26 September 2013

Review: The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough

The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. HoughSometimes I decide to read a book for the strangest reasons. I took a chance on Jason M. Hough's The Darwin Elevator because it is set in Australia and has dyspotian elements. Plus the audiobook is read by the fantastic Simon Vance. Unfortunately, I didn't pay close enough attention to the rest of the publisher's summary of this first entry in Hough's Dire Earth Cycle.

More than 200 years from now, humans have finally had contact with aliens, who constructed an elevator into space near the city of Darwin. Of course, earthlings didn't fully think through what this "gift" might mean and so were totally unprepared for the virus that turned pretty much everyone into zombie-like creatures. Only those in close proximity of the elevator and a few people who are immune to the virus remained alive.

Among the people we meet are politicians, technicians, inventors, investors, scavengers, military personal, and the hoity-toity. When news leaks that the aliens may be building a second elevator, all scramble to be in the best position to exploit the power, wealth, and safety that will come with the new construction. The Darwin Elevator focuses on a handful of characters who take sides in what is essentially a struggle of good vs. evil.

Although Simon Vance's performance of the unabridged audiobook (Random House Audio; 14 hr, 27 min) was wonderful (perfect pacing, consistent characterizations, believable accents), I had a difficult time staying connected to the novel. The principal problem is that I've never enjoyed science fiction, with its space vehicles and technological advances. Thus as soon as the characters started talking about data cubes and orbiting, my mind began to wander.

Regardless, I appreciated the fact that The Darwin Elevator had good action mixed with some excellent humor, secret plans, and a little bit of love. None of this, however, was enough to make me want to listen to the other books in the series. But because Hough writes a good story, I'm sure sci-fi fans will likely zip through the Dire Earth Cycle in no time.

If you do decide to give Hough a try, I recommend picking up the audiobooks. Oh, and be sure to tell me how it all it turns out; even the minor cliff hanger can't draw me back to future.

Random House / Del Rey Mass Market Paperback, 2013
ISBN-13: 9780345537126
Source: Review (audio) (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


rhapsodyinbooks 9/26/13, 8:25 AM  

I have to say the summary didn't appeal to me, but I know that fans of Simon Vance often read whatever he narrates!

bermudaonion 9/26/13, 9:20 AM  

This probably isn't for me even with Vance's narration.

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 9/26/13, 9:21 AM  

Based on some good reviews I have this one on my future maybe-to-read list. I like scifi but hesitated because of the zombie creatures, those are a hit or miss with me. Now that I know Simon Vance narrates I'll go with the audio version.

Kailana 9/26/13, 11:14 AM  

I really need to get around to listening to Simon Vance.

Daryl 9/26/13, 1:36 PM  

i read WOOL .. which was good but this sounds less so

Heather 9/27/13, 10:33 PM  

This just might work for my Women's sci-fi bookclub. Thanks.

Julie P. 9/30/13, 7:59 AM  

Ugh! Well at least you had a nice voice to listen to! LOL!

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