I went into this book just like I do every other book, I had no clue as to what it was about. It is a science fiction book, but it’s not a military science fiction story. This is a strange story and I’m not sure the science would prove this even possible. Commander Xavier Rodriguez or X as he seems to be called is a Hell Diver. Now what that means is the strange part of the story. Earth has been pretty much destroyed. Yeah, World War III touched off Armageddon as everyone feared. The bombs dropped on every major city only they weren’t dropped by missiles or planes. They were dropped via airships built specifically for the purpose.
These airships weren’t subject to electronic jamming like most modern missiles or planes. That’s why they were so spectacularly successful in their mission. The Persephone as it was named when commissioned, was one of fifty of built airships that soon became the last refuge for most of the families of the military brass. Carrying a little over 500 people, they soon stratified into lower-deckers and upper-deckers. Those in the lower decks tended to what made the airship stay afloat for now, many, many years. Their ship was now called the Hive with so many people wondering around in darkening passageways. Thee airships were nuclear powered, but even nuclear fuel cells don’t last forever. The upper-deckers were the ships officers and those responsible for operating the huge ship. Now after so many years that few could count, the world only kept aloft two such airships and one was in trouble.
In order to stay aloft, these ships had to access spare parts and equipment from the Earth below. Even though it was a radioactive wasteland, they still had to go down and retrieve parts that the couldn’t or didn’t know how to make. Most of the population aboard these ships had been born way after the war that ended the world. They didn’t know what started the war or why it even started. All they knew was that they sailed in a dark sky the was covered with grey or black clouds every where they went. This is where Commander X came into the picture. He and his Team Raptor were Hell Divers! They dived down to the Earth every so often to secure the parts and other materials for the airship. It wasn’t an easy job. The radiation was one problem and the nuclear winter was the other. Commander X was the most senior of all the Hell Divers. This next dive was his ninety-sixth and possibly his last.
Captain Ash commanded the Hive. She had sworn to find a place upon the Earth to set the ship down and let her people once more feel solid ground beneath their feet. Only that didn’t ever look like it was going to happen. Then she got a distress call from the only other airship in existence. It was so desperate for nuclear fuel cells that it had gone to the region of Earth called Hades. This place was a black caldron of massive clouds that had almost continuous lightening storms. It was not safe, but it was also right above the most logical site for nuclear fuel cells since it was the former HQ for the company that built the airships. Captain Ash didn’t want to go near the place, but she couldn’t ignore the call for help. She also didn’t want to send her Hell Divers down to Hades, as it was known, but that’s what she was going to have to do. There was no guarantee that they could even find what they needed and no Hell Diver ever came back from a dive to Hades.
So that’s the gist of the story. Hell Divers dive to Earth, try to find what’s needed and then return to the airship. The airship doesn’t land so it’s interesting to read how they get back up. How the human population can expect to survive with only the 500+ souls aboard one airship is beyond me. That’s not enough genetic diversity to populate anything and that’s assuming they already haven’t intermarried on the airship to cause genetic problems already. But, that’s not what the story is about. Oh, and the Hell Divers do find life on the Earth, it’s just not compatible to or with humans.
I’m still not sure if I’m going to follow the story further. It’s kind of interesting to me, but not that compelling. Still, Book 2, “Ghosts”, is available on Amazon right now. Oh, there is a short novella at the end of this book 1. It explains how the main character doesn’t actually die off in this first book. That’s interesting.