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
Jarred shouted something. It sounded like a warning. Russell laughed and ran on. Jarred shouted again, much louder. “Blackfield! Ambush!” He heard the cry two steps before entering the corridor. Something in Jarred’s tone resonated. At the last step he angled into the wall next to the door. A storm of gunfire erupted from the Platz-held end of the junction. Men screamed and toppled. Fish in a goddamn barrel, Russell thought. Oops! Whipping around, he held a hand up, ordering the men still.
Something big hit him square in the back—a shoulder. He nearly lost the gun as his hands instinctively shot out to brace his fall. Too slow. His chin cracked on the tile floor. He caught a brief glimpse of his lone escort. The guard also lay on his stomach, a shout forming on his lips as he disappeared into an open vent behind. Russell rolled onto his back as he felt himself yanked toward the opposite wall. He caught a glimpse of blond hair in the darkness in front of him. Russell raised his.
Never received traffic at all. He wondered if it even functioned as a result, and he decided to keep looking. The level immediately below the central ring was the only other choice. He spotted a pair of cargo doors on the side of the inner hub. Skyler took a long breath, oriented his craft, and pulsed the thrusters, wondering how he would open it. Fifty meters from the station, a panel lit up on the cockpit window, marking the door and offering docking options. “How kind of you,” Skyler said.
Focused back on Samantha. “Someone offered a small fortune for this. We get here, and it’s the one set missing from the entire room? If a bunch were missing, I’d chalk it up to the chaos of five years ago. But the exact set we came to find, gone?” Samantha gave a grudging nod. “Okay, Sherlock. So where is it? Not in the room, not on the dead guy … You did search the body, right?” He hesitated, felt a knot grow in his gut. “No. Didn’t seem right.” She stormed off toward the stairs. “He’s not.
Tania waved him off. She tried to focus on sound. Every little noise spooked her. Each tiny shift in the hum of the air processors. A repetitious grinding from somewhere inside the walls, probably a bad bearing inside a fan. Neil’s fingers tapping absently on the blanket. Her own measured breathing. As the minutes rolled by, with no activity from outside, no sound of struggle or combat, she felt her pulse drop to something close to normal. The third time Neil spoke, she didn’t try to stop him.