*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*
These books are so intense, every single one of them! It doesn’t matter if the characters are in the air, on land, or at sea—the author still writes a gripping, nail-biting story.
This was another great book in the series with the same great things as the others. The world was complex and horrifying, yet believable. The characters were complex and flawed and gruff and realistic but still likeable for their good qualities and their good intentions. The Hell Divers especially deserve some recognition, not just for the way they risked their lives going to the surface but for the way they constantly risked their lives for each other, never willing to leave someone behind if they could help it. The relationships between characters were also imperfect and complex. The scenes that took place on the surface and at sea were full of danger and action and monstrous creatures.
*The next three paragraphs of this review may contain SPOILERS for previous books in the series.*
Much like previous books, this one had multiple POVs and multiple groups of characters doing different things, but it’s a format that works because there’s always a lot going on, and all of it is important.
X, Magnolia, and Miles (X’s dog) were off in a boat trying to find the fabled Metal Islands. Being at sea brought some slightly different dangers, and there was just as much detail and immersion and realism in regards to the sailing as there’s been for weapons, airships, and everything else in this series. (At least, I assume so since I don’t actually know anything about any of these things.) But the characters were still the most interesting part, especially X. He was still the same person, but he was also a little different then he was before his ten years on the surface, which makes sense. He was even more gruff, he had little patience for other people, and he seemed to have some problems with anger, but he still had a good heart and, more than anything, wanted to keep his friends and loved ones safe. Plus, he’s one badass old man! Ok, he’s not actually old, but he’s not young either, and “badass middle-aged man” doesn’t have the same ring to it ;-) Not to mention that life has not exactly been kind to him. I think he manages to pull things off through sheer determination sometimes.
Meanwhile, Katrina and all the old and new Hell Divers undocked the Deliverance and left for a mission. Like the captains before her, Katrina had to make some hard decisions, while Michael, Layla, Les, and Erin ended up back on the surface facing dangers of their own, including some new monsters. The Raptors are a great team though; they really look out for each other, and I love that.
This book had a few surprises, some good, some bad. And although there were consequences and things are still bleak for many of the characters, there’s hope too, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next!
Fans of Books 1-3 in Nicholas Sanbury Smith's Hell Divers Series. Anyone looking for a crazy, intense, gritty, gripping, unique post-apocalyptic story and gruff, flawed, but still likeable characters.