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by J.P. Smythe

Seventeen-year-old Chan's ancestors left a dying Earth hundreds of years ago, in search of a new home. Generations later, they are still searching . . .

Every day aboard the interstellar transport ship Australia is a kind of hell, where no one is safe, no one can hide. Indeed, the only life Chan's ever known is one of endless violence. A life of survival. Fiercely independent and entirely self-sufficient, she has learned to keep her head down as much as possible, careful not to draw attention to herself amidst the mayhem. For the Australia is a ship of death, filled with murderous gangs and twisted cults, vying for supremacy in a closed environment with limited resources and no hope.

And then one day Chan makes an extraordinary discovery--there may be a way to return the Australia to Earth. But doing so will only bring her to the attention of the fanatics and murderers who control life aboard the ship, putting her and everyone she loves in terrible danger.

Is it worth endangering her life and the lives of her few friends and loved ones for an uncertain return to a home world that may be uninhabitable? Especially since to do so she must descend into the deep dark in the bowels of the ship, which is piled high with the bodies and the secrets of the dead . . .

James Smythe is the author of Way Down Dark, The Testimony, The Explorer, The Machine, The Echo, and No Harm Can Come to a Good Man. He currently writes a very popular column for The Guardian called "Rereading Stephen King" and teaches Creative Writing in London.


"Way Down Dark is one of those rare books that will appeal to readers of all ages: deliciously dark, fast-paced, fun to read and teeming with real heart and soul. I loved it." —Sarah Lotz, author of Day Four

"Darker than Divergent, more brutal than The Hunger Games...Way Down Dark introduces readers to a heroine to root for in a compelling, explosive new YA trilogy." —James Dawson, author of Say Her Name

"Sensational . . . the action-packed narrative packs a proper punch, a finely-timed wind-up, and a terrific twist." —Niall Alexander, Tor.com