Life was simple on the Australia: you fight or you die. On Earth, however, things are a lot more complicated.
***SEQUEL TO THE ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD-SHORTLISTED-NOVEL WAY DOWN DARK***
The moment she learned the horrible truth about her life on Australia, the derelict ship overrun with violent gangs, Chan Aitch made it her mission to save everyone she could from their fate worse than death. But her efforts were in vain. Now, everyone she cares about is dead or in prison, and Chan is more alone than ever before.
As the only person to have escaped Australia's terrible crash-landing back to Earth, Chan is now living in poverty on the fringes of a huge city. She believes Mae, the little girl she once rescued on the Australia, is still alive - but she has no idea where Mae is, or how to find her. Everything on Earth is strange and new, and Chan has never felt more lost.
But she'll do whatever it takes to find Mae, even if it means going to prison herself. She's broken out of prison before. How hard could it be to do it again?
Hard-hitting, lightning-paced and beautifully written, Way Down Dark delivers a thrilling fight for survival in a world where death lurks around every corner. Fans of The Hunger Games will devour it, although they might not want to read it after dark... - Amazon
A dark and brutal new YA trilogy with a heroine who could whup Katniss any day of the week. - James Dawson
A gripping, breathtaking series that I couldn't put down. These are books that everybody should be reading. - Amy Alward, author of The Potion Diaries
A truly chilling and ruthless world, brilliantly realised. - Samantha Shannon, author of The Bone Season
The Australian series is one of the most explosive, enthralling and confident young adult series that pushes the boundaries of what we expect from our dystopian based reads. Long Dark Dusk continues shortly after Chan has disembarked from the Australia, and Mae torn from her arms. Still aching with grief of all she's lost, Chan is determined to rescue the young girl from captivity. Her only ally is underground reporter Ziegler, who teaches Chan about her new world and provides assistance in exchange for her story. With the aid of local trader Alala, Chan is now indebted to the ruthless merchant as she plans to access the Achieves where it is believed she will find Mae's whereabouts. As on board the Australia, Chan will again need to fight against the oppression of her new world and her own sense of self. With so few words, James Smythe is able to create an incredibly vivid world of brutality and oppression. From the addict lined streets of the outer slums, to the opulence of the wealthy citizens and stark, desolate landscape beyond the city walls. It's breathtaking. Where Way Down Dark was fiercely brutal and raw, Long Dark Dusk has a quiet and ruthless determination, intricate and devious as Chan needs to navigate this world with cunning. One of the qualities that sets the Australia series apart is how unpredictable it is. It doesn't rely on romance to further the storyline, nor does it follow the standard young adult format of instant love and overwhelming blocks of world building. Chan is a character who knows how to adapt. On board Australia it was fight or flight, but on the ground she's aware of how the new society works through observation of others. She knows she no longer needs to defend herself and although risking being captured, her life isn't being challenged by those determined to dominate. I love her. Fiercely. Buy it, read it, love it. A strong female character, intricate world building, a raw determination and written to perfection. The series is phenomenal.