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  • The Darwin Elevator

  • By: Jason M. Hough
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 14 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (331 ratings)

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The Darwin Elevator

By: Jason M. Hough
Narrated by: Simon Vance
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Publisher's summary

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

©2013 Jason M. Hough (P)2013 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“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)

“A hell of a fun book.” (James S. A. Corey, New York Times bestselling author of Abaddon’s Gate)

What listeners say about The Darwin Elevator

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Garbage in, garbage out

Warning: spoilers.

The author spends an entire book making one of the main characters out to be extremely smart, extremely meticulous, and with an extensive, well-thought-out plan.

Then, the bad guys magically overrun all his defenses, he has no way out and no contingency, and he just dies stupidly.

Talk about lazy, garbage writing.

And he does it repeatedly.

Sad, really. It was a really engaging story ruined by never letting the good guys win for a second, no matter how contrived he had to make the bad guys' success. Somebody watched too much Game of Thrones.