The Exodus Towers: The Dire Earth Cycle: Two
by Jason M. Hough
Cover Artist: Chris McGrath
Review by Steve Sawicki
Del Rey Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345537140
Date: 27 August 2013 List Price $9.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The appearance of a second space elevator in Brazil adds much to the mystery of what is happening on Earth. The elevators, one anchored in Darwin, Australia and the other now in Brazil, are alien in nature. Why they are there no one knows.
The Darwin elevator also emanates some sort of field that keeps those within it safe fro the planet wide plague that has wiped out much of humanity. Most who are infected end up as mindless killing creatures. There are a few immunes and they scavenge the world for needed resources.
Skyler is one of those immunes and he's found himself right in the middle of all the action. Teaming up with Dr. Tania Sharma, a scientist groomed by the man who seemed to anticipate everything and profit from it before being killed during a coup, Skyler is now in Brazil, having fled with Sharma and the crew of one of the space stations formerly anchored to Darwin and not anchored to the elevator at Brazil.
Brazil is different, instead of a safe aura, there are towers, each with it's own aura field, allowing people who are not immune to travel into the wilderness safely. There is also a crashed ship and it seems to have done things to the mutant humans still surviving. To make things even more interesting there appears to be a puzzle left by the beings who created the elevators. A puzzle that Skyler feels they need to solve in a hurry as another alien ship is on a trajectory to Earth.
This is the second book of the trilogy that Del Rey is publishing three months in a row. That's a book each month. So, no waiting to find out what happens. I, for one, really like this new publishing idea. And I really like this book, and the trilogy so far. Hough's writing is very sharp and his characterization very well done. The plotting is intense and the action plentiful. It's a fun read and engaging as well. There are plenty of surprises, even for seasoned readers, and the whole concept is fresh and interesting.
I enjoyed the first book in the series and second books are often some what of a let down since they bridge the beginning and the end. Not in this case though. This book is fast, well crafted and well worth the buying. This is Hough's first novel and it's on helluva debut.
Highly recommended. You'll be disappointed if you have not read this.