Author Jason Hough has produced a rather unique perspective on alien contact. In this case, an automated alien vessel has entered Earth's orbit and co..Show More »nstructed a space elevator centered over Darwin, Australia. A few years later, the rest of the planet becomes uninhabitable due to an unknown "disease" that changes people into "subhumans," all except for a patch of ground centered around Darwin. Under the influence, humans revert to more primitive behavior that is mostly violent. A few humans remain immune to the effect. Subsequently, the elevator has become a lifeline, supplying space grown food in exchange for air and water from below.
The story revolves around two young individuals caught up in the power struggles between and within the orbitals (spaced based habitats) and the people on the ground. In the meantime, another alien vessel is arriving. The sci-fi elements are standard fare with little beyond the alien artifacts which remain mysterious throughout. The action is non-stop with good pacing and nicely integrated infodumps that avoid bogging down the plot. Unfortunately there is little resolution of any major or minor conflicts as this is part of a longer story arc. The ending merely inserts some suggestive possibilities and leaves much hanging in the balance.
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 alternat..Show More »e 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.
I'm reviewing the entire trilogy because I have been able to read the 2nd book 'The Exodus Towers' along with this book all within a 2 month period of..Show More » time. At the end of the 1st book it leaves the reader quite confused about what ET's have to do with the book as opposed to just laying down the major players within the series. The 2nd & 3rd book I read in close succession & I believe that is what made this book so much more enjoyable for me than if I had to wait any extended period of time. Its a theory I'll never be able to test out but it was a major thought & concern that can't be answered because the author released all 3 books quickly in literary terms.
This book started out as a relatively average book in the 1st but the last 2 ended as a tour-de-force by touching on not only the most important part of the sci-fi portion of this series, First Contact, but it also brought out the basic rules of the primal laws of nature. Now apply human laws that apply when there is a complete breakdown of a prior civilization & those who are intelligent, resourceful, & ruthless enough to lead or show how the strong survive & the meek DO NOT inherit the earth.
A great twist on the 'human nature' side of this book is a problem our country still has not understood nor mastered how to handle a leader in power who is found to contain traits making them persona non grata to those that see their 'true colors'. If u remove this person who is to say the next person to step up is not even worse than the original once the façade is ripped away?? I think our CIA can still attest to making huge mistakes in deciding short-term decisions without thinking about long-term effects. In the beginning of this book a plague breaks out that kills off 9 billion humans & leaves a group of survivors to figure out how to try & live again while having these strange alien artifacts that point to a larger event happening in the near future.
The 'First Contact' portion of this book I cannot say is completely original but I can def. say that if a reader likes puzzles, the use of a people willing to sacrifice for the whole, & how that would play into the background of first contact with another alien race, this is a book for u. Not only do our established protagonists go thru the 'normal' problems facing a population reduced to mere shambles of its prior form, the characters are also thrust into figuring out apparent puzzles the aliens have made for them that aren't the kind u would like to play willingly, think Indiana Jones & not Monopoly lol. All the while u have the most traditional set of principles to explain the unexplainable humans seem to love using... RELIGION. Now don't get me wrong, this book is in no way a theologian story, but for a person who see's organized religion as not the best thing that happened to humanity it was bound to grab a large population of survivors due to one of the purest of human traits, Faith.
These books brought a successfully equal amount of action, drama, metaphysical, & plenty of trials requiring human nature related thinking to SURVIVE. The ending was also above average considering when u get thru book 2 most readers are probably thinking 'how is the author going to wrap this clusterfu*! up in a bow?' & not make the reader cringe or say 'COME ON!! WTF, I READ ALL THIS JUST TO END INTELLECUALLY IMPAIRED?!'.