Way Down Dark: (Australia Book 1) by J P Smythe

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton  |  Published: 2nd July 2015  |  Edition: Paperback (Goodreads)

Way Down Dark by J P Smythe

There’s one truth on Australia.

You fight or you die.

Usually both.

Imagine a nightmare from which there is no escape.

With its fast flowing text and edgy storyline I ploughed through it and wanted to read EVERYTHING as quickly as my brain would process!

Welcome to Australia, but not as you know it…

A floating version of the continent, a metallic vessel of mammoth proportions, houses a population leading a bleak and grim existence in space – each day brings its own challenges and it’s simply a matter of staying alive as long as you can.

Over time, each section of the ship has morphed into its own version of ‘civilisation’; be it religion, agriculture, bartering for goods, or merely the lust for power. But one constant remains: the hunger to survive at any cost.

The fine line between living and existing is often in the balance and there are some hard decisions to be made – forget crocodiles and poisonous spiders, THIS ‘Australia’ is a selfish, barbaric and a far more dangerous place to live.

With plenty of harsh choices to make and cruel truths that emerge, sixteen year old Chan’s life is tougher than most. As the story progresses you learn more about her life, her capabilities and her interactions with the rest of the inhabitants, who are all contained in this eroding environment they call home.

I’m not going to offer anything too in depth about the story, as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who is yet to read it. I’ll just say that a superb, action-led series of events unfold throughout (with a few moral dilemmas too) and my attention didn’t waiver at any point.

It has a fantastic build up and a momentous twist, although I did feel that the final events were a little hurried as I approached the last hurdle. In the grand scheme of things that’s irrelevant, as it hasn’t stopped me craving part two already. Oh, no. After THAT cliff-hanger, the lure is too great.

Rating: 4/5

(My sincere thanks to Goodreads First reads and the Publisher for selecting my name from the ‘giveaway hat’ for a chance to read and review this book.)

Find the Publisher on Twitter: @hodderbooks / @hodderscape / @chapter5books


Way Down Dark Author Graphic 2

Follow the author on Twitter: @jpsmythe  |  Author’s Website:  James Smythe

Buy the Book that James Dawson describes as:

“A dark and brutal new YA Trilogy with a heroine that could whup Katniss any day of the week.”

Amazon UK  |  Waterstones


 The ‘Official’ Book Blurb

Imagine a nightmare from which there is no escape.

Seventeen-year-old Chan’s ancestors left a dying Earth hundreds of years ago, in search of a new home. They never found one.

This is a hell where no one can hide.

The only life that Chan’s ever known is one of violence, of fighting. Of trying to survive.

This is a ship of death, of murderers and cults and gangs.

But there might be a way to escape. In order to find it, Chan must head way down into the darkness – a place of buried secrets, long-forgotten lies, and the abandoned bodies of the dead.

This is Australia.

Seventeen-year-old Chan, fiercely independent and self-sufficient, keeps her head down and lives quietly, careful not to draw attention to herself amidst the violence and disorder. Until the day she makes an extraordinary discovery – a way to return the Australia to Earth. But doing so would bring her to the attention of the fanatics and the murderers who control life aboard the ship, putting her and everyone she loves in terrible danger.

And a safe return to Earth is by no means certain.


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