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Hell Divers

The Hell Divers Series, Book 1
Narrated by: R. C. Bray
Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (154 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times and USA Today best-selling series  

More than two centuries after World War III poisoned the planet, the final bastion of humanity lives on massive airships circling the globe in search of a habitable area to call home. Aging and outdated, most of the ships plummeted back to Earth long ago. The only thing keeping the two surviving lifeboats in the sky are Hell Divers - men and women who risk their lives by skydiving to the surface to scavenge for parts the ships desperately need. 

When one of the remaining airships is damaged in an electrical storm, a Hell Diver team is deployed to a hostile zone called Hades. But there's something down there far worse than the mutated creatures discovered on dives in the past - something that threatens the fragile future of humanity. 

©2016 Nicholas Sansbury Smith (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a tale of heroism and sacrifice

great story for reflection
tale of caution for today and enduring honour for those with vision

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Start

Very interesting start to the series. Well written and good characters, I like this twist on the post apocalyptic world, living high above the dangerous ground below

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Poorly constructed world and characters

Not even the fantastic narrator could save this trainwreck of a world and ridiculous characters.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A great start to an excellent series!!!

This series just gets better and better!!! It all starts here...great background and the action REALLY ramps up. A MUST listen!!!! You won't regret it!!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great listen/read

Really enjoyed this book. It is a different take on the EOW genre. I really enjoyed the idea of how they live and survive in a world completely changed by the ravages of war. The characters are well done. I just can't say enough other than if you have to have this in your collection. RC Bray does a great job of voicing the characters and Nicolas did a great job on the story. Can't wait to listen to the rest.

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GREAT series

This has quickly become one of my favourite books and I'll be buying the rest of the series. Great story and narration.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Cool premise, great action and it's not steampunk

For some reason when I read the description (very casually) and saw that humans lived in airships my mind immediately thought steampunk and that's not a genre I'm into so I left the book on my wishlist for a while. I recently looked at it again and I realized my mistake, the story takes place in our future so I took a chance on it and loved it.

I love the idea of floating over the apocalypse, where survival depends on elite teams diving down to scavenge and keep humanity floating. The story has a nice pace to it, there's a good amount of action, interesting world building and lots of room to expand this universe.

Will definitely get the next book in the series and recommend this one.

#Audible1

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    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty solid

Doomed to forever find power cells and pressure valves. Someone please tell the author other things can also be needed sometimes.

Otherwise not a bad audiobook.

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Awesome book!!

This book was fantastic! This one got me hooked on the series. READ IT! Seriously do your imagination a favor.

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Enjoyed it but characters were 'meh'

By the time you finish the first few chapters you can basically guess the main plot of the story very little in the way of suprises. The narrator did a great job as usual. I did like the story.it was very unlike anything I had read before however I only ended up really liking one character in the entire story and couldn't have cared less if any others lived or died.

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  • Dreamer
  • 2017-10-21

read the book so of course I had to listen to it

I am not a big science fiction fan at all. I usually avoid reading them. As a fan of Mr. Sansbury Smith's other books I knew I just had to give Hell Divers a try. As I said, I already read the book and thought why not listen to Hell Divers. Wow, the book is fantastic but audible brings the entire book to life in vivid colors. R. C. Bray took no time to get used to, as some narrators do for me . Some narrators distract me from the book but not R. C. Bray, he made Hell Divers play in my mind like a movie from the very start. Whether you read, listen or both ( my suggestion ), this is one hell of a book and series.

66 of 73 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Larry
  • 2017-06-30

A fast, intense engaging, story. <br />

But over the top for me
I'm 70 now, 20, or even 10 years ago I would have feasted on this story and fished for a sequel, at least more from that author.
I had to slow the speech speed down to 80% for my focus to keep up, even then I had to laugh at how short each listening session was.
With aging my mind is slowing. I've been, & done; lived so much. Experience with, doesn't keep you up with action.
Yes I will follow up with other stories by this author, but I'll space them out giving my elders ears some rest & recovery.

I have a "PS." for this review :
I am a Nam vet and a combat grunt.
I was impressed with the author's grasp of what goes on in the mind, fear.
Fear is addictive, that pounding heart adrenaline and something unanticipated awakens when one accepts I'm going die, this is the my end, I can't survive this!
This, can't end with me alive.
With acceptance comes a kind of peace. With that peace a kind of unanticipated courage.
It can't matter what I try; I'm done anyhow. Then a kind of gratitude that, at last, an end. The exhaustion I'm so weary.
That alas is then, it's later, having survived, comes the withdrawal, the hunger to be fully alive in the moment. It leaves one unfit for a normal life. But 'oh the cost in nightmares, the runaway hyper-vigilance. One learns how to use rage for an energy boost. You don't unlearn such things.
Oh-yes, many find booze a useful tool for the rest of oblivion; - any, not all.
Some recover; kind of.
-End -

108 of 122 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michalena
  • Buckeye, AZ
  • 2017-10-06

I usually don't read my SciFi however....!!

So, I'm kind of strange...I love SciFI TV, all the way back to Star Trek: Next Gen when I was a kid. But...reading it in book form I usually find tedious and a struggle to get through, with a few exceptions (thank you Douglas Adams!!). But this book was on sale, the premise sounded really interesting and my boyfriend had recently made me listen to the Gears of War books on Audible which greatly enjoyed, so I took a chance. So glad I did!!

This book is an adrenaline ride from beginning to end. It doesn't flinch from the realities of nuclear fallout and using nuclear power to run a ship. It's not just the Hell Divers that are in danger when jumping to a destroyed earth. Cancer, deformities, radiation sickness and other diseases rampant on the ship, especially in the lower decks near the reactors.

You're taken along for the same ride the Hell Divers go on as well as getting insight to life on the ship, the social state of affairs, humanity's fight to survive and heroism and compassion that exists even in this hard future.

I will definitely be buying the second book in the series and I hope Audible comes out with the 3rd real soon.

"We dive so that humanity survives"

86 of 97 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 2017-10-04

Gritty Sci-Fi

Awesome story with great narration. Writing is well done with a believable plot. Military science fiction at its finest.

31 of 35 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel O.
  • 2017-10-24

Dark but engaging

At first I thought this book might have been a bit too dark for my taste but the story kept pulling me back because I needed to hear what happened next. The story, combined with an excellent narrator, forced me to finish this book in record time and I had to immediately grab the 2nd book to hear more.

30 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2017-02-02

GUINEA PIG MEAT

I DON'T KNOW WHAT I SAW, BUT I DON'T EVER WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN
Scary, Adventurous, exciting and puts you in the middle of the action. Smith has really come up with a winner here. His apocalyptic world is filled with scary eyeless mutants, that want to eat you. It is has these huge electrical storms and no sun light. A little over 500 humans are surviving barely, on an airship that was not meant to be home to anybody. My first review of a NSS book was damaging and just not good. I am glad I gave this author a second chance. This book will put him on the map. NSS has built two great worlds. One is the destroyed earth and the other is in the air. The writing is so well done, that you feel you are there.

WHAT ARE THOSE MUTANT F'S DIGGING FOR?
I really like the mutants in this book. I love the diving even more. The characters are a bit cliché, their are no light moments and this will never be considered a classic piece. None the less, this entertains 100% of the time. At the time of this writing, this is number Uno for Sci-Fi contemporary. That is because it was a daily deal. It will fall below Martian, Bob and Expedition, but it will hang around the top ten for a long time. In July, when the sequel comes out, it will probably start as number one, so you might as well get this read now.

Bray
What can I say about this guy that I have not already said? I feel sorry for Science Fiction, Horror, or adventure writers that can't get Bray to do their narrating. His name alone, sells audio books.

189 of 220 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • U. Hoerhold
  • 2018-04-13

A long monotonous grind

A long monotonous grind describes both the plot and the experience of listening. It's just a long slog all the way through. Crisis after crisis, there's really nothing interesting or surprising in the entire story. Even if you can get past the technical implausibility of the plot (an entire city, complete with farms and animals, suspended in the sky, yet they don't have the technology to send drones down the the surface to retrieve resources), there's really nothing beyond the superficial story. There's no deeper plot, no long term goal. The action sequences are repetitive and tedious. "He turned left and shot two creatures, then he turned right and shot two more creatures. His magazine was empty, so he replaced it just in time to shoot two more creatures". To be honest, I'm surprised I made it all the way through.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • bringdapain
  • Anchorage, AK, USA
  • 2017-11-05

Exciting story

This is a good futuristic story. Book 1 took a surprisingly turn on me at the end. Definitely going to get the next book. The story makes me want to run on the treadmill so I can listen more to what happens. The narrator performance was good to me.

36 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tracy P.
  • 2019-01-11

HELL DIVERS: A HEAVENLY THRILLER!

"Hell Divers #1" was even better (based on all the great reviews I read prior) than expected. An absolutely amazing thrill ride, start to finish, with well developed, multidimensional, realistic characters.

I was familiar with Sansbury Smith's work from his "Extinction Horizon" (Zombie) series, and went through them, one after the other, till I had to wait for his newest release, and preordered that one.

This book had it all. . . mystery, suspense, nonstop thrills, and horror all perfectly mixed in. I did not read the synopsis for book #2 for until I finished this one, so was surprised by the ending, and thought it was perfect!

Looking forward to moving onto book #2 in this series soon, and cannot recommend Mr. Sansbury Smith's work highly enough. He is definitely not a one hit wonder, and is (quite honestly) just terrifically talented, and gets what readers/listeners seek in thriller/horror books.

It goes without saying that R.C. Bray was as amazing as the narrator. Whenever I see his name listed as the person who narrated a book, I know the listening experience will be well beyond expectations! :)

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kurt Schwoppe
  • Alexandria, VA United States
  • 2017-02-02

Dystopia in a Dirigible

I liked this book and so will you. It's filled with heroic men and women, fast paced action, and believable science fiction. I thought the primary premise of the book was uniquely interesting, and the overall story was consistent with no annoying plot holes. This is not a literary masterpiece, and the characters don't have much depth, but it compensates by being very entertaining. As always, R.C. Bray brings these types of books alive, and he held my attention for the entire book. I gave the story 4 stars, but only because I reserve 5 stars for those very rare books that provide both entertainment and substance. So it is very entertaining, but one you'll never have to write a term paper about.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful