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
a bloody Tokyo mission. Nothing but bad news up there.” “You have an irrational fear of urban places, my friend.” “I disagree. It’s quite rational.” A strange look came across the man’s face. Wistful and childlike. “How I wish I could venture out with you. Get away from this tomb. Darwin, I mean.” Then he fell silent, his gaze on the wall map. Skyler waited. He could think of nothing to say. Prumble did not have the immunity and so would need a special environment suit to leave the city.
intoxicating. Michael leaned in. “I only brought the one,” he hissed through clenched teeth. “And that was for you and your staff.” “Relax,” Russell said. “I’ll pull a few from the emergency reserve. You can owe me.” “Owe?! I … I can’t authorize that.” Russell grinned at the crowd. He threw his arm around Michael Carney’s shoulder and turned him to face the cheering mass. “Exactly the problem, Michael. You’re a powerless twat. So I’ll give you a choice. I can push you over this wall right
uncomfortable silence. “I’ll make the priority calls here, Alex—” Sofia Windon interrupted him. “We’ll discuss this in due time. I must admit, Tania, despite everything the real reason I came is to see the Shell. May we do that, if it’s on the way?” “Of course,” Tania said, “no problem. Follow me?” Taking their silence as agreement, she turned and pushed herself into the curved corridor. Rungs attached to all four sides of the hall aided speed and trajectory. She frowned at the station’s
landing pad. His presence dashed any hope Skyler had for a cursory inspection. Flanking the powerful man were four guards, two on each side. They wore maroon combat helmets, the only common piece of gear among them. The rest of their clothing came from a variety of pre-disease military uniforms. Skyler saw mostly Australian army fatigues, of varying condition. One wore an ill-fitting Chinese officer’s coat. Their weapons were trained on Skyler—sleek black machine guns, to a man. The uniforms
place?” Skyler asked. Tania spotted her parachute below them. Her path would take her to the building on the west side of the courtyard. “Yes,” she said. Skyler aimed for the same place. “Remember, legs up, just before we hit ground.” Tania looked north, to the tall building where the sniper had landed. She couldn’t see him, but a portion of the roof had clearly collapsed. He might be hurt—a sprained ankle or broken leg. She wondered if any of the crew had medical training. It hadn’t occurred