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Hell Divers

The Hell Divers Series, Book 1
Narrated by: R. C. Bray
Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (374 ratings)
Non-member price: $35.84
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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times and USA Today best-selling series  

More than two centuries after World War III poisoned the planet, the final bastion of humanity lives on massive airships circling the globe in search of a habitable area to call home. Aging and outdated, most of the ships plummeted back to Earth long ago. The only thing keeping the two surviving lifeboats in the sky are Hell Divers - men and women who risk their lives by skydiving to the surface to scavenge for parts the ships desperately need. 

When one of the remaining airships is damaged in an electrical storm, a Hell Diver team is deployed to a hostile zone called Hades. But there's something down there far worse than the mutated creatures discovered on dives in the past - something that threatens the fragile future of humanity. 

©2016 Nicholas Sansbury Smith (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Boys Own Adventure.

loved it. Hit me back to my childhood when I used to read all the things like Flash Gordon and other thrilling tales.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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great performance, but hole filled plot

great performance, but hole filled plot with limited backing detail. so much of the dynamics of the situation do not make sense and that drags away from the story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Can't wait for book 2

This is a great story, well narrated. The storyline has good pace with plenty of tension. The imagery is immersive and the characters engaging. R.C. Bray knocks it out of the park, again.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I think I saw this one before...

Mix of doom and snowpiercer with an airship instead of a train, very basic and predictable plot. Good to fill up the ears with some noise while commuting!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely a great listening

i reay enjoyed this book, kept me hooked all the way through, hope it gets made in to a movie...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Never heard of these books before. Wasn't expecting much but I got hooked! Narrator great as usual (I listen to a lot of R C Bray)

There's also video game roughly based on the book which is worth playing with a couple of mates.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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It's a movie.. for you ears!

Not going to sugar coat this and blab on, this book is freaking amazing. I'm throwing it in the some group as Matthew Reilly (Scarecrow series) and Pierce Brown (Red Rising trilogy). I love this Shite.

And R. C. Bray... killed it, his voice fit X and the story perfectly!


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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overall great

good book, delivery was a little robotic but story made up for it. moving on to second book now

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Oustanding read from start to finish.

Any post apocalyptic fan will be hooked from the first chapter. A must for all die hard sci-fi junkies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Was good, but lacked depth.

Narration was great, the story packed depth though so it was all over so fast with such little information. Wasn't terrible, but could have been better. :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michalena
  • 06-10-2017

I usually don't read my SciFi however....!!

So, I'm kind of strange...I love SciFI TV, all the way back to Star Trek: Next Gen when I was a kid. But...reading it in book form I usually find tedious and a struggle to get through, with a few exceptions (thank you Douglas Adams!!). But this book was on sale, the premise sounded really interesting and my boyfriend had recently made me listen to the Gears of War books on Audible which greatly enjoyed, so I took a chance. So glad I did!!

This book is an adrenaline ride from beginning to end. It doesn't flinch from the realities of nuclear fallout and using nuclear power to run a ship. It's not just the Hell Divers that are in danger when jumping to a destroyed earth. Cancer, deformities, radiation sickness and other diseases rampant on the ship, especially in the lower decks near the reactors.

You're taken along for the same ride the Hell Divers go on as well as getting insight to life on the ship, the social state of affairs, humanity's fight to survive and heroism and compassion that exists even in this hard future.

I will definitely be buying the second book in the series and I hope Audible comes out with the 3rd real soon.

"We dive so that humanity survives"

70 of 75 people found this review helpful

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  • Tracy P.
  • 11-01-2019

HELL DIVERS: A HEAVENLY THRILLER!

"Hell Divers #1" was even better (based on all the great reviews I read prior) than expected. An absolutely amazing thrill ride, start to finish, with well developed, multidimensional, realistic characters.

I was familiar with Sansbury Smith's work from his "Extinction Horizon" (Zombie) series, and went through them, one after the other, till I had to wait for his newest release, and preordered that one.

This book had it all. . . mystery, suspense, nonstop thrills, and horror all perfectly mixed in. I did not read the synopsis for book #2 for until I finished this one, so was surprised by the ending, and thought it was perfect!

Looking forward to moving onto book #2 in this series soon, and cannot recommend Mr. Sansbury Smith's work highly enough. He is definitely not a one hit wonder, and is (quite honestly) just terrifically talented, and gets what readers/listeners seek in thriller/horror books.

It goes without saying that R.C. Bray was as amazing as the narrator. Whenever I see his name listed as the person who narrated a book, I know the listening experience will be well beyond expectations! :)

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Donna
  • 04-10-2017

Gritty Sci-Fi

Awesome story with great narration. Writing is well done with a believable plot. Military science fiction at its finest.

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Dreamer
  • 21-10-2017

read the book so of course I had to listen to it

I am not a big science fiction fan at all. I usually avoid reading them. As a fan of Mr. Sansbury Smith's other books I knew I just had to give Hell Divers a try. As I said, I already read the book and thought why not listen to Hell Divers. Wow, the book is fantastic but audible brings the entire book to life in vivid colors. R. C. Bray took no time to get used to, as some narrators do for me . Some narrators distract me from the book but not R. C. Bray, he made Hell Divers play in my mind like a movie from the very start. Whether you read, listen or both ( my suggestion ), this is one hell of a book and series.

54 of 59 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel O.
  • 24-10-2017

Dark but engaging

At first I thought this book might have been a bit too dark for my taste but the story kept pulling me back because I needed to hear what happened next. The story, combined with an excellent narrator, forced me to finish this book in record time and I had to immediately grab the 2nd book to hear more.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • The Super-duper Amazing Silver Golem
  • 09-02-2017

Great action scenes with great characters.


Love action filled senerios in a post apocalyptic setting, but getting a bit tired of zombies always being the cause? Then then the audiobook  "Hell Divers" is for you.

Narrator R.C Bray's gravelly tough guy voice brings the whole audio experience home. Every hardcore cation hero survivor character ever can be heard in that man's voice. If Batman has an audiobook coming out this guy would likely be narrating it. Good job, R.C Bray for bringing the staying strong against all odds plot of "Hell Divers" even more to life than it already was. Nothing is better than when they match a great story with the perfect narration for it.

This story is about an air ship called the hive and the special people who sky dive down through hellish storms to a hellish version of earth populated by hellish monsters just to retrieve enough supplies to keep their loved ones safe for just a little bit longer. They are called Hell Drivers.

Recommended to thrill seekers and those facinated with action pack survivor fiction. Those who like both of those things with the added bonus of being written and told in a masterful way will love it.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Kurt Schwoppe
  • 02-02-2017

Dystopia in a Dirigible

I liked this book and so will you. It's filled with heroic men and women, fast paced action, and believable science fiction. I thought the primary premise of the book was uniquely interesting, and the overall story was consistent with no annoying plot holes. This is not a literary masterpiece, and the characters don't have much depth, but it compensates by being very entertaining. As always, R.C. Bray brings these types of books alive, and he held my attention for the entire book. I gave the story 4 stars, but only because I reserve 5 stars for those very rare books that provide both entertainment and substance. So it is very entertaining, but one you'll never have to write a term paper about.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • bringdapain
  • 05-11-2017

Exciting story

This is a good futuristic story. Book 1 took a surprisingly turn on me at the end. Definitely going to get the next book. The story makes me want to run on the treadmill so I can listen more to what happens. The narrator performance was good to me.

35 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-10-2017

Thrilling and awesome

Action packed that wrecked my nerves! RC Bray delivers again. I'm really into the disruptive post apocalyptic genre. to all the Fallout series gamers - this really brings good memories from radiated USA and the nuclear wasteland

27 of 30 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Larry
  • 30-06-2017

A fast, intense engaging, story. <br />

But over the top for me
I'm 70 now, 20, or even 10 years ago I would have feasted on this story and fished for a sequel, at least more from that author.
I had to slow the speech speed down to 80% for my focus to keep up, even then I had to laugh at how short each listening session was.
With aging my mind is slowing. I've been, & done; lived so much. Experience with, doesn't keep you up with action.
Yes I will follow up with other stories by this author, but I'll space them out giving my elders ears some rest & recovery.

I have a "PS." for this review :
I am a Nam vet and a combat grunt.
I was impressed with the author's grasp of what goes on in the mind, fear.
Fear is addictive, that pounding heart adrenaline and something unanticipated awakens when one accepts I'm going die, this is the my end, I can't survive this!
This, can't end with me alive.
With acceptance comes a kind of peace. With that peace a kind of unanticipated courage.
It can't matter what I try; I'm done anyhow. Then a kind of gratitude that, at last, an end. The exhaustion I'm so weary.
That alas is then, it's later, having survived, comes the withdrawal, the hunger to be fully alive in the moment. It leaves one unfit for a normal life. But 'oh the cost in nightmares, the runaway hyper-vigilance. One learns how to use rage for an energy boost. You don't unlearn such things.
Oh-yes, many find booze a useful tool for the rest of oblivion; - any, not all.
Some recover; kind of.
-End -

77 of 88 people found this review helpful

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  • Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • 26-05-2018

Brilliant!

Years after World War III poisoned the planet, the remaining humans all live in air ships floating above the ground. They relentlessly search the globe for somewhere they can inhabit and rebuild but the world as we knew it is gone. There is only a wasteland there that is radioactive and uninhabitable. Hundreds of years later and humanity is barely hanging on. The 2 remaining airships, Ares and The Hive, are outdated and held together with items that they scavenge. A team of people known as Hell Divers, are the only ones who can scavenge things from earth. They dive down and retrieve power cells to keep the ships afloat. When The Hive receive an SOS call from Ares, they have no choice but to go to the coordinates they sent. Only things is, the place Ares is is called Hades! It's a place that many Hell Divers have dived into but none have returned. Can the team, led by Xavier Rodriguez, known as X, survive?

This book rocked!! What a start to the series!! The idea that the last remnants of humanity are in air ships circling the globe was unique (for me anyway). Usually in Post Apoc books, it's about the preppers and how they survive, here it's people from all walks of life, living in a ship because the earth is poisonous. The only way the ships stay afloat is the fact that men and women dive down to retrieve the necessary resources. It was a fresh and unique look to the PA genre.

I've read quite a few of this authors books and am always amazed with his descriptive writing and how he can pull you in right from the start. The action starts pretty much straight away and never lets up. This author can sure right some intense and exciting action scenes!!! I had no problem, whatsoever, in picturing the harrowing scenes of the wastelands, nor picturing the Hell Divers themselves and what it would feel like to dive towards death! Because that's what it is... very few Hell Divers make it past their 15th (or 19th, can't remember the exact number!) jump and the author is able to portray the way the divers feel perfectly. My heart was in my mouth the whole time!!

Another thing this author has a knack for is writing amazing characters. Xavier Rodriguez is damaged. He lost the love of his life and is just basically going through the motions. He is the head Hell Diver and is very very good at his job. The last dive he was on, he lost someone close to him and became responsible for Tin (Michael). He tries with Tin but X doesn't know how to look after someone else. He is a drunk and only lives so he can dive. I loved X right away. He may be gruff but he is loyal to his fellow divers and does what he can so the ship stays a float. He doesn't hesitate to dive, even when he finds out it Hades!! He is a worthy hero!

Then we have Tin. He loses his father and moves in with X. Tin was awesome!! Such a smart little cookie and not afraid to do whats needed. He wants to be an engineer when he gets older and is interested in fixing everything and anything. He was inquisitive and I loved his character. I really hope we see more of him in the next book. Smith also writes strong females. Captain Ash's cancer is back but she knows she has to stay strong so the ship can stay in the air. She isn't afraid to take chances and make difficult choices, but she is also compassionate. The author knows how to write characters that you will immediately connect to.

In all, this was a book that left me breathless many times! It is non stop and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time!!! I don't know how many times I gasped out loud, but can only imagine it was a lot because so much happens, both on and off the ship! I listened to this in a day because I couldn't stop!! Bring on book 2!!!!

R.C Bray is a master story teller. He brought not only the characters, but the atmosphere to life. I really felt like there was more than one person reading this! He is exceptional and I highly recommend you check his work out.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Stewart
  • 04-08-2017

Hell No

I've never reviewed an audiobook other than the standard star system but with this one I felt the need to share my thoughts.

Good god, this book was boring. Despite its exciting premise Hell Divers never manages to grip you, the first chapter really sets the tone for the rest of the book; clichéd and cringe worthy. For starters the main character is literally called "X" for well over 90% of the book. That's his name, I'm honestly being serious, unless of course on a mission where he prefers to be referred to as Commander X.

Once you get over that edgy hurdle you then come to the dialogue which has a flair of 80s action movie to it. Now, 80s action dialogue I can handle with just the right amount of cheese and self deprecation but this book takes itself way too seriously which unfortunately sucks all the tension out of scenarios and replacing it with a few audible groans of despair. None of the dialogue is really good and the characters saying said dialogue are all flat, boring and for the most part unlikeable. I didn't enjoy any of the characters in this book, nothing they said connected with me and nothing they did excited me.

The worst part about this book is there are some good ideas hidden away behind all the tropes but the execution sucked. How the hell this book was sitting with five stars when I spent my credit on it is a mystery to me so take my advice, don't waste your time or money on this.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Angela
  • 20-11-2018

Boring and Absurd

Well this was disappointing.
Decent premise but utterly boring in reality. Every character was so one-dimensional that I still have no idea who was who, and honestly I don't much care. The general concept was poorly executed, absurd and filled with plotholes.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • BambooWand
  • 02-04-2017

Clichéd and predictable

Nothing new here. All the characters are basic caricatures. The monsters are generic. The language is repetitive, with tongues being repeatedly bitten, and blood repeatedly steaming from one hole or another. Even the characters die in the same way. The kind of story you would expect from a 14 year old. Despite this it had exciting moments, but it was far from great.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Danai
  • 07-09-2016

Average

This is my second novel from the same author nick s smith, the first was extinction cycle. If you enjoyed that I think you will enjoy this. I think the problem I have with this author is his writing style its adequate and serviceable but not that exciting. I had the same problem with extinction cycle. So if ur a fan of the author plz get this book you will love it and the narration by RC Bray is amazing. Otherwise if ur looking for a post apocalyptic tale plz listen to Arisen it's beyond amazing (also narrated by RC Bray)

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • 21-07-2016

Omg, I mean......wow.

This is one of the best books I have ever listened to. A word of advice though..... don't start listening to this book at night, I couldn't turn it off or fall asleep. So thank you Nicholas Sansbury Smith, its now 9am and I'm an exhausted slobbering mess with spots floating before my eyes, I hope you're happy. Amazing book, but I am now going to fall into a coma. I almost forgot (exhortation) R. C. Bray did an amazing job with this book, honestly couldn't have been done better.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. J. M. Young
  • 21-10-2016

Boring, not joined up, plot holes

I really wanted to enjoy this book as the premise sounded so good. However, after forcing myself to listen to hours of this I don't understand what all the good reviews are for.

The good: RC Bray is on his usual high form and I can't fault that. The idea is good, a different take on the post world scenario.

The bad: I wanted to understand about living on the airships. So much potential with the upper and lower decks. This is hardly touched up except for cliched comments.
The hero worship (main character) is dull and predictable with no depth. This is the kind of tough guy I imagine a 15 year old boy would like (like watching an Arnie tough-guy film).
There is one part with a child who goes from hating the main character to loving him in a single paragraph. There should have been so much tension but.. nothing.

The monsters are described well but makes no sense, they just appear. How did they evolve? Why had they not been seen for hundreds of years? Again so much opportunity lost in place of tough guy lead character.

This book could have delivered so much but was flat and boring.


9 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • reesman
  • 18-04-2019

original concept great book

really good story with an original take on the apocalypse . as usual brilliantly read by r c Bray.

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  • Slane
  • 15-04-2019

That's how is been left....

The book is well written, there are some small plot holes that can be easily be overlooked, and I love the setting, but the losses of characters and the ending leave me uninvested in the story to continue the series if more are published.

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  • Lee
  • 09-04-2019

Hell Divers

It’s a good gung ho book which managed to keep my attention and root for the main characters espically X and I would have loved to have found out more about the monsters - where they came from etc and about life on the Hive within the lower floors although this may happen in book 2.

I could almost be on a dive with the Hell divers as the descriptions of the 'falls' they were taking were so good as were the ones of Planet Earths total destruction by WW3 ...although we don't find out what happened yet either.

On the whole a good start to the series :) R C Bray is as usual excellent .