The Exodus Towers features all the high-octane action and richly imagined characters of The Darwin Elevator - but the stakes have never been higher.
The sudden appearance of a second space elevator in Brazil only deepens the mystery about the aliens who provided it: the Builders. Scavenger crew captain Skyler Luiken and brilliant scientist Dr. Tania Sharma have formed a colony around the new Elevator's base, utilizing mobile towers to protect humans from the Builders' plague. But they are soon under attack from a roving band of plague-immune soldiers. Cut off from the colony, Skyler must wage a one-man war against the new threat as well as murderous subhumans and thugs from Darwin - all while trying to solve the puzzle of the Builders' master plan…before it's too late for the last vestiges of humanity.
©2013 Jason M. Hough (P)2013 Random House Audio
"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)
"Hough writes with irresistible energy and gritty realism. His puts his characters through hell, blending a convincing plot with heart-stopping action and moments of raw terror as the world goes crazy in the shadow of unfathomable alien intentions." (Sara Creasy, author of the Philip K. Dick Award–nominated Song of Scarabaeus)
The Dire Earth Cycle, Part 2: The Exodus Towers picks up without missing a beat from part 1. The story continues with the establishment of an alternate colony around the newly formed 2nd space elevator in Brazil. The 2nd elevator offers movable aura towers, but the colonists run into a band of cult oriented immunes in the region. Skyler needs to go commando as well as discovers remnants of the five spin-offs from the 2nd elevator entry. There is evolving intrigue back in NightCliff with Grillo and the Jacobites gaining the upper hand. Samantha regains her scavenger day job. The story just stops shortly after the arrival of the next alien arrival with a bit of a cliffhanger.
This time out, beyond the space elevator, some interesting alien physics manipulation with time takes place. The subhuman mystery continues to evolve with some transition to a higher an d perhaps more sinister purpose. Unfortunately there is little in the way of revelation regarding alien intent or the true function of any of their artifacts. This installment only serves to add more mystery with few questions answered.
The narration is pleasant with an easygoing storytelling style that suits the tale. The flow is natural enough, but the pace does not vary giving the impression of the storyteller creating the plot with the reading. Hopefully part 3 will bring some overarching explanation as well as closure since right now, everyone is simply surviving by a thread.
The Exodus Towers picks up right where book 1 left off. If you think Hough couldn't ratchet up the action more or come up with anything new after the tour de force of the first book, think again. Exodus towers is one none stop crazy ride featuring exploration, politics, mysteries, danger, mystery, and heart stopping plot machinations. There were places in this book where I honestly forgot to breathe.
It does all still revolve around Skyler in some way - what some characters constantly pondering "WWSD?" (What Would Skyler Do) while others actually finding out with him. New allies and enemies will come forward and all along the book is the countdown toward the next builder appearance.
Book 3 centers mostly in 2 camps: Sam in Darwin, Skyler in Brasil. But Tania and Russell also head several POV chapters as well.
As always, what I am most struck with about these books is the sheer scope of what's happening. The different POVs allow Hough to show different aspects of the Dire Earth situation that could be stand alone situations themselves. No one is working toward a complete picture end, which makes the overall view even more fascinating. I'm also glad this isn't a zombie story - it's more about exploration, suspense, and adventure.
This really has to be the most accessible science fiction novel in years. Solidly written yet not full of frustratingly dense science.
The narrator did a fine job. I think some of the accents might have been a bit sketchy - but I can only imagine how hard it would be to come up with that many variations on the English language.
The Dire Earth Cycle overall is a fairly well done version of the "man versus man" motif, using the setting of a post-apocalyptic Earth for exploring humanity's inhumanity to itself, human greed, and shortsightedness. Early on, the series has the feel of a zombie story, which it really isn't. Action sequences are well done.
This isn't a series you can pick up in the middle, and the time spent on the preceding novel is well worth the time. Character development takes time, but does not feel overly drawn out.
Simon's British accent is notable, but not distracting, which I consider a good thing. However, his ability to perform alternative accents is weak.
His reading pace is excellent. Pauses are presented perfectly for dramatic effect without being overdone. His overall speed of performance is just right.
Along with the weakness in accents, individual character voices are not often memorable. There is sufficient differentiation that you can tell when one character's dialog runs into another character's.
I'm writing this after having listened to the entire trilogy. These are well thought out books, with a lot of plot twists that culminate in an ending that will not be what you expect, but is in no way anticlimactic. If you are looking for a scifi zombie book that is nothing like the others, and if you love mystery and action then this book is very much for you
"Not quite empire strikes back but a good sequel"
This continues the tone and pace of the Darwen Elevator but expands the canvas beyond Darwen. As the world expands some of the characters become a bit limited but it cracks on at a pace.
If the Darwen Elevator was the surprise hit scifi movie of the summer then this would be the sequel that kept the fans happy.
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