Thursday, September 07, 2017

Fiction Review: Dust

A few weeks ago, I read Dust by Hugh Howey and finally finished his compelling and stunning Silo trilogy that began with Wool and Shift. I just finished book 2, Shift, in June and hadn’t planned on reading book 3 this summer, but it is such a captivating story that I couldn’t wait. Besides, Dust is another 400+ page book, so I just subbed it into my Big Book Summer Challenge. The finale of the series was just as riveting as the first two books, with a satisfying ending.

This is going to be a very short review because I don’t want to give away any spoilers for those who have not yet read Wool…because you MUST read this incredible trilogy! That’s what friends kept telling me about Wool, and they were absolutely right. Both my husband and I devoured that first book and the subsequent ones. We both finished the series this summer.

Odd as it sounds, book 1 and book 2 both ended at the same point in time (book 2 was a prequel of sorts to book 1), so book 3 picks up there. The entire series is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian story focused on a silo buried deep in the ground, going down over 200 stories. Readers find out in book 2 why humans are now living underground, why the outdoor world is no longer safe, and how the world of the silo came to be. The series combines elements of romance, thriller, suspense, and science fiction with in-depth characters whom you come to care about (or loathe, depending).

As the story picks up again in Dust, the focus is mainly on Juliette, who is now the mayor of her silo, and Donald, a character that was introduced in book 2. Revolts are still a big problem in the silo, and Juliette herself is leading a secret effort to dig out a tunnel horizontally from the bottom of the silo to find out what else is out there. Donald is continuing his efforts to save what remains of humanity from the evil forces he discovered in the previous book.

That’s about all I can say plot-wise, without giving away spoilers, but the book – and the series – culminate in a very satisfying and hopeful ending. Along the way, there are lots of unexpected twists and turns, as in the first two books, and plenty of suspense to keep you turning the pages long after you should have gone to bed! Howey further develops the engaging and real-feeling characters he introduced earlier, as well as a few new ones. The premise continues to be absolutely mind-blowing as the secrets revealed in book 2 are discovered by more characters, with plenty of intriguing science to back them up (the science fiction here is based in real-world science, as I explained in my review of Shift). Overall, I stand by what all my friends told me after reading Wool: you must read this series!

468 pages, John Joseph Adams, Mariner Books (imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

NOTE: On October 3, Hugh’s Howey’s latest book, a collection of short stories called Machine Learning, will be released. It showcases the creativity and thoughtfulness evident in the Silo series and even includes a few additional Silo stories (best saved until after you’ve read the series). I absolutely loved the short stories in this collection. I reviewed it for Shelf Awareness and will link to my review when it is published.

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by Elizabeth BearTrade Paperback

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  1. Hanging my head in shame because so many people have praised this trilogy and I STILL haven't read it. Yet I own it!

    1. Knowing what books you enjoy, I KNOW you will love this series!!

  2. I haven't read dystopian fiction is so long that perhaps I am due for a good series!

    1. This is dystopian (and also post-apocalyptic) but mostly, it is a human drama - and Hugh Howey is such a great writer! I hope you give Wool a try.