In mai putin de cincizeci de ani, lumea se va schimba. Se dezvolta primii naniti, roboti medicinali mai mici decat celulele umane care pot diagnostica si repara si care se pot reproduce. In acelasi an se descopera o pastila care poate sterge orice amintire legata de un eveniment traumatic din viata cuiva. Omenirea descopera in acelasi timp modalitatea prin care se va autodistruge, precum si modalitatea prin care sa uite complet ca a facut-o.
Cativa stiu insa ce urmeaza. Se pregatesc si incearca sa se apere. Pleaca pe un drum fara intoarcere, un drum spre dezastru. Un drum sub pamant. Istoria silozului se dezvaluie si viitorul incepe.
I'm the author of WOOL, a top 5 science fiction book on Amazon. I also wrote the Molly Fyde saga, a tale of a teenager from the 25th century who is repeatedly told that girls can't do certain things -- and then does them anyway.
A theme in my books is the celebration of overcoming odds and of not allowing the cruelty of the universe to change who you are in the process. Most of them are classified as science fiction, since they often take place in the future, but if you love great stories and memorable characters, you'll dig what you find here. I promise.
Showing how it came to a devastating catastrophe in detailed retrospectives, while mixing it up with the current storyline, was hardly ever such a fun and enjoyment to read.
Well written, info dumpy preparations, debates, concepts, etc. for meta endeavors such as space colonization, a major war, an election campaign, or, going underground, are something that is often more a thing for hard sci-fi, because writers tend to avoid the extreme effort of putting any exposition in dialogue or action, instead of much easier static description, monologues, or omniscient narrator sequences.
But Howey switches between the past and current events, interlinking them, transporting the one or other subtle criticism, is something I haven´t read in that way before very often, it´s simply a new concept and premise that is an ultimate suspense creation engine. It´s limiting the number of possible books in such a setting, of course, but when the price for that is having such an immensely highly packed ride of a read, that´s totally worth it.
It would be interesting to know how these novels would have hit the market between 25 and 50, in real time, years earlier, where the reality inspired nuclear wasteland WW3 genre was a hot, radiating trending topic over decades. The end of the days, or at least of we world as we know it, has always been fascinating since the first apes lost their fur and got more colds and mental illnesses called consciousness and human intelligence. In contrast to the mainstream attempts of first describing the Mad Max style wastelands in urban or rural hellholes, then creating a wave of teeny angst driven reality tv gameshow clones, this new ideas popping up in sci-fi are opening deeper and more complex settings than the stereotypical Roman emperor style put in a dystopic, near future with lots of leather around uncompensated sexual instincts.
If you are into the meta planning scenario and slowly escalating thing after this one, try space opera, sci-fi, and hard sci-fi, where this element alone can be stretched to the length of average novels over the parts of a series. It opens very dense, inspiring, and thoughtful options to imagine the future not just from the protagonists´ perspectives, but to see it through the greedy salesmen´s and stupid politician´s eyes too.
Have you ever been happily reading a good book? You’re about to find out what happens to the protagonist. Your heart is pounding with anticipation. When all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the book dumps you into a ridiculously long ass flashback. Everything comes to a complete and utter stop. It’s like being trapped in a meandering shaggy dog story. And of course you’ve got to read the damn flashback, because if you don’t you may not completely grasp the full ramifications of the ending.
Well, Shift is a 600 page, doorstopper flashback.
To be honest, I sort of hated the book even before I began. I wanted to go forwards, not backwards.
But I tried to stay optimistic. After all, I loved Wool. I loved the nostalgia Wool generated in me for classic SciFi. I loved the suspense. The characters were cool. I was ready to take the plunge.
Unfortunately, Shift is a long and tedious read.
First off, there’s little suspense. After all, it's a prequel, so of course I knew basically what was going to happen. Howey also had the audacity to drag it out. He kept describing the same things over and over again. I started counting how many times he mentions a tomato, or tomato soup, or tomato paste. The dead guys looked like tomato sauce was on them. Howey also likes to talk about the circular staircase in the silo and overalls. Bored, I started to wonder what these overalls are made of? It better not be cotton? They don’t have the room. And speaking of room, how can they grow so much wheat? How are their computers lasting for centuries (mine usually crash after ten years). And what is the hierarchy for the powers that be? Even Donald doesn’t know that for sure and he lives there?
And the absolute worst was that lame ass, WTF reason they blew up the world? I couldn’t believe that nobody, and I mean nobody, questions Thurman and his cronies? You’ve got to be kidding me?
In fact, there are several plot holes in Shift. Most of them have to do with character motivation and time. But let’s forget about that for a minute. Let’s talk about the characters.
Donald -- God I hated that guy. I swear the whole book is him having a pity party. I could handle it in the beginning (after all, horrible things happen to him) but by the third book I wanted to rip his head off. I know Donald is supposed to be a sympathetic character because he was duped and deceived, but let’s face it, he purposely tried to stay uninformed. That was his goal, to bury his head in the sand, even when obvious hints were thrown his way. I think he’s one of the biggest, redundant and whiney, woobie characters I’ve read in a long time. And the thing that finally tips him over the edge made my eyes roll. Turman’s been slaughtering people for years and Don finally decides to do something about it because
Thurman – Is a total nutcase. How come nobody notices that? I think that’s what drove me bonkers. Everybody was just so willing and happy to put Charles Manson in charge of national security. Supposedly Thurman is so charismatic, people just melt like butter and agree with him after just a few minutes. Like Rodney -- who went through the most bogus character arc I’ve seen in a while. Does Howey honestly expect us to believe that milquetoast Donald is the only person to try and stop Thurman? Give me a break?
Anna – I kept wondering what the hell she saw in Donald? The trouble she goes to winning him baffled me.
Mission – Was boring and had no personality. Of course, most of the characters didn’t have much of a personality. It probably didn’t help that in Mission’s scenes, Howey spends long passages describing life in the Silo one more time (like I didn’t get enough of that in Wool?)
Solo – His story is very sad. But let’s face it, we already knew what was going to happen to him.
Shadow -- Was purposely put in the book to make Solo’s life even sadder. Grrr
Charlotte -- Who’s that?
Helen -- Made me think of June Cleaver.
In conclusion, this book annoyed me. I loved Wool. I wanted to read Dust, but now I’m not so sure. Howey should have left the past a mystery.
Hugh Howey is a great idea man and the post-apocalyptic world of the Silos is a wonderful little playground with the potential for great stories. Unfortunately Howey's skills at character-building leave much to be desired and ultimately drags down the entire series.
Here's some of the ways Howey fails at writing characters: he never tells us what anybody looks like. Every character sounds the same and has no identifying tics or habits. The relationship of just about every character to every other character is told to us instead of shown. For example, we know Donald loves Helen because we're told he loves Helen, not because he acts any special way towards her beyond calling her Sweety or Honey. Mick is his best friend because were told he's his best friend (Mick slaps him on the back a lot so I guess that proves it). Anna wants Donald to herself because we're told...and so on.
As the main character Donald is as bland as they come, showing no particular intelligence or personality to distinguish himself from the other cast members, who themselves have no distinctive personalities. Because of this I had a very hard time either identifying or sympathizing with anybody beyond their incredibly horrific circumstances (the one exception being Solo but only because he REALLY got the shaft, so to speak).
Lately I seem to keep running into novels of good ideas and poor execution i.e. Justin Cronin's 'Passage' and Ernest Cline's 'Ready Player One'. It's disappointing and as a contrast i'd recommend Steven King's 'The Stand' as an example of the apocalypse done right with solid world-building and well drawn characters we come to love or hate. For me it's still the gold-standard.
All this being said I'll still come back for the final chapter of WOOL because damn if it isn't an interesting place to explore.
Shift, as the impressive science fiction follow up to Wool, proves that Hugh Howey can write - and write well. This is a prequel, but is, in my opinion, better read after Wool in order to not destroy the unique aspects of reading Hugh Howey's first work.
I would say that together Shift and Wool appear as better versions of The Maze Runner series. Not only are they far more mature in their approach to their particular topics but they possess and infinite amount more plausibility and depth. The way in which Shift sets out the background to Wool, explaining how humanity could end up in silos is brilliant. It particularly works as an exploration of politics, weaponry, humanity's quest for self annihilation, versus the drive to survive. This stands alongside that sense of the contrast between the inner darkness versus the inner greatness of humanity.
However, the one reason this receives a four star rating is that the characters lacked in comparison to the previous novel and were not as appealing to myself as a reader. For once I'm lost for words as to how to properly review all the aspects of this novel. Perhaps fatigue has destroyed me over this week. That said, I will recommend all serious readers give this book a go after they've tried Wool. I will be seriously looking forward to the next book myself. I do love quality science fiction and while I'm lacking something to fully capture and describe about the depth and lack of superficiality or immaturity in this novel I cannot find it. The best thing to do is simply recommend that others read these books.
UPDATED! PARANOID RANT NEAR THE END WITH SLIGHT SPOILER!
The second volume of Howey's Solo trilogy takes us back to the origin of the silos and introduces a few good guys - Donald in particular - a few bad guys - Thurman although we are not sure until Dust exactly how evil he is - and some ambiguous characters - Anna (well, you'll need to read Dust to see how this turns out). It is an interesting idea with the nanobots and the Noah's Arc concept. The suspense is done quite well with time shifting back and forth as the reality of the project slowly dawns on Donald. (Honestly, I wanted to slap him a few times for his naiveté.) For my reservations regarding the larger story line, you'll need to read my review of Dust. As for this story, it is carried primarily on the suspense that Howey builds throughout rather than character development which I felt was rather flat. Still, it is an interesting follow-up to Wool which I enjoyed peripherally and I was still intrigued enough to follow through with Dust.
I really wanted to like this book, I really did. But unfortunately, the writer falls into the same traps he did in Wool. Like Wool, this book tells a fantastic story for the first 2/3 - in this case, I really did love the way the conspiracy built piece by piece before your eyes, and I enjoyed slowly putting it together with a lot of "OMG" moments. If the book had ended after just that, it would have been a 5 star review. However, in this novel Howey seems not to be able to restrain himself from going overboard with big reveals and too-clever tricks. It seems like he's always waiting around the corner with a BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE moment, and after a while I just developed 'reveal fatigue' I guess.
It doesn't help that the more Howey reveals, the less the conspiracy makes sense. Suspending disbelief is easy when the writer leaves much of the details to your imagination, but Howey can't do that - he has to explain every little thing and eventually it falls apart.
I also thought the entire thing was bogged down by the way-too-long chapters on Solo. Like, I really didn't need to know the details of Solo's bowel movements through the years he was alone. Those chapters seemed to serve no purpose but to fill space and they just bogged down the story, after a while I was just skipping through to get back to Silo 1.
Finally, the biggest disappointment here was that Howey was as devoted in this book as he was in Wool to forcing a happy ending. He's created a world of despair and hopelessness, and then it seems like he can't bring himself to follow through with it - the endings of the books all seem forced and fake. It is a sign of an undisciplined writer, and unfortunately that lack of discipline overshadowed my enjoyment of this story.
Overall, this book was very disappointing - what could have been an amazing conspiracy story about an irrevocable act by a group of madmen fell beneath the hand of an unskilled story-teller. The plot became more and more incoherent, and the 'big reveals' got more and more showy and silly. I wanted to hear about this cabal that murdered 7 billion people , not hear Hugh Howey pat himself on the back for being super clever. I won't be reading Dust, because I know where it's going and I know it would make the entire trilogy incoherent and silly. It's frustrating, because this could have been a really groundbreaking sci-fi story, but instead it was an amateur overtelling of details that didn't make any sense.
Last night I was tempted to give this book two stars out of sheer frustration, but that wouldn't be fair. Yes, it's nowhere near as good as its predecessor, the excellent _Wool_. And yes, it's not what you'd call really good. But I did read it straight through, and with no regrets.
What Shift does well is provide context and explanations for much of the culture and history (or lack thereof) that we saw in Wool, and that's cool. As a sort of Simarillion, this prequel book works. The last few pages also nicely set up the final volume of the trilogy. And, as with Wool, it's fun to track the many different ways in which the title fits the stories.
What Shift doesn't do well is make sense. Or provide interesting, likeable characters. Or have a very good plot-to-page-count ratio.
Shift is three stories: one short one of an early silo uprising told from the POV of a silo porter. That one's quite good, and the highlight of the book. One is the backstory of Solo from Wool: there's nothing new here; we got the picture just fine from Wool. And the story's ending is so crassly manipulative, so obvious, as to be downright disgusting. The whole arc didn't need to be there.
The third is the story of one of the sort-of-unwitting creators of the silos, from the project's founding through his repeated thaws from suspended animation to address crises in the silos, up to the events ending Wool. This should have been terrific material, but failed on many counts. Donald is almost entirely passive in the face of world-ending events, just kind of bobbing along. He makes terrible decisions, not out of tragic flaws, but either from cognitive impairment or just not wanting to think too hard or take action.
It's around Donald that Howey's writing fails: we're told repeatedly of Donald's epic passion for his wife, but all we see is a cool and distant relationship with someone vaguely unsympathetic. He uses this twoo wuv to rebuff the constant advances of the hot sociopath - but we never see why she might be interested in this nebbish.
Generally, unlike in Wool, so much makes no sense here that it destroys immersion in the book. It's just not possible to imagine that the project could have been built as described (we're to believe that construction workers didn't talk to each other, and nobody bothered to look at 5000% cost overruns on everything), nor that the triggering event could have happened without *anyone* outside the conspiracy including an entire military chain of command getting asked if the mission was authorized.
And, if everything's been thought through and sanitized, down to the encyclopedias for the inner circle, how come all the children are raised with books from before the apocalypse?
Finally, even positing nano/bio mind control, Howey's society has no storytellers, no artists, not a single person who decorates their body or their uniform. These are not humans. Tell me they're Venusian Slime Molds, and I'll go along with you. But those are some of humanity's deepest traits. Tell me that you've eradicated those but kept farming and industrial labor, and sorry, I'm walking away.
I'll read Dust, the final volume, but I'm not in any great hurry now.
Silo is a series of post-apocalyptic science fiction books by American writer Hugh Howey.
The series started in 2011 with the short story "Wool", which was later published together with four sequel novellas as a novel with the same name. Along with Wool, the series consists of Shift, Dust, three short stories and Wool: The Graphic Novel.
In a future less than fifty years away, the world is still as we know it. Time continues to tick by. The truth is that it is ticking away. A powerful few know what lies ahead. They are preparing for it. They are trying to protect us. They are setting us on a path from which we can never return. A path that will lead to destruction; a path that will take us below ground. The history of the silo is about to be written. Our future is about to begin.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هشتم ژانویه سال 2017 میلادی عنوان: شیفت کتاب دوم سری سیلو؛ نویسنده: هیو هاوی؛ ا. شربیانی
I see that I started this on the exact same day four years ago but finished it almost two weeks earlier back then. Huh. Anyways, I very much enjoyed it once again. But just like in 2018 I didn't much care about Mission's POV. This slowed me down quite a bit this time around. But I think I have generally become a slower reader since then. Probably. The book? Good.
This is the second book in Hugh Howey’s Silo Series. Shift is actually the prequel to Wool. I didn’t know this, when I started this series. So there was no debate whether to read it first. And I think it benefited from being read in order of publication.
We learn how the silos came to be and generally get a broader view of the world. That’s something I longed for after the rather confined space in which Wool took place.
We have one ongoing character arc here which starts years before the silos. And three accompanying ones with some overlapping in between. A rather big overlapping in one case. But I don’t want to spoil anything. The main character arc should be the one that keeps the reader going of course and that worked pretty well, as it kept my interest start to finish. In a best case scenario the accompanying ones are just as interesting. I give Hugh Howey two hits and one miss. So there was a bit of a drag in Second Shift for me because I didn’t care all that much about Mission’s story. Expected way more of The Great Uprising, to be honest.
In Third Shift we revisit some events from Wool and I got this warm feeling you get at the get-together of old friends. I guess that’s mostly the pull of prequels.
There’s not as much action as in Wool. This book, at its core, is mainly about the psychological effects this barren world has on its occupants. I think Howey has pulled this off nicely. Although some passages felt a bit too long and overwritten.
As with the first book there’s always this feeling that Hugh Howey has it in him to write a full blown five star novel, but misses.
Let’s see if he puts it together in the third book.
It is truly a sorry affair that most sequels just do not turn out right. Well, alright, not most. Some. Can we settle on a lot?
I can start naming now, (The sequel to Blood Red Road, Metro 2034...) and I am sure you can carry on with this list to eternity. In fact, please carry on in the comments! I would really love to find out what sequel drove you mad.
So basically, I think we can draw the conclusion that you pretty much have to be J.K. Rowling not to mess up the sequels.
So am I surprised that Shift wasn't really a charming sequel to Wool? No, dear friends, I am not. But am I disappointed?
I don't really know where to begin with this book, or frankly - IF I should begin at all, cause you can see I just gave it 1 star, which I pretty much never do, so you must be getting the vibe that not only did this book not satisfy me, it probably even enraged me.
In fact, if that book had been a game, I would have rage quit.
This book has many very unfortunate factors that made me hate it. Part of it was that it was a sequel to a mind-blowing book. But it's not just that! The plot dragged and dragged and dragged... I can't think of a book that has tortured me quite so lately.
If I had to compare it with Wool, well, first of all, the main character is such a wimp that you can't even. Literally. Second – okay, the first book is quite depressing. But it's also uplifting in a way, cause they keep fighting. Nobody gives up. Shift though? What happens to the guy is so depressing, that if you have any empathy at all, like even the amount sea critters have, you will probably get sorely depressed from just touching the book, much less reading it. (Hint: I totally did.)
Unfortunately, I can't find much more to say about this book. It's a non-story completely. I know it will not remain in my mind at all, because, well, pretty much nothing happened. Half of it was a retelling of what happened in the first book, half told stuff about a guy I honestly don't care to hear about, and intermingled in between all of that, there was maybe a little bit about how or why the silos were actually built. Alright, I'll give you that – there is the backstory. But hey. I could have saved so much more time (and brain cells) if that was just given to me in like 10 pages.
Now you will say, Evelina, dear friend, WHY DID YOU NOT DNF?? Well, now. I actually have a pretty good reason for that.
You might know I do not DNF almost ever, but this time I was buddy-reading this with my mom. And since I was taking my sweet time, she kept whining about wanting to talk about the story and just tortured me into finishing it! It was terrible :D abuse, I tell you! Here's a GIF of me (superstar!) to show you how I felt while reading this book – I think it's a better outlet than text:
My rating is 4.5 By the second part of the book Silos is a little less good, but the first part of the trilogy. But the story is still great, very well written and keeps us tense all the time. The story leads us to the time of construction the silos and is accompanied by the main figure congressman Donald, who gets the task of the president to make drafts for silos. Though he accepts a job, it does not attract him much, because he takes that job away from the family. But this job will bring him something bigger than except for him in the future. His whole world will only break up in the future in one day. The writer leads us to a terrible future in which individuals are determined to do everything to manipulate people with some strange motives. Donald will find it in a difficult way and all that he considers being true will burst into the wilderness that has become his life. One thing is certain, Donald must change it all.
With Shift, Hugh Howey continues his thoroughly unique, claustrophobic and engrossing story about the world in the silo. We get a skillfully woven background and unexpected explanations for how it all came to be, and this is fed to us in intriguing bits and pieces. I found I could not bite off my next scrap fast enough!
I have shelved these stories science fiction, though these are much less science than they are simply human and somewhat tragic. Hugh Howey understands and portrays loneliness in a way I hope never to experience firsthand. He shows us how love, when it's desperate and dysfunctional, can ruin a relationship and perhaps even a civilization. Bottom line is that he "gets" people and shares his compassionate appreciation for our flaws and our well-intentioned missteps, even when this revelation is far from the sunbeams and rainbows we hope he'll provide.
Taking a breather with a couple other books before I move on to Dust, mostly because I don't want to rush through. I'm trying to pace myself, savoring each morsel of the silo pie.
I loved Wool, I loved this book! So many questions after reading Wool. Why, for instance, were there no elevators? This book addresses that - sort of. (I wonder if the author received enough emails about that topic that he felt he ought to mention it in his next book?) Shift answers a few Woolly questions, but asks quite a few more questions. I think that every few pages I was going "OMG!"
This book is more of a prequel to Wool but should definitely be read after Wool to prevent spoilers from ruining the story. This is the story of the Silo's beginnings. It starts many years before Wool, but then ends at the same time as Wool ends. Shift covers the lives of several people and a few of them are familiar. It plunged me right back into that world and I started once again dreaming of living in a silo every night. It's not often a book gets into my dreams, but this one certainly did. That must be part of the universal appeal of this book. Something in this book is definitely speaking to part of my brain.
Looking forward to reading Dust. I'm not sure where this is heading.
(BTW - it also makes for some fun conversation. Last night, for instance, my husband mentioned to me if I thought there would be fewer uprisings in the Silo if they had more reading material, maybe some fun magazines like Silo Living? That led to Living in the Mids, Up Top Life, Better Silos and (uh?) Silos, Down Deep Life and then eventually we realized there had to have been at least one uprising on the shortfall of TP (paper, after all, is such a precious commodity).
REVIEW SUMMARY: The sequel trilogy to the best seller, Wool Omnibus, which takes a leap back in time to show how the chaos started.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A silo architect finds out too late what he’s been building, loses track of his wife and memories, and must uncover the secret behind the silo in order to make everything right.
MY RATING: 3.5 stars
MY REVIEW PROS: Strong beginning; empathy for major characters; challenging philosophical themes about war and sacrifice to survive as a human race.
CONS: Third Shift (Book Three) slowed the story way down with minor revelations and sparse action.
BOTTOM LINE: While the first half gave hope that this sequel could surpass Wool Omnibus, the story went downhill from there. Shift is still recommended for Wool fans, and it will not kill interest in reading the concluding volume even though it did not meet expectations.
(Spoiler Warning: This review will have spoilers for people who have not read Wool, and only general spoilers for those who have yet to read Shift. Reviews for First Shift: Legacy and Second Shift: Order can be seen at the reviewer’s home page.)
Shift Omnibus is made up of three books, First Shift – Legacy, Second Shift – Order, and Third Shift – Pact.
First Shift – Legacy starts out with a young congressman, Donald, who has aspirations for greatness but finds out that his plans are not what those up the chain-of-command have in store for him. Donald is given the task of building an underground silo — just in case recent nanotechnology development continues to escalate into a world war — and is assigned to work with an old flame from his college days. This old flame flirts just like she always did, and he begins to wonder if she is manipulating events to keep him away from his wife. The race for Donald to figure out what he is really building and how to make sure he doesn’t lose his wife in the process is very exciting and emotional, reminiscent of the turmoil in Wool 1 and even made a few reviewers wonder what this series would have been like had it started with this book. The conclusion of First Shift – Legacy wows as much as it breaks one’s heart.
Second Shift – Order continues to pound a hammer on the heart strings as it further unfolds the mystery of the silos and the over-arching moral dilemma of killing in order to save lives. The revelations mix perfectly with the questions posed about what you would do in Senator Thurman’s situation. The new POV character, a porter named Mission Jones, has a strong character arc of his own that is only slightly less impacting as Donald’s. Here, the author writes a tight plot exploring Mission’s inner struggle of hating to be a burden on anyone.
This book’s inclusion of Mission Jones is an outstanding compliment to the overall plot and thematic question of whether humanity should adapt a survival-of-the-fittest mentality. Mission has a revelation: “Everyone was trying to get to where they didn’t need one another. And how exactly was that supposed to help them all get along?” This is the opposite side to Thurman’s stance that the people inside the silos don’t need the people who were killed above ground in order for their human-race “saving” experiment to be successful.
The conclusion to Mission’s arc is also emotional and surprising. Senator Thurman makes a powerful argument for the establishment and goal of the silos, and it seems like Donald is not going to be able to overcome a system that treats people like numbers instead of integral pieces of a whole.
Third Shift – Pact has an emotional beginning, but stalls as it shows snippets of a young man, Jimmy, growing up alone in a silo post-uprising. While this reader appreciates seeing the origin story of one of the remaining characters in Wool, the frank analysis of his story in this book is that he had twice as much page time as he should have. The discovery of self and finding of a partner in a stray cat were emotionally engaging, but the time spent holed up and then wandering made the end of this book a burden to finish.
Jimmy’s revelation illustrated the point of his story within this omnibus, “Man wasn’t meant to live alone.” This reader just wishes the illustration of that point was more exciting, and maybe a letdown in Donald’s arc contributed to the lack of balance between introspection and intrigue.
Donald’s arc in Third Shift – Pact did not surprise enough to match the excitement of the first two books. It was already clear that he was angry with Thurman and Anna, and so his solution to those problems was only mildly surprising, and a little more disappointing. Donald has gone through a very difficult life, but his decisions in Third Shift went a direction that lessened empathy and support. On top of that, the silo numbers became confusing as far as their relation to the plot’s mystery.
To wrap up, Shift Omnibus took bold strides in expanding the conspiracy inherent in the world of the author’s Silo Saga, but a weak ending stole the momentum and interest established in the first two books. While Wool set this series up to be a lifetime favorite, Shift — and Third Shift specifically — tempered expectations significantly.
Warning: Spoilers for "Wool", the previous book in the series.
While the title "Shift" actually refers to the time that one works, it's definitely a shift in the storytelling of the series. This volume goes back in time and tells the story of how and somewhat why the universe of "Wool" exists. It is a tale of politics, paranoia and nanotechnology. Yes the world ends in a somewhat SF cliche way, but it is still told with a great amount of talent, which makes those cliches forgivable.
Although we get nearly all our questions answered and some fascinating tales are told, "Shift" lacks a couple of properties that made "Wool" such a great read. Firstly, while characterisation is still great, I found that I had little to no empathy for the main character, Donald. How can you connect with someone who is a workaholic, ignores his wife and who was lucky enough to know some influential people to get into a position to be exploited? Even his later actions in the novel, while they do fit his character as being naive and ham-fisted, do not endear me to this man at all. And I don't dislike him. I just feel meh about him. Luckily later on we get the back story of one of the great characters from "Wool", Solo or Jimmy.
What is also lacking in this volume is some of the great and beautiful scenes I talked about in my review of "Wool". This may be due to my non-engagement with the main character and my wish to get through those sections efficiently and quickly, but this volume did seem to hold a greater precedence with plot and pace rather than having those small moments interspersed between.
But despite these criticisms "Shift" is still a great SF read and complements "Wool" by answering a lot of the questions that came about in that novel. I look forward to reading the next volume "Dust" and being reunited with the great characters from Silo 18, especially Juliette.
Very savvy of the author to pen Shift after releasing Wool. The latter scooped me in immediately, whereas Shift took somewhat longer to lure me into its clutches. That's okay, I was already invested and there is a lot of information to be gleaned here. To those of you who want your Wool-ish questions answered, you can find them in Shift.
You will learn how the silos came into being and why. Shrinks are in charge of the insanity (I love that!). Working stiffs are working a never-ending mind-numbing misery of shifts, following orders, obediently taking drugs to make them forget, but forget what? Silo 1 - responsible for humanity's very survival, population control management by lottery, the deep freeze, going dark, time becoming strange. And as always, the up top, the mids, and the down deep, only this time with shadows. 'It was meant to be this way.'
Can't wait to see what Hugh Howey has in store for us with Dust. Loving the story!
O lume apăsătoare, sumbră și clocotind de disperare, o atmosferă claustrofobică și personaje aflate permanent pe muchia nebuniei - iată ce te așteaptă la fiecare pagină. Și frica. Frica viscerală, teroarea îmbibată de paranoia care va schimba omenirea pentru totdeauna.
Deși pe Goodreads cartea apare ca fiind a doua parte a seriei, acțiunea acestui volum urmărește evenimentele care au condus la refugierea ultimilor oameni în adâncurile Pământului și continuă povestea Silozului din perspectiva celor care l-au creat.
Împărțită în trei secvențe (Primul schimb: Moștenirea, Al doilea schimb: Ordinul și Al treilea schimb: Pactul), povestea îl are ca personaj principal pe Donald, un tânăr arhitect care tocmai a fost ales congresman cu sprijinul unui vechi prieten de familie, senatorul Thurman. Cooptat de acesta din urmă pentru participarea la un program secret, Donald ajunge să proiecteze silozurile, clădindu-și fără să știe propria închisoare. Plimbându-se între întâmplările trecutului și provocările prezentului din cele 50 de silozuri, Hugh Howey atinge cu subtilitate o multitudine de aspecte sociale, politice și filosofice (tendința de auto-anihilare a omenirii, relația omului cu propria sa identitate ca specie și cultură, moralitatea sacrificării unora pentru salvarea majorității), compensând astfel caracterizarea sumară a personajelor.
De multă vreme îmi doream să ajung la începuturile Silozului și să aflu de ce s-a sfârșit întreaga lume... iar acum... ei bine, acum am aflat și nu sunt prea convinsă de plauzibilitatea evenimentelor: . Totuși, lăsând la o parte nemulțumirile subiective, din punctul meu de vedere, Silozul. Începuturile completează destul de bine universul seriei; sper să apară și volumul final al trilogiei.
Immediately after finishing the Wool series, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Hugh Howey had finished Third Shift, which meant that Shift Omnibus was complete, and I could dive right into it.
Shift provides some much-needed backstory for the Wool books, namely who designed the Silos, why, and most importantly, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? (Sort of...more on that later...).
Hugh manages to do it all with his usual engrossing style. Dare I say I'm pleased to be able to see his evolution as a writer through the entire series; as well-written as all of the Wool books were from the start, I think in Shift he takes his craft to a whole different level.
I might disagree with a couple of characters' motivations toward the end of the book, but they make sense logically--if anything, I'm transposing what I would do in those situations without putting myself in that person's shoes. In other words, I was reading lazily.
I have to admit, though, I woke up this morning having completed 80% of it, thinking that I would read a little and be off to writing.
I finished the remaining 20% in a single sitting.
It leaves an opening for Dust, which I assume will be the thrilling finale. Just what exactly lies beyond the Silos (pun intended)? And though the ostensible motive for constructing the Silos has been revealed, something tells me our crafty author isn't showing us all the cards just yet...
So be warned: if you have a job where face time is valued and reading is frowned upon, wait until the weekend to pickup the Wool and Shift books.
But if you like well-paced writing, gobs of suspense, fleshed-out characters, and a fearless author, I'd highly recommend starting with Wool I and seeing where it takes you.
I will admit, I struggled to get through Shift. While the writing is quite good, I never felt it was as compelling or interesting as Wool. Shift felt more like an addendum to Wool than a novel that could stand by itself. I enjoyed getting some answers about what happened in Wool, yet it wasn't enough to keep me interested.
My biggest problem was that I didn't care about the characters, especially the main character, Donald. Before the silos came into play, Donald was a senator. As far as what was happening and the role he played in it, I couldn't believe how clueless and dense he was. And after they were in the silos, all he seemed to do was whine and feel sorry for himself. Then he did something later in the book that completely turned me off toward him, not that it was much of a leap.
I would recommend this book to those who have read Wool and have an interest in reading Sand. I'll probably read Sand, but I may take a break before doing so.
Really good. I enjoyed the first two stories in Shift but the best story by far was the last one (Third Shift), as it focused on one of the more interesting arcs from Wool.
-I was initially disappointed that Shift was a prequel, I wanted to read more about the characters that were in Wool, especially Juliette, Solo and the kids. Thankfully, it didn't take too long to get invested in the prequel story or the new characters — although the characters weren't quite as endearing as those in Wool.
-It was great finally getting some answers and a more complete picture of 1. The conception of the Silos 2. The world outside 3. The other Silos and 4. The end goal of the Silos. I didn't quite believe the reasoning behind a lot of things that were revealed but I guess they weren't totally implausible.
-The characters were a bit of a hit and miss for me. The main character, Donald, was hard to like at first — he was just so weepy, emotional, and annoying. He was meant to be a congressman but he acted way too naive and weak. He should have had a bit of strength, instead most of the time he acted like a scared little boy. Everyone around him manipulated him really easily, it was kind of ridiculous. Even though he was a frustrating character, he did grow on me by the end, and I eventually kind of understood why he had such an emotional reaction to everything.
-I knew Troy would turn out to be Donald, it was really obvious.
-It was somewhat sad that Donald was separated from his wife, Helen, because of Anna's manipulation. His reaction to finding out Helen married his best friend and had kids/grandkids was a little odd though — he kept saying how much he loved Helen but he never actually showed it. He seemed to have more passion and reaction to Anna, so I didn't really understand his utter devastation about losing Helen. I would have expected him to be a bit depressed but the way he broke down didn't make much sense, his love for Helen never really rang true especially when he was lusting after Anna so much.
-Anna was a desperate manipulative cow. Mick was a selfish back stabbing douche. Hated them both.
-It was dumb how Thurman and the other leaders just killed off loads of people whenever there was a slight problem. It just made the whole 50 Silos seem pointless, they may as well have just built a couple and let them sort out their own problems.
-Mission's story was quite boring. And the Great Uprising was underwhelming.
-Loved Jimmy's POV even though it was really depressing.
-Some of the science with the freezing and nanotechnology seemed quite far fetched.
-It only took 3 years to build all 50 Silos? Yea, that was hard to believe.
-What happened to Silo 40 and the surrounding Silos? Why was Donald cool with destroying Silo 40 when he had such a hard time shutting down Silo 12? Why didn't he feel guilty about killing everyone in Silo 40 especially when he could have easily avoided it without his colleagues being any the wiser? When it came to Silo 12 he didn't really have a choice about shutting it down, since it was his job… But with Silo 40 no-one else knew for certain that it had survivors so he didn't really have to do anything about them since it wasn't expected of him. It was just weird how he had no problem killing the people in 40 when he basically had a break down for the doing the same thing to 12.
-What happened to the remaining people inside Silo 12? Were they all killed? How exactly was Silo 12 shut down? Was it the white fog? Or was the building itself destroyed? Or was it both?
-What exactly happened in Silo 17 that caused the open airlock and mass hysteria? Was it because of the Cleaning? Did someone find out about the other Silos?
-Why didn't Jimmy die when Donald shut his Silo down with that poison white fog?
-What happened to the rest of the world? Was it just Georgia that was destroyed? Or was it all of America? What happened in other countries?
-The excuse for not unfreezing/waking up the women was weak. As if men wouldn't get into fights without the presence of women.
-The writing in Shift was much better than that of Wool.
All in all, a great story though some of the characters were lacking.
This was an excellent “prequel” to Wool. Knowing what happened in Wool, you know where things are heading at the beginning of the book. The horror I felt at the motivations of the people pulling the strings was great. And it just got worse and worse.
The bulk of the book is split between pre-Silo times and early Silo times and then split between Silo 1 (HQ) and other “troubled” silos. I feel like some of what happened in Wool was touched upon, but my memory of the details is obviously too vague, because I was never quite sure! I kind of wish I had reread it or skimmed it. So, it would be my recommendation not to wait too long before reading this one.
How the silos came into being was fascinating. Lots of tension and horror (at the gaul of some people), some very interesting characters.
The narrator was ok. His main voice was pleasant enough, but I didn’t love all the voices he did to differentiate the POV characters and others. He did do a fine job with the British accent. Also, he actually said “Nuke-u-lar”. Ugh. And it wasn’t a character’s “voice”. Overall I would rate him about a 3 because he wasn’t horrible (except for Nuke-u-lar).
The Shift is comprised of three parts: Legacy, Order and Pact, which if you have read Wool, promises answers to some of your questions.
I have read some complaints that the characters in The Shift were too flat, not fleshed out enough to become invested in. It is true that some of these characters did come across as mere shadows but I cannot help but get the sense that maybe that was the point.
In brief, Legacy tells us about what is happening in the world prior to the destruction we have seen and know from Wool. It introduces us to the players, takes us inside their thoughts and doubts and dreams, well at least those of Donald. From the other major players what we see primarily is manipulation of the weaker, more reliant members of the party; those that are indebted to the manipulators, for their positions and opportunities provided. A glimpse, if you will, of what life had been, a sneak peek at some of the doubts beginning to infiltrate the minds of the manipulated and a front row view into the minds of those in charge. Or is it?
The Order tells us what life is like on the other side of that mirror of doubt. Here in silo 1 is where the main players come across as one dimensional, mere shadows; more like marionettes dancing to a tune orchestrated by others. Their purpose and their duty is all laid out for them, all they need do is comply and follow the rules, maintain order, until they can once again escape to the blissful void. Shift over. But first let’s take a peek outside…………
Throughout The Shift time moves back and forth. We see life before the big catastrophic event, life shortly after, and life many years into the future. It is in the future that we meet new people, living their lives in other silos, engineered by those original members of The Legacy. I really liked Mission and found myself cheering for him, but it was The Crow that truly captured my imagination reminding me of The Oracle from the Matrix. These people and more living their lives unaware that manipulation and control are afoot; unaware that they are merely puppets, dancing on a string.
The Pact comprises the rules that everyone not charged with maintaining order, live by. We visit silo 17 and meet Jimmy. We learn what happened to his parents and all the others and while this was interesting I confess I did not need to read about his isolation, his fears, his scavenging and mind melting loneliness, page after page, through all those years. I got it long before I stopped reading about it. But back in Silo 1 Donald’s mind is beginning to thaw, things are unravelling, a new plan is emerging………………………
While this is not the adrenaline paced, thumb sweating read that Wool was, Howey’s world is still extremely well imagined. The Shift answered many of the questions I had and gave birth to scads more.
I very rarely read science fiction but this series by Hugh Howey sounded so interesting I gave it a chance. The first book was Wool Omnibus which was a 5 star read for me and this second book in the series didn't disappoint either. It's one of those stay up all night I just can't put it down kind of books. The characters are so well crafted and believable even under the bizarre circumstances they are trying their best to survive.
The premise is a future time when a group of survivors are living in a silo deep in the ground after some sort of dooms day event has occurred. Perilous events constantly threaten their survival which makes for fascinating reading. Can't wait to buy the next books in the series to see what happens.
I found the first book in this trilogy, Wool, surprising and exciting in a way I haven't experienced from a science fiction book in a while. Unfortunately I didn't feel the same way about this one.
But perhaps it's because most of the real mysteries were already uncovered in book 1? Well, to an extent that is the case, but there are things hidden in book 1 that are uncovered here. In fact, a good deal of the unknown from Wool is clarified in this book. No, I think it's primarily because this is a prequel, with much (but not all) of the action preceding events in book 1, and life in the world as we know it just didn't hold my interest in the same way. It's also because the characters here just didn't grab me in the same way either.
Don't get me wrong, I still worked through over 18 hours of audio without a thought of giving up on it. It's also set things up nicely for book 3, which I've already started. If you've just finished Wool, then I'm guessing, like me, you'll be desperate to know more. The background stuff is here, though I did feel that this one dragged a bit and maybe because I knew where it was headed some of it did feel a little contrived. Still, bring on book 3, where we're back to where we ended book 1. Now you're talking...
Neblogai, bet nieko labai blatno. Iš tikro, tai šita knyga, kaip pasakojimas, labai nukentėjo nuo to, kad tai yra priešistorė. Ir jei tai būtų tik priešistorė, tai ma ją šunės, bet kad ji dar nemažai persidengia ir su pirmąja knyga, ir tada gaunasi, kad skaitytojas faktiškai antrą kartą skaito apie tą patį. Na ir kas, kad iš kitos perspektyvos, kad pasakotojas kitas, vis tiek galų gale viskas susiveda į tą patį argumentą – antras kartas.
Šiaip istorija yra pusėtina, ypač kol buvo pasakojama, kaip atsirado šachtų idėja, kaip jos buvo statomos ir kas ta paslaptinga grėsmė/nelaimė/įvykis, dėl kurio šachtų projektas, arba, kaip išdidžiai jis buvo pavadintas dar pirmoje knygoje, pasaulio tvarkos projektas „penkiasdešimt“ buvo paleistas, bet vėliau pasakojimo kokybė krenta, labiausiai – dėl nuspėjamumo, tačiau ir kitos nuodėmės nepadeda. Personažai prastokai išvystyti, pačioms šachtoms dėmesio daug mažiau, ir apskritai pati knyga atrodo per daug išpūsta, ištempta.
Man kaip ir patiko ją skaityti, bet kita vertus, nemanau, jog jos neskaičius ir po pirmos dalies perėjus prie trečiosios, pasakojimas labai nukentėtų. Kai perskaitysiu trečiąją dalį, bus aiškiau, bet kolkas įspūdis toks, kad ši knyga – neblogas lyrinis nuokrypis, bet pačiai istorijai daug žavesio, naudos ir svorio neprideda.
I got this in audio because the third book in Silo was BOGO on Audible, and now I'm not sure I care to read Dust (Wool, #9). I loved Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) and thought I would be interested in reading the prequel, the "how it all happened in the first place" story, but in the end, not so much. I actually think finding out the hows and whys do a disservice to the strange and isolated world we read about in Wool and I'm sorry I read this book. I'm even sorrier I spent so many hours listening to it, although near the end it was at 2.5x speed just to get through it.
I gave it 2 stars because there were a few highlights - the character of Jimmy, the child left to fend for himself, was interesting, although difficult to write about. It actually might have been more interesting to focus on him in a My Side of the Mountain kind of treatment. The ending brought some things together kind of as a favor to those of us who finished.
Read this follow-up to "Wool" for post-apocalyptic book club.
'Shift' contains three parts, 'Legacy,' 'Order,' and 'Pact.' Each is also available as a separate publication, but I recommend the omnibus edition. I also recommend reading 'Wool' first, even though the events here precede it chronologically. If you've read 'Wool' you know the scenario: survivors of a mysterious apocalypse living in massive underground silos, struggling to survive in the face of social oppression, dwindling resources and mechanical decay. In 'Shift,' we get to find out how it all happened.
'First Shift - Legacy' shifts (haha) between two perspectives. In the near future, junior politician Donald (an unfortunately distracting choice of character name - who would've guessed?) is tasked by his mentor with work on a secret project. Donald was an architect before he went into politics, and Senator Thurman wants him to design a massive bomb shelter. The job takes him away from the side of his wife, and puts him into uncomfortable proximity to his college ex- (Thurman's daughter) - but he can't say no, as Thurman was responsible for getting Donald elected. This story is intercut with a glimpse into the future world of the Silos. In Silo One, "Troy" awakes and is given the job of IT Supervisor. Troy is oddly unable to remember many things about his past, but he knows the scenario: the men of Silo One are responsible for overseeing all 50 silos. They wake for shifts of work, and after a few months, return to cryosleep. The situation is psychologically draining, and not everyone can hack it... Of course, the reader knows that the two narratives must be connected, but it's a pleasure waiting for the pieces to match up.
'Second Shift' also features two linked narratives. In one, we continue the drama in Silo One, between Donald, Senator Thurman, and his daughter, Anna, as Donald is awoken from cryosleep for his 'second shift.' In the other narrative, the action takes place in Silo 18, where we meet a young porter called Mission, who has never known any other world but that of his silo. The only inkling he and his contemporaries have had that things might once have been different are the stories of an elderly teacher, who tells fantastic tales - tales that seem unlikely, but at the same time, are sufficient to sow the seeds of discontent. And the society of Silo 18 may be increasingly unstable...
'Third Shift' - two more stories. Due to an error (or is it?) when Donald is awoken for his third shift, he is mistaken for Senator Thurman. As long as no one finds out; he'll stay in charge of the whole shebang. Will this give Donald a chance to redeem himself for his part in the destruction of the world? Or will he continue to make yet more mistakes and stupid decisions? In the second story, we go back and explore the 'origin story' of the character of Jimmy/Solo, who will be familiar to readers of 'Wool.' Let's just say that when you're a nerdy kid whose survival depends on hiding from and if necessary, shooting every other survivor you encounter, cause they're all out to kill you, the psychological result is not ideal.
Because Jimmy's story relies on the linkage back to 'Wool,' on its own, it might be the weakest of the three. And, to a degree, I did feel that 'Shift' was written as an afterthought, and in response to the runaway popularity of 'Wool.' Some of the ideas seem a bit reverse-engineered, as far as how everything in the silos works and why decisions were made the way they were. It's still engagingly written - it's a long book, but moves along quite quickly, not inviting too much detailed analysis of the nitty-gritty specifics. Overall - not quite as good as 'Wool,' but it still squeaks up to 4 stars, for me.
Ne kiekvieną dieną rasi trilogiją, kurios viduryje – priešistorė, ir tai mane kiek baugino – imti ir dabar skaityti tai, kas buvo prieš. Ypač prisiskaičius neigiamų komentarų, dažnai rekomendavusių išvis šitą knygą praleisti. Bet aš niekaip neleisčiau sau paimti trečios dalies neperskaičiusi antros ir džiaugiuosi savo sprendimu.
Man šitos priešistorės reikėjo. Suerzino pirmosios knygos pabaigoje lyg ir paaiškėjusios priežastys, kurios buvo tokios labai jau miglotos. Negaliu sakyti, kad man patiko, ką toje priešistorė perskaičiau, mat trūko logikos ir motyvo, bet bendras suvokimas apie trilogijos pasaulį pasipildė ir tuo likau patenkinta. Kad priešistorė buvo reikalinga po pirmos knygos ir ne atvirkščiai – irgi faktas. Daugumą „Šachtos“ įdomumo sudarė paslaptys, kurios labai aiškiai nuo pradžių atsiskleidžia priešistorėje. Ką tai sako apie pačios istorijos kokybę dar anksti sakyti, bet galbūt autoriui reikėjo paieškoti daugiau kabliuko tame, ką pasakoja, o ne kuriant dirbtines intrigas. Kitas reikalas, kad ta priešistorė ir vėl manęs neįtikino. Gal čia tokia ir esmė, kad keli bepročiai sukūrė teoriją ir dėl jos sunaikino pasaulį ar bent jau sukūrė tokią iliuziją.
Akivaizdu, autorius šia priešistore visai nenorėjo atsakyti į visus klausimus, o bandė parašyti knygą kuri kartu ir koreliuotų su žinomais įvykiais, sąvokomis ir pasaulio vaizdu, ir kartu būtų panašaus lygio socialinis komentaras, stiprus savaime. Ir didžiąją dalį šio romano man patiko ta „Šachtoje“ užkabinusi kova tarp teisinga ir ne, kai nėra labai aišku, kas visgi teisinga. Įdomu matyti distopiją, kuri skatina analizuoti motyvus ir sąsajas, o ne kuria pasaulį, kuriame viena pusė balta, o kita tokia juoda, kad nelieka abejonių jos nekęsti. Istorijos tikrąja to žodžio prasme kaip ir nebuvo, pirmoje knygos pusėje skaityti apie veikėjo meilės trikampius buvo neįdomu, o galiausiai ir pabaigos realiai nėra, bet ta moralinio disputo prasme ji labai tinka prie „Šachtos“ problemų.
Ir taip, trečdalis knygos kiek atkartojo pirmosios knygos įvykius, bet tikėjausi to daug daugiau. Galbūt dėl to, kad pirmąją dalį skaičiau prieš metus ir daug kas pasimiršo, bet nekamavo jausmas, kad šitai jau žinau ir neįdomu, kamavo tik jausmas, kad štai šitai siejasi su pirmos knygos įvykiais – žiūrėk kaip faina.
Turint omenyje, kad ir „Šachta“ man nenunešė proto, tai „Pamaina“ plius minus išlaikė liniją ir suskaičiau vietomis labai įdomiai, moralu likau pusiau patenkinta ir susigundžiau tęsti skaitymą. Paradoksas kažkoks, ne kitaip.
I found myself screaming at this book. I really liked the idea and I really wanted to keep reading to find out how it all ends, but I found aspects of the book really frustrating. You'll find yourself saying "for god's sake, just get on with it will you" and "Well, that doesn't fit" all the way through this book. If you can put up with that, then it's worth the read.
Spoiler alert - don't read any more if you haven't read this book yet:
- How do children's books last 100s of years of use?
- Why have children's books with pictures of the outside world (grass, sky, animals etc) if you are trying to hide this from the silo occupants?
- Why do 'regular' people in regular silos have tins of food (Jimmy looking for a can opener and finding canned food). More to the point, why have canned cat food that's edible 100s of years after the occupation of the silo. Come to think of it, why are there cats there in the 1st place give the way the silos we occupied!?!?!
- Why didn't Donald piece it all together in the 2 years he was given The Order to read, or at least ask a couple of questions
Other things are frustrating too, like the long pointless dialogues (e.g. between Donald and his wife).
It was things like this that got me frustrated, but at the same time I wanted to read on......