The Darwin Elevator – Jason M Hough

“The builders came to Earth and constructed an elevator from Darwin, Australia into space. No one knows why, or if they will return”

Aliens build a 40,000 km elevator from Darwin, Australia into space. The aliens, however, are nowhere to be seen. Mankind builds colonies along the elevator. Later, a deadly virus breaks out, either killing people or turning them into near mindless savages. Only those living within the restricted protective aura of the elevator – or rare examples of those who are immune – survive. Now the world is post apocalyptic, with conflict between those on the elevator, those not on the elevator, and what remains of humanity.

The story is built around the drive of a scientist to work out why the elevator’s technology and protection is starting to break down, and the scavenger team he recruits to do the dirty work. Life is brutish, nasty, and short and bad things happen.

It’s an interesting premise with a reasonable action adventure spin, well told, and a decent amount of surprises given the extent to which the plot is revealed.

Unfortunately, it’s part of a trilogy, and I’m unsure if I can be bothered going any further with it. Many of the characters did not generate any sympathy in me, and the sense of wonder I would expect to have, wasn’t there. It gets good reviews, but I wonder how many of these are built on a reading of the whole trilogy without truly looking at each book in its own right.

I think I’ll just get off the Darwin Elevator at this floor, thank you very much.