Wool introduced the silo and its inhabitants. Shift told the story of their making. Dust will chronicle their undoing. Welcome to the underground.
©2013 Hugh Howey (P)2013 Hugh Howey
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Well, I finally finished the trilogy. If you have read my other reviews of books in this series, you know I have had a long term love hate relationship with these stories. I wanted very much to be totally engrossed in this final installment but, once more, it fell short.
There was a lot of meandering that suddenly rushed at break neck speed to an ending that I saw coming for many chapters. I figured it would end the way it did from the first book honestly, but I had hoped Howey would somehow pull it out of the fire at the end. What actually happened was a rather pedantic ending to a very good concept.
Other reviewers have said it felt like he turned a short story into a trilogy. In fact, that's *exactly* what he did. I don't fault him for trying to flesh out his concept at all- it just wasn't necessary. Shift was completely redundant (completely). This book could have been condensed into 4 or 5 hours tacked onto the end of Wool. That would have made an exceptionally compelling book with a much bigger impact.
I know my reviews of Howey's work always come out sounding very negative; I genuinely wish that wasn't the case. I cared about the characters and he made the Silos come alive in a micro-cosmic way. It was beautifully written, most of the time. It was exactly what my rating suggests: an average book that was generally entertaining but wasn't earth shattering in any sense.
I'm glad I finished it, but I don't think it would be high on my list of recommendations to potential listeners. As always, this is just opinion and your mileage may vary.
"Meanders, then races to a satisfying conclusion"
I'd guess most folks who read Wool and Shift are going to want to read Dust whether or not it's great so I don't think it needs a big review. Short and sweet - Dust isn't as well written as Shift, but it did provide a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. My recommendation is a definite, "Go For It"; you'll get your Audible credit's worth with this one.
A little longer and less sweet, I was somewhat disappointed in Dust partly because Shift was so good. Shift was a big step up from Wool in pacing, plotting, and great prose so I had expectations that Howey would continue that trend in Dust and the book would be at least as good as Shift or maybe better. Dust is better written than Wool, but it doesn't have the sustained narrative tension of Shift.
Shift ends with Juliette threatening Silo 1 so I expected Dust to begin fast and furious with that conflict. Instead, Dust begins with Juliette totally focused on rescuing the Silo 17 survivors to the point of dereliction of her mayoral duties. Her people have lost faith in her (no real explanation for that) so much of the book is treading familiar ground; a visionary who doesn't communicate well trying to lead a bunch of stampeding sheep type people. In addition, we get some updates and further development of Solo and the Silo17 children, but I found much of that more irritating than interesting. The dialogue for those characters makes them sound naive and gullible, but I think they would be tougher and more "silo-smart" for having made it on their own for so long. There are also several sections given over to Elise's (the 7 year old Silo 17 survivor) pursuit of a puppy and a weird religious cult and their rituals. Both of these subplots really lead nowhere and slow the overall plot progression. (And, really, neither the girl nor any adults around her can figure out that they need to put a leash on that dog?)
On the other hand, I loved the Silo 1 sections of the book and the further character development of Charlotte (Donald's sister) was great. After some stumbling about a bit through the first half of the book, the second half is tighter and more interesting and when the final resolution comes, it's over almost too fast. I had the sense that given more time and editing, Howey could have made this conclusion really great. As it is, there are some dangling plot points and Dust doesn't have the grace of Shift, but it is still a very good read and it definitely provides a satisfying end to the trilogy. It also leaves the door WIDE open for sequels...
Audible listeners have the added benefit of narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds. The more I hear this guy, the more I like him. His voice keeps me plugged in even when a book gets a little slow. Overall, I recommend the whole Silo Saga Trilogy and I think Hugh Howey has great potential to keep us entertained for many years.
"It could all so easily have gone wrong"
Juliette of Silo 18 succeeds in uncovering the digger she learned about from the silo schematics and having her people dig through to Silo 17 to rescue the people she found there. Things are looking up.
On the other hand, things start to go wrong again in Silo 1 when Senator Thurman comes back, almost literally, from the dead and finds out what has been going on.
In this final installment of the Silo Saga, Silo 18 falls, and the only reason any of its people survive is the connection they have just made to Silo 17. But after a very few days, it becomes obvious that trying to make a real life in Silo 17 with the few people they have left will be next to impossible. Juliet proposes another bold move.
Meanwhile, Donald and Charlotte, having flown a drone far enough outside the area of the silos to see green grass and blue sky, are hard at work on a plan to bring down Silo 1 so that the other silos will have a chance to survive without the meddling people and computers of Silo 1. It’s a race to the finish as to who will survive and who will be destroyed.
An excellent conclusion to an excellent series. It could all so easily have gone wrong...
"okay ending to a mixed-bag series"
It's clear that Wool, Shift & Dust are the end product of a short story that got stretched beyond its natural length. The premise was so flimsy and ill-conceived that it could not support the weight of so much exploration.
This ending did give some resolution to the plot and to the characters (most of them, not all). You won't find any big surprises here. The story plays out the way it had too.
Ultimately I feel that this entire series was a waste of time. It could all have been told in one book. The second in the series didn't even have to exist, and this one was way longer than it had to be.
Post-apocalyptic sci-fi is my favorite genre, so the fact that I was bored nearly the entire time came as a bit of a shock. I guess I just never got over how stupid the setting was, or the fact that the author based the entire premise on an arms race that wouldn't have had a stalemate any different that the nuclear arms race (mutually assured destruction, anyone?).
The scope of the building of the silos was too big for us to believe that the architect wouldn't have been a need-to-know person, so that entire character was silly. I also can't believe that a small handful of people could have orchestrated the whole thing, or that at the end of the day, they could have nuked the planet.
The story drags on through 3 books, and feels just as claustrophobic as the silos. The author could have been braver and let us explore the world outside... but again, this was a short story, with little thought given to anything outside of the teeny tiny slice of the world we see.
The books weren't horrible. Well, Shift was, but Wool and Dust weren't. I guess I'm going to give this a middle-of-the-road rating. Had I known what I was getting into, I never would have picked up the series. It's just not worth the time. It doesn't leave you with anything to think about. It's just a silly, flat story.
"Fine Conclusion of Silo Series"
I was unimpressed with Wool, the first book of this series then was quite surprised and impressed by the second book Shift. Dust is not quite as good as Shift but is much better than Wool. The characters are all interesting, the prose is good, and the story is satisfying. I don't think Wool was worth reading and I think just starting with Shift would be a better experience. There is not a lot of science in this science fiction, it is a novel dystopian environment to explore the ideas of conformity & control, freedom & destiny, and time & death. Dust starts somewhat slowly, then builds to an interesting level and ends just a bit too quickly. Dust does not maintain the tension that Shift did, but was still quite worth the listen. The narration, as in Shift, was excellent.
"Very entertaining dystopian trilogy"
Yes. Anyone who enjoys speculative, scifi, or dystopian fiction would enjoy this trilogy. Beginning with "Wool" the second book is "Shift" and "Dust" wraps up the silo series. While "Wool" could stand alone, the series is not complete without reading all three. But they aren't too long and never boring. Read the books in ORDER there are spoilers!
People are born, live, and die in an underground silo. For them, this is the world and the outside is deadly and always has been. They've been in the silo for as long as anyone can remember, longer. They are the only ones, the gods built the silo and provided for their every need. It's a grim existence, but they don't know that. They tow the line and live by the rules, if they don't, they are sent outside to "clean"—wipe the lens on the video camera that confirms that they are safe inside, and the world out there is not.
Those selected to clean do not come back. And the video feed shows that they die, most within minutes and within sight. There are powerful incentives to obey the laws of the silo, and yet there are a few who rebel—and die, until one brave young woman who comes back in from a cleaning.
What will she find out? Who really built the silo? And, why?
"Wool" introduces the world of the Silo. "Shift" let's us know there is more to this world than the inhabitants know about, gives us a look at the creators, and their diabolical motivations. "Dust" puts the inhabitants in more peril than they can believe, and finally resolves it in a twist that is both unexpected, and a little bit predictable, but satisfying.
There will be a movie(s). But don't wait for that, you'll enjoy the story as it is.
Better than Divergent, not quite as good as the Hunger Games. Definitely worth the time and credits!
He does a good job with the book, but I felt like a female narrator would have been better at least for the sections where the point of view was a female—which is more than half of the book and series.
What if the world was ended, on purpose, by the powers that be? What if you were the only one who knew—could you convince others? What if your lives depended on it?
Hugh Howey had a tendency especially in the first book and some in the second, to overuse the word, "palms". (34 times in Wool!) He could have picked some synonyms. The reason this became very noticeable was Tim Reynold's pronunciation—he said it like "pams." The use of the word grew less as the books went on, but it bugged me.
I did notice that the writing got better and better with each book. And, it wasn't bad to start with. It's no wonder Howey has picked up the support of a publisher for his print work, and he's a smart guy for hanging on to the ebooks and audio as a self-publisher! Congratulations on a job well done!
I'll be watching for new books from Hugh Howey.
"Long, depressing story that ends well"
I would recommend it to anyone who likes dark, thought-provoking SciFi.
The story compares favorably to the classic Philip Wylie book about a post-nuclear-apocalypse and a small group of people living in a bunker -- I believe that book is called "Triumph". It made an impression - I still remember it well 50 years after reading it. I'll remember the story from this Silo trilogy years from now as well.
The performance was not up to snuff. The story's narrator Donald was supposed to be from the American South, so it was jarring every time to hear an obvious Yankee accent simply mis-pronounce words like "palm" as "pam". His rendition of women's voices was lacking. . I've listened to a lot of Audible books -- while not the worst, Mr. Reynolds was in the bottom five percentile. I will avoid books read by Mr. Reynolds in the future.
No. The first two books are just too depressing to sit through all at once -- this book is the culmination of the trilogy started with Wool, and continued in Shift. I had to take those books in small doses. Had the trilogy not ended well I would have canceled Mr. Howey off my list of authors to read/listen to. However, the end book delivers.
"Fantastic Read, Great Ending to an Amazing Saga"
I really enjoyed this novel. It was an awesome conclusion to all of the fantastic storytelling and great characters Hugh Howey has given us with Wool and Shift. It was all over far earlier than I would have liked it to be, but then I was dreading finishing this book even as I started the first chapter. It probably went by so fast too because I was enjoying it so much. I didn't want the Silo Saga to end because I have had such a great experience surviving with its characters for some time now. Wool is still my favorite but I enjoyed reading Dust much more than Shift. While shift did a great job of revealing to me how this crazy world came into being Dust returned to having more dramatic and exciting things happen in the story like Wool. There were a lot of scenes that were very gripping and kept me glued to my iPod to hear each and every new word.
I won't give anything away but I will say when I read the ending I was so happy to be with those characters in that historical moment for them and for their world. It was really moving and I was smiling the whole time I read it. It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows for every character though, and I really enjoyed seeing characters I have come to love go through more intense and trying situations.
I felt that Hugh did a good job of ending his series and keeping a good balance with all of the characters and silos in the story. By the time you're reading this book there are many characters and silos Hugh had to juggle to finish out his awesome saga. It didn't feel like that though. Yes there was a log of switching between silos and characters, but everytime the viewpoint character or setting switch I was just instantly right with them or right there that it never felt like a big back and forth. It just felt like one cohesive and awesome story. I highly recommend this book. I loved it.
"This fantastic series will become a sci-fi classic"
Dust did not disappoint. This is a "must-listen" for anyone who has followed Hugh Howey's "Wool" series.
Although "Dust" can stand on its own as a story, listening first to the other two books in the series ("Wool" and "Shift") will make "Dust" even more enjoyable.
The science fiction I usually enjoy the most is that which is plausible. The idea that a small group of people can presume to determine the fate of the human race is frighteningly plausible, as is the manner in which the people in the stories deal with the resultant challenges.
Buried deep within underground silos for hundreds of years, how they overcome the decisions of that small group that dictated the fate of humanity is fascinating and engrossing throughout the series.
How the people of the silos overcame the fallacies that had controlled them and held them beneath ground for hundreds of years was a fascinating and exciting ending; some of the situations expected, some quite surprising.
This series is now among my all-time favorite science fiction. I found it impossible to choose a "best book" of the three. While each book builds from the previous series of events, every one of them has a subtly different focus and is an exciting listen unto itself.
Tim Gerard Reynolds is one type of reader I most enjoy. He has a nice voice and portrays the story clearly, without imposing his personality onto it. I felt he read the story the way I would, or the way Howey meant it to be read.
Would I recommend this audio-book to others? Absolutely!!! I would even recommend it to friends who don't generally follow science fiction.
"Worthy conclusion for the saga. What a ride!"
I will confess that this wasn't an easy trilogy to swallow, leaving me to ask many questions regarding the actual goodness of the protagonists. This book doesn't take the easy way out, and is pretty brutal from the very beginning. If you're looking for answers, there are many questions that will be left unanswered by the time you reach the end of the book. But it does a decent job wrapping the trilogy up in its own messed up, thought provoking way.
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