In the future, Darwin, Australia stands as humanity's last city. After aliens 'Builders' leave a mysterious space elevator anchored in Darwin a plague hits Earth, changing the infected into zombie-like violent 'subhumans'. Few are immune and the only safe zone is the aura around the elevator's base. But things seem to be changing. Unexpected power failures have those on the ground and those in the stations along the elevator's line blaming each other.
Skyler Luiken is one of the rare people with immunity. With his crew of fellow immunes, he scavenges beyond the aura for necessary supplies. Usually he and his crew try to avoid notice, but once they take on a mission from an anonymous source to take Dr. Tania Sharma to a laboratory in Hawaii that changes. Skyler gets pulled into the efforts to save the failing aura and save what is left of mankind.
It's been a long while since I have been so engrossed in a story like I did with The Darwin Elevator. The characters are engaging and there is plenty of action. I did feel Blackfield (who is basically in charge of the base of the elevator) was a little too over the top in his evilness-- too much 'evil for the sake of being evil.' Blackfield is the only character that seems so one dimensional though. Both Skyler and Tania are reluctant heroes, stumbling through their own problems to do what they feel is right.
The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough is a mix of science fiction and post apocalypse zombies full of great character and actions. The dark world Hough has created in Darwin shows perfectly the worst of humanity's actions while the idealistic habitats along the elevator show the best. And when the clash it is quite an adventure.
The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough is available at Amazon.com
The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough
Published by Del Rey
My free review copy of The Darwin Elevator was provided by the publisher.