Way Down Dark by J.p. SmytheWay Down Dark by J.p. Smythe

Way Down Dark

byJ.p. Smythe

Hardcover | October 4, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 102 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store

Out of stock online

Available in stores


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 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.
Title:Way Down DarkFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:288 pages, 8 × 5.75 × 1 inShipping dimensions:8 × 5.75 × 1 inPublished:October 4, 2016Publisher:QuercusLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1681443856

ISBN - 13:9781681443850

Appropriate for ages: 13


Rated 2 out of 5 by from I didn't love this book I feel like this book is maybe written for a younger audience than typical YA novels, and I admit I read this as an adult. However, I expected to love it: I believe I was recommended this book as a "If you love The 100..." read, and just in general I am always interested in an exiled space colony dystopia. Unfortunately I was disappointed by how juvenile the characters were, despite dealing with some very mature themes. The world building was interesting but the overall backstory didn't seem to be complete or plausible, and the ending offers no resolution, only a massive cliffhanger for the sequel which I did not feel compelled to read.
Date published: 2017-07-24

Editorial Reviews

"Smythe's story shows that the modern dystopia doesn't always have to rely on intricate world-building; the "bad place" can exist in the smallest of spaces, or deep within the human psyche."-Huffington Post, on The Machine