Hell Divers - "We dive so humanity survives."
"We dive so humanity survives." That is the motto of the Hell Divers, who risk their lives to keep the final remnants of humanity alive. All remaining humans now live aboard massive airships that float above a storm covered, radioactive Earth, which has not been habitable for the last 250 years. These dated airships have only managed to stay in the air by regularly sending Hell Divers down to the planet below to scavenge the parts they need to keep their reactors running. Hell Divers, who have an average life expectancy of only 15 jumps, are composed of brave men and women willing to risk their lives by parachuting down through the storms to a toxic planet where they scavenge for items created in the past by a people they no longer understand.
The Hive is one of only two remaining airships and it is the home of Xavier "X" Rodriguez, a Hell Diver who has successfully completed 95 jumps. X is a deeply flawed human who has lived a hard life, but that is not uncommon aboard The Hive, where cancer runs rampant and living conditions continue to deteriorate. Captain Maria Ash, a cancer survivor who is experiencing a reoccurrence of her disease, finds that she must call on X yet again to retrieve needed fuel cells if she wants to keep the ship in the air. More and more things are breaking regularly, which means more and more risks must be taken, and it is this level of desperation that keeps the story moving at full speed from cover to cover.
I thoroughly enjoyed the post apocalyptic world created by Nicholas Sansbury Smith and I found that I was able to put aside the improbability of it all and just enjoy the thrill ride. The characters were interesting, the scenario was unique, and I thought it had a good mix of grit, heroism, and despair. So if you want something different, but not too deep, then put on your radiation suit get ready to dive - The Hive needs you.
R. C. Bray does the narration for the audiobook version and his gritty, rough voice is perfect for the story, especially when he voices the grizzled veteran Hell Diver, X. This one is definitely worth a listen and I am eagerly moving forward in the series, which is currently 3 books in length.