The Exodus Towers - Jason M. Hough After hearing the praises my co-blogger Wendy had to sing about this book, I decided not to wait any longer and just had to see its awesomeness for myself. I'm so glad I did. At the same time, though, I'm also now hot and bothered over that crazy cliffhanger of an ending. Oh no, you did NOT just end there. I'm not kidding, I actually shouted that at the book, earning me a strange and slightly concerned look from my husband.

The story continues with mystery, action and good sci-fi thrills in this sequel to The Darwin Elevator, Jason M. Hough's hit debut that came out earlier this summer. With the appearance of a second space elevator in Brazil, our protagonist Skyler and the brilliant Dr. Tania Sharma have set up a new colony at its base, using the movable alien towers around it to ward off the deadly subhuman plague. A sudden attack from a band of immune militants, however, halts progress and endangers the colonists. Cut off from contact, Skyler is left on his own to fight off the savage SUBs and to figure out a way take back the colony.

I have to say the second book of a trilogy is often tricky; a lot of times, they end up being labeled as "bridges" since the first book typically is an explosive introduction while the last book contains the grand finale, leaving little for the middle book to do than to tie the two together and ramp up to the conclusion. I'm happy to report this is not the case with The Exodus Towers. Personally, I find it even more gripping than the first book, with non-stop action that starts on page one and won't let up.

At the same time, it also deftly manages to accomplish a prime goal of a second book -- developing and evolving the main characters, establishing the world, and furthering the intrigue of the situation. In this story of survival in a land taken over by the wilderness and hordes of mindless, violent creatures, we get to experience this at both the personal level through the eyes of Skyler, as well as at a community level following the struggles of the colony.

In addition, new threats and new players are introduced to spice things up. The story is getting a little darker and more brutal, and in a time when humans should be banding together, everyone is instead even more unsure of whom to trust. The suspense is also building steadily, as more is gleaned about the mysterious alien Builders and their daunting technology. All in all, this book succeeded in revving up the momentum and raising the stakes. Can't wait for the conclusion!

Note: Received eARC in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, NetGalley and Del Rey!

More reviews at The BiblioSanctum