. Hough (pronounced 'Huff') is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dire Earth Cycle and the near-future spy thriller Zero World. In a former life he was a 3D artist, animator, and game designer (Metal Fatigue, Aliens vs. Predator: Extinction, and many others). He has also worked in the fields of high-performance cluster computing and machine learning.

The Darwin Elevator began life

Other books in the series

Dire Earth Cycle (5 books)
  • The Exodus Towers (Dire Earth Cycle, #2)
  • The Plague Forge (Dire Earth Cycle, #3)
  • Injection Burn (Dire Earth Duology #1)
  • Escape Velocity (Dire Earth Duology #2)

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