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Hell Divers III: Deliverance by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Format: Ebook
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

What an absolute treat to be able to reenter the post-apocalyptic world of the Hell Divers. The first book blew me away, the second book was duly devoured, and this third book was no less of a hell-ride.

Approximately 250 years after the world went to hell in a nuclear war that destroyed the surface of the planet, airships ply the skies over what used to be the USA, unable to land on the blasted – and dangerous – earth. Now aged and falling apart, the airships are maintained by supplies collected from locations across the country by the intrepid Hell Divers, men and women who risk their lives with each jump they take to retrieve the supplies, battling raging thunderstorms, high radiation and mostly humanoid monsters called Sirens.

Hive, the last of the airships, recently lost its last two teams of Hell Divers. Unknown to them, some of those Hell Divers survived to find a new airship they name Deliverance. And they are hunting down the legendary Hell Diver, X, lost ten years ago on a mission in Hades.

Meanwhile, on the Hive, a new team of Hell Divers must be trained to continue the supply runs. But when Captain Leon Jordan learns of Deliverance, he has a new goal: acquire the sleek new airship at all costs.

Nick’s prose, particularly in this series, is some of the most beautiful I’ve come across, making this series a qualified (due to the nature of the storyline) pleasure to read. It’s rare that I find books I can inhale as rapidly as these. The settings and characters are so realistic, and the delivery so smooth, that I just wrap myself up in the world for a few hours – sans hot chocolate!

For all this is a post-apoc book with monsters – humanoid, animal and plant – Nick always manages to show that the true depths of depravity are found in the human heart; there’s truly no monster worse than one that wears a human face. I’m by nature not a vindictive person, but I really really hate the villain in this story.

Oh, and that epilogue? It had me in tears. SO beautiful.

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Apocalypse Weird: The Red King by Nick Cole

Source: Own Collection
Format: Kindle
Rating:  3 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

This is a post-apocalyptic zombie tale with a few twists thrown in. It follows Holiday, a barista who turns to drink after his girlfriend leaves him to go to college, as he experiences the end of the world as he knows it. Holed up in suburbia, he slowly gathers a group of survivors around him – and braves the outside world occasionally in order to survive. But there are strange things afoot, which add a wonderful mystery element to the story. Is there time travel, alternate realities, or something else entirely, going on? The questions this book raises definitely draw one on to read the next book in the series.

Nick Cole’s writing is vivid and realistic, drawing the reader into the characters’ lives and experiencing events with them as they unfold. A lot of fun – with some suspense thrown in for good measure. I really liked this book.

Extinction Lost by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Source: Amazon
Format: Kindle
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

In this short story, a quick trip to Greenland hot on the heels of their disastrous trip to France turns into a nightmare for Team Ghost. And beware – ghosts from the past may pop up when you least expect them!

Not to be overlooked, this short story is every bit what we’ve come to expect from Fitz and the rest of Team Ghost. Once again the recipients of an impossible mission, the stakes are raised on the team until it could go either way.

Gripping and fast-paced, Nicholas adds a new dimension to the Variant saga in this quick read. Excellent stuff.

Extinction Aftermath by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Source: Amazon
Format: Kindle
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

When I think Smith can’t top the previous book in a series, he turns around and shows me just what stuff he’s made of. Bigger and better monsters, a dastardly villain who is seriously insane, and of course, Team Ghost and their friends, who as always try to hold the line. What more could I ask for? I simply devoured this book.

This is an author with a fantastic imagination, and the story isn’t all that far-fetched, which makes it all the more chilling. If these are Nick’s “daymares”, I hate to know what his nightmares are like! Now I truly cannot wait for the next book!

Extinction War by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Source: Amazon
Format: Kindle
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

At long last, the eagerly-anticipated finale to the Extinction Cycle. I was very glad to finally be able to get my hands on this (Oh, the hardships of waiting for the author to write, then edit, a new book!) and dig in.

And I was not disappointed. Not one bit. It was really good to get back in touch with Reed, Kate, Horn, Fitz and Rachel. Can’t say I was as pleased to be reaquainted with some of the other characters, but I suppose villains must have their moments. I didn’t do a re-read of the previous book prior to picking this one up, so I did have to stop and think a few times at the beginning about just where the previous book had left off – but that was my own fault for not being prepared. Smith gave an adequate account to recall events to my memory, and that was all that he needed to do. I actually found it fun to be reminded of where things were at. One of the hazards of reading a lot of books. Also, huge kudos to Smith for not dropping a single thread. This story is very complex, with action taking place all over the Northern Hemisphere between Alaska and Rome, and each story line was tightly controlled and clearly related.

The quality of writing in this book was of a very high standard, and exactly what I’ve come to know and expect from Smith. The storytelling too was exemplary – Smith certainly likes to keep us on the edges of our nerves! But then, what would a Smith book be if that wasn’t the case?

Overall, a MUST read for Extinction Cycle fans, and if you like post-apocalyptic fiction mixed with military action, biomedical disaster and some (highly-plausible, thus scary) science fiction, then do pick up Extinction Horizon, the first in the series. A solid five stars from me.

Thank you for the wild ride!!