It’s getting harder to write reviews for these books because they’re always good, and I just keep saying the same things over and over.
The post-apocalyptic world-building was horrifying and creative (though mostly established at this point, aside from smaller details popping up). The action was intense. There were some established relationships and brief mentions of feelings, but definitely nothing I’d call romance. The characters were flawed and badass and likeable.
At this point there’s kind of a core group of characters, though it shifts around a bit, as do side characters, as circumstances arise, people die, etc. Because people always die in these books, and it’s always sad, even when you barely know the character.
I listened to the audiobook for this, and I didn’t like the narration by R.C. Bray. Other people seem to love it, but he talks with an unnatural, forced cadence/inflection/something. Every sentence of narration sounded the same, spoken the same way. As for his voice, it’s on the deeper, gruffer side, which I felt suited some characters but not others. Voices were slightly different for different characters, though some were easier to tell apart than others. Not an unbearable audiobook for me, but not my favorite. What you hear in the sample is basically what you’re gonna get, so you can make your own decision based on that.
*SPOILERS for previous books in the series*
This book in particular was a little slower for a while and a little different than previous ones because it was largely about X taking on the mantle of leadership and trying to keep the peace and prevent another war between the Sky People and the Cazadores. But I appreciate that that wasn’t skipped over because it’s an important part of the story. And I liked getting so much time with X. He’s a great character, and he was doing his best. I wouldn’t have wanted to be in his position.
There was still some surface action too, with all the horrifying wasteland monsters you’d expect. But this time, there was also a new threat to contend with. And the action and intensity really ramped up near the end.
It was also kind of interesting to see a bit of what life was like on the Metal Islands and how things are changing for the people from the airship.
Overall, this was a bit slower than some of the other books in the series, but it was still good!
Fans of Books 1-5 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.