Title: Hell Divers III: Deliverance
Author: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
My rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Release date: May 15, 2018
If you’re familiar with Nicholas Sansbury Smith’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller series “Hell Divers,” then you already know the lad can write and tell stories that will keep you turning the pages.
If you’re not, well, all you need to know is that “Hell Divers III: Deliverance,” the third entry in the series, is as good an introduction as any to the author’s storytelling talents. In fact, I think this may be Smith’s most absorbing and accomplished work yet.
Smith spins a gripping tale set a few hundred years into the future when the Earth is ravaged by massive radioactive storms and monsters, swamp creatures and snakelike beasts roam the lands and seas. Humanity’s last best hope resides in an airship high in the atmosphere, out of site of the planet’s hellscape.
Above, a small band of heroic Hell Divers heads down to the surface to rescue one of their own, Xavier “X” Rodriguez, left behind years ago to fend for himself by a villainous captain. The novel’s point of view rotates between X (introduced in Book 1), who battles giant mutant creatures with only a dog as a companion, and various crew members. Petty infighting seems to be the favored sport on the ship while a half-crazed Captain Queeg-like figure rules with an iron fist. Within a few chapters, the cast of well-crafted characters will suck you in and draw your admiration or disdain.
“Deliverance” is both satisfying in its own right and leads smartly into the fourth installment in this series, coming later this year. Dive on in and you’ll be hooked!