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Hell Divers

(Hell Divers #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  8,827 ratings  ·  951 reviews
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 Aging and outdated, most of the ships plummeted back to earth long ago.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 sky ...more
Audiobook, 431 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Blackstone Audiobooks
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A.R. Don't listen to Dave. The book is amazing. To answer your question: No, it's not scary. …moreDon't listen to Dave. The book is amazing. To answer your question: No, it's not scary. (less)
Gailand Actually, you are wrong. Star Trek: Defiance did (Odo sure kept busy with Quark and his dealings). Battlestar Galactica did (Apolo even took charge of…moreActually, you are wrong. Star Trek: Defiance did (Odo sure kept busy with Quark and his dealings). Battlestar Galactica did (Apolo even took charge of the black market there). Babylon 5 did (they had an entire floor level taken over). They all even had booming black markets and other organized crime. Unless you have a society with no money at all, you will always have classes of the Haves and Have nots.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  8,827 ratings  ·  951 reviews

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Georce Miller
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Wow, I was blown away to see all these high ratings. I loved the concept of scavenging the ruined earth from airships, but that's about it. The unremitting despair in this novel leaps beyond "Grimdark" into self parody territory. Every single THING mentioned comes with its own misery index. Enter a room? BAD, BAD room. Meet a new person? DYING, of course. How are things going in engineering? The WORST ever, duh. Oh, a child? STARVING child. I couldn't help but imagine the author as a whiny Goth ...more
Scott Sigler
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very satisfying post-apocalyptic scifi. While there are some minor plot holes, the book really delivers a satisfying, summer blockbuster feel. If this was turned into a movie, I'd be in the theater on opening night.

In simple terms, HELL DIVERS is a monster story, a tale of survival. Humanity is pushed to the very brink of extinction, magnifying the potential impact of every character's actions and decisions. Smith does a great job of using two literary devices, the "option lock," where characte
Montzalee Wittmann
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Hell Divers
The Hell Divers Series, Book 1
By: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
Narrated by: R. C. Bray
This is one of my favorite books. It is so exciting with sci-fi and the fantasy part. Suspense, intrigue, nail biting moments, and creatures! Oh yeah! I loved this! What if the only people left on Earth was in ships that floated about the Earth, down to only two ships now. Now one needs help.... your ship is the only one left and the only one that can help...all supplies are on Earth that is contaminated,
If u don't mind some mindless action and adventure by putting away all sense of logic and reasoning behind carried out by cardboard cut out chatacters, then dive right in! Pun totally intended.

To be honest I somewhat did indeed enjoy reading this book. So 3.25 stars for sheer frivolous-ness factor amidst all my heavy reads.
Michael Hicks
After five Extinction Cycle novels (and a sixth on the way!), Hell Divers, the first installment in a brand-new series from Nicholas Sansbury Smith, is a refreshing change of pace. While it has all the hallmarks of Smith’s usual brand of brimstone and bullets, its premise goes a long way in making this a distinct entry in this author’s oeuvre.

In both the Orbs and Extinction Cycle books, Smith approaches his doomsday scenarios as fresh threats to humanity on the brink of destruction with The End
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, netgalley
I had never heard of this author before, but he can certainly write an exciting story. In this post apocalyptic novel, the remainder of the human race has been relegated to two ancient spacecrafts where they are faced with class warfare, scant resources, electrical storms and carnivorous mutant humanoid creatures.

Teams of hell divers plummet 20,000 feet, from the spacecraft called the Hive, to land on the poisoned surface of the Old World in order to scavenge for critical supplies. The Earth ha
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Listened to this- I enjoyed the world, but felt the author did not think things through.

There appeared to be no prey for the Sirens to eat, yet there were appeared to be endless swarms of them. And if the Sirens were some how living off radiation, why did they evolve to be super predators?

Also if the humans lived on the airships and were always in need of supplies, Why were the Helldivers able to just throw away things like parachutes, crates, guns, boosters, armor and all sorts of other thing
So aggravating. It’s Impossible to buy into a post-apocalyptic action story when the worldbuilding is as fundamentally broken as this one.

Setting: a couple hundred years ago WWIII incinerated the Earth. Some people survived on giant airships similar to the ones that dropped the world-ending bombs. Now scavengers from the airships parachute down to the wrecked surface to find parts for the decaying airships.

Okay, the setup doesn’t make much sense. Why would huge dirigibles drop bombs? Maybe that’
Mar B
Five HUGE "HELL YEAH" Stars!

Ahhhh my love for Hell Divers was an insta-love bigger and more obsessive than of one of a sparkly teenager fanger! 

And to think this ARC has been silently waiting for me for months! What a freakantastic surprise!

Can we talk about how freakantastic this book is pleeeeeease????

Yes? YES! Let's talk about it. Get comfy because I got lots to tell you. This is gonna take a while.

Let's talk about first impressions, OK?

Hell Divers was a first impressions feast!

This ARC cau
Dec 20, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, kindle, dnf

Even the most outlandish science fiction must include some actual science at some point.

If you want a floating city, you can totally have a floating city. But don't try to float it on helium. Or if you do, be sure to explain the millions of cubic feet of helium required to lift an small city. You cannot skip over that part.

If you want the human race to be reduced to 500 people, you do that. But you better come up with some cool sci-fi trick to explain away the genetic damage of that kind o
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
"Today we dive so humanity survives!" That is the motto of the Hell Divers who risk their lives to dive to the earth's surface to scavenge for parts to keep their last two surviving airships in the air. Pretty cool slogan huh?! I think it is-I love it! The whole book was awesome and I have a huge book hangover right now!

I totally loved the airship setting and the dives to the surface. It was creative and intense and there was never a dull moment. I got so wrapped up in the story I felt like I wa
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

Read my discussion if you want to know more about why my opinion is unpopular!

Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stunning apocalyptic action. A cracking read from one of military horror's best writers working right now.

"We dive so humanity survives!"

I would rather die in World War III than to live in Hell Divers world. 😉
After the war what's left of humanity lives on airships that circle earth. Teams of courageous men and women have to "dive" down to earth for supplies. These dives are very dangerous with high death rate. Electrical storms, radiation and hungry mutated monsters live on the surface. Great characters and fun story!
So, I’m a solid 3.89/5.0 stars here, rounded to 4. Oddly specific you might think...well, yes it might be. I felt that I enjoyed it just a little bit more than the goodreads rating said, which was 3.85 when I read it. Anyway, so I almost went with a lower rating than that. See, this was one of those books where I read it, felt one way, then started reading other reviews and started to question myself if I really felt the way I initially did. To explain that a little better, I bought the audioboo ...more
Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews
This is my kind of book, a “what if?” type of book with a dark, tormented protagonist. The surface of the earth is completely inhospitable, the last remnants of life (or so they thought) have taken to the skies.

Hell Divers has a great concept; people living on massive airships who would still need supplies from the earth. These brave individuals, Hell Divers, parachute to the surface and face a plethora of challenges to keep humanity alive. Nicholas Sansbury Smith takes us deep into the life of
Shaun Hutchinson
Meh. Flat characters, bad science, really inconsistent world building. The writing was good, and the concept intriguing, but it felt half baked. If you want a story about future people scavenging earth for resources check out Time Salvager instead.
Note: Received a copy of this book from NetGalley

As I was reading this, around the middle of the book, I kind of already had a rating set in my head, and it was around a 2.5 or 3 star. But I realized I was comparing it to other books that it really had no business being compared to. Is this the next 'A Little Life'? No absolutely not, but it's not trying to be. What it is is an action-packed, fun, entertaining science fiction treat that was a really, really great ride.

There were still some thing
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
A bad B-movie that serves up a heavy ham sammich with extra cheese. Cliches and tropes in every bite. Mehhh
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very mixed bag with this one.
Tension/Drama 4-5 stars - on the edge of my seat frequently, the lone bright spot.

Characters 2-3 stars, they were just too cookie cutter and many of their personal strifes just didn't seem to affect them as much as they should.

World building 0 stars - clearly this where I had the most problems. As I age, my suspension of disbelief powers seem to be getting weaker. I just couldn't get past the way Smith used the ever so tired nuclear war apocolypse to create a compl
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
That ending! I was all...and then I adjusted to...but then it...aargh! Somewhere in our future mankind has done a pretty thorough job of ruining the planet and humans teeter on the brink of extinction. Unable to live on the scorched and radioactive surface, the last of humanity, around 1000 people, is divided between two airships which have been flying for far longer than their original designers intended. Death and danger are a part and parcel of life in this bleak, post - apocalyptic world. Th ...more
Timothy Boyd
I was not impressed with this book. Most of the problem was with the horrible engineering and science concepts used. I know SiFi goes beyond actual science but there were to many basic scientific goofs used for me to enjoy the book. I would not recommended this to anyone unless you really want to suspend all reality as you read. The author has another series I will try to see if it was just this trilogy I don't like but no more of these for me ...more
Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)
4.5 Stars

Full Review:
Damn. This was one hell of a book.

It’s all thanks to Daniela’s review that I read this, so I hate to copy her by starting my review the same way, but this book had possibly the greatest opening I’ve ever seen:

The average life expectancy for a Hell Diver was fifteen jumps. This was Xavier Rodriguez’s ninety-sixth.

From there, it immediately threw me right into the grittiness and sucked me in because guess what the first thing was that happened in this book? A jump gone wrong.
11811 (Eleven)
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Not bad at all for this genre. I may even read the sequel. It's mindless and action driven but sometimes that suits me just fine. ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Review of the audiobook narrated by R.C. Bray.

This is a solid book that doesn't offer much in the way of surprises or complexity, but what it does do is provide consistently exciting action in a unique post-apocalyptic setting. I came to think of this as flipping the typically story about a bunker upside down - where the survivors are in the air instead of in the ground. That makes the retrieval of items necessary for the ship's survival not only inevitable, but also dangerous in more than just
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-audible
Hell Divers #1 was even better than (based on all the great reviews I read prior) I already expected.

An absolutely amazing thrill ride start to finish, with well developed, multidimensional, realistic characters. I was familiar with Sansbury Smith's work from his "Extinction Horizon" (Zombie) series, and went through them one after the other, till I had to wait for his newest release, and preordered that one.

This book had it all. . . mystery, suspense, nonstop thrills and horror all mixed in. I
Karen’s Library
I love a good apocalypse story, and Hell Divers was right up my alley! The story is set in the future 250 years after humans destroyed the surface of earth. The descendents of the survivors are in the air living in giant airships.

The Hell Divers are the few brave men and women who jump (parachute) to the surface to look for supplies that are needed to keep the ships in the air.

Between the extremely dangerous jumps, the monsters on the surface, the cancer caused by the radiation, and the massive
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hell Divers is one of the best books I have read in recent years. This book is filled with great action and fully realized characters and was an absolute joy to read. The author has created a variety of characters that are fully realized and make you care about all of their fates. There are characters that represent the lower classes in the air ship as well as more privileged people. The author has created the world so well that I felt I was living the story instead of reading it. This story is ...more
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Nicholas Sansbury Smith is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Hell Divers series. His other work includes the Extinction Cycle series, the Trackers series, and the Orbs series. He worked for Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management in disaster planning and mitigation before switching careers to focus on his one true passion--writing. When he isn't writing or daydream ...more

Other books in the series

Hell Divers (7 books)
  • Ghosts (Hell Divers, #2)
  • Deliverance (Hell Divers, #3)
  • Wolves (Hell Divers, #4)
  • Captives (Hell Divers #5)
  • Allegiance (Hell Divers #6)
  • Warriors (Hell Divers #7)

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161 likes · 41 comments
“Accept your past without regrets. Handle your present with confidence. Face your future without fear.” 11 likes
“Humans could never return to that poisoned desolate surface. They could never risk landing the airship. It wouldn’t last a day in the radioactive wasteland, or survive the monsters lurking there.” 1 likes
More quotes…