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Hell Divers

The Hell Divers Series, Book 1
Narrated by: R.C. Bray
Series: The Hell Divers Series, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (260 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

2016 Editor's Pick

2016 Audible's Best in Science Fiction

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 Aging and outdated, most of the ships plummeted back to Earth long ago.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.
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  • Overall
    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

4 people found this helpful

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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

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Better than i expected!!

I put this book off for far too long.
I had an extra credit and thought I’d give it a shot. And oh boy am I happy I did!!

1 person found this helpful

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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!!!

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rob
  • 2019-10-20

Belief unsuspended

I didn't like this and couldn't finish it. There are too many issues with the logic.

Sci-fi and fantasy are my bread and butter, and I'll forgive a lot, but it just doesn't make sense. Simple things like growing up in a population of a large high school and not knowing absolutely everyone on board broke the suspension of disbelief. Or, a dystopian future with limited resources, yet a character has black nail polish.

It's like listening to Waterworld in the sky. Hard pass.

Great performance by RC Bray as always.

2 people found this helpful

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a tale of heroism and sacrifice

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jillian Noone
  • 2019-09-04

A little cliche action hero-y but damn good story anyway

You know how it goes. The Hero who is tragic and damaged, he (insert self destructive vice) too much and can barely hold himself together. He has a chip on his shoulder and is something of a loose cannon - both characteristics that keep him from rising in the ranks while also ensuring he's called on for the most dangerous deploys.

....but it's actually still pretty good. Solid character development, an actual female captain (who's main character arc is actual leadership not a romance with aforementioned Loose Cannon), and it's got plenty of nail biting moments while not being overly predictable or relying on jump scares (can books have jump scares?)

I was mad when it was over and now I'm gonna go download the next in the series.

47 people found this helpful

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  • Ben
  • 2018-09-11

Came for the dystopia, left with derivation

RC Bray does a wonderful job with introspective strong male protagonists. His narration was spot-on as always.

The plot to hell divers is exactly what you'd expect from the synopsis and cover art. It immerses you in a world not too unlike our own, with little glimpses of how the players of this world view our privileged existence. Beyond the basic premise, I found the writing derivative and expository at times. Lots of plot points are nothing more than they appear on the surface. I couldn't get into any intrigue beyond the fate of the protagonists. The world building ends at the surface level.

That said, the world building is still masterful. Without getting into too much detail, it differs so much from our own that it's shallow skin might make it more believable, avoiding unneeded complication in a very cut-and-dry existence. I look forward to picking up future books to find out if there is more than meets the eye hidden in the next installment.

37 people found this helpful

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  • Camellia
  • 2019-08-26

Like listening to an apocalyptic action movie

I tried this book on a whim — I love apocalyptic stories but there are a lot of mediocre books out there. This is not one them! The Hell Divers series is original, exciting, and addictive. I’ve literally had to buy more credits as I’ve plowed through listening to the whole series to date in the last month. Be warned: this story will grab you and you won’t want to let go!

51 people found this helpful

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  • 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! :)

50 people found this helpful

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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.

94 people found this helpful

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  • Michalena
  • 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"

112 people found this helpful

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  • Wild Pig
  • 2017-11-16

Thoroughly enjoyed this!

I was quite surprised and pleased Nicholas...I went directly to the second book and am looking forward to the 3rd! R.C. you are doing a great job with the narration.

This is not a "standalone" book series. You do need to read these in order to understand all elements of the story.

Looking REALLY forward to the next one!

22 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

43 people found this helpful

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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.

42 people found this helpful

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  • Chesty
  • 2019-04-14

Good story great listen.

It is a good story but somewhat predictable. The idea is a bit far fetched but that’s what you expect in apocalyptic novels. If you are a fan of RC Bray you will enjoy it.

6 people found this helpful