Knocked out this quick book review, first one of the new year. Getting onto the last of the series, Dust. The author’s writing takes some getting used to. He is a new writer, ambitious and quite popular. Enjoy:
Hugh Howey’s Shift Omnibus
Was looking for a prequel to the events of Wool Omnibus and got it. Much different flow and flavor than Wool and though some readers didn’t like that (see their reviews), it was quite an adventure. Some of the characters could have used more development but that’s fine.
Story & Plot:
The books lead up to the events that began Wool and also clue us in as to how the system of Silos came to be and what became of the world.
If you knew that the enemy developed nano-machines that could at any time eliminate entire populations with a computer program, what would you do?
The Senator Thurman has his own ideas. He develops the whole Silo idea with much manipulation and deceit – Donald, a newly elected politician, with a pretty wife and a sensual ex-girlfriend who wished things were different. Anna, the ex-girlfriend who has an agenda we pale to think of what that could be; and the mad scientists who through their own manipulations foil Thurman and help out Donald in many and various ways.
We also get the origin of Solo, a boy who becomes a man as his father (an IT guy) self-sacrifices to save his son. You may remember Solo, many years later, meets Julia, the ex-Sheriff, now on the lam as she discovers there are other Silos than her own.
Donald, a creepy little guy with a victim/persecution complex who wants to do something about the Silo system that he helped create, that he feels immensely guilty about, and takes on the actions of an evil man to make for a possible positive future.
The Last Word:
Shift flows and at some points stutters through. Maybe the domestic life of Donald, Anna and Solo do not excite, but the actions of these, their decisions to do things that the reader wonders what they would do in the same circumstances, and the struggle for normalcy involves both the reader and the characters in a dystopia that makes the point: what would you do?
The characterizations could have been better fleshed out, and at times the story drags, but overall interest is captured and a wild ride is guaranteed. Recommended.
Can’t wait for Dust!