What a great book! I found this to be an extraordinary story. It was fascinating to learn about the way women and children lived in the nineteenthWhat a great book! I found this to be an extraordinary story. It was fascinating to learn about the way women and children lived in the nineteenth century, and to follow the journey of the main character from barely-scraping-by urchin to wealthy but controversial practitioner of badly-needed medical procedures.
Beautifully done. It will stay with me for a long time....more
I got pulled into Jason Gurley's "Greatfall: Part 1" when he mentioned on Hugh Howey's wall that there was a sample on his website... so I wanderedI got pulled into Jason Gurley's "Greatfall: Part 1" when he mentioned on Hugh Howey's wall that there was a sample on his website... so I wandered over to read it. From the beginning it was mysterious, compelling and dark. Count me intrigued.
After I invested 99¢, I got more of this powerfully different Silo world from the point of view of the residents--an innocent's perspective, and then that of one of the leaders. All fascinating. But I was really hooked once a stranger came into the picture.
I can't say more without spoiling it for you, but let's just say that there's a little Stephen King atmosphere going on here. Be prepared for the unexpected. I know I'm scared!
But I'm already looking forward to the next installment... Comment...more
I read "The Runner" as soon as it came out, and it was my first foray into non-Howey stories set in the world of WOOL. I wasn't disappointed.
From theI read "The Runner" as soon as it came out, and it was my first foray into non-Howey stories set in the world of WOOL. I wasn't disappointed.
From the compelling opening to the satisfying finish, Davies keeps the story moving. I really enjoyed reading about brand new characters who live in a Silo and share much of the same challenges as those in WOOL, but with different specifics. What was particularly powerful in this book was the emotional depth of the relationships between the characters.
I'm not surprised that "The Runner" has taken off with readers and inspired other writers to jump in and play in Hugh Howey's universe. There are as many potential tales as there are steps in the great stairway....
Looking forward to the next book from Davies! ...more
Well, I guess I've become a Woolie. Woolgatherer? Silo-phile? Howeyite?? Like the Trekkies or LOTR aficionados, a group of eager fans now awaitsWell, I guess I've become a Woolie. Woolgatherer? Silo-phile? Howeyite?? Like the Trekkies or LOTR aficionados, a group of eager fans now awaits anything that Hugh Howey writes. And they won't be disappointed with this one.
One of Howey's great gifts is the way he designs his books, and this world, like a mosaic, a little information here and a little information there, going back and forth in time and filling in answers to questions – frequently running two different time-lines in one volume. To me, this is half the fun. Eventually (if it hasn't been done already) some fan is going to put together a site that explains it all in chronological order… but now we are in the great Silo creation phase, and we are watching this happen in real-time.
PACT provides the backstory for Solo while telling us where Donald is now in terms of his understanding of the grand scheme behind the building. It's very hard to say too much about the plot without spoiling it for others, so I will only say that this volume had wonderful dramatic tension, a couple of big surprises, and made me smile when some of my predictions came true. As a writer, my brain is always working to anticipate plot possibilities… but Howey managed to delight me with some unexpected twists. What I found particularly compelling was the character arc as Solo goes from a naïve 16-year-old to a stunted individual living a singularly peculiar life – while always holding our attention and our sympathy. Donald evolves into someone quite different than we could have imagined at the beginning of the Shift trilogy.
It's an understatement to point out that Howey's success is an extraordinary story in itself. That a short story published 18 months ago should have grown into this international phenomenon, involving the ever more likely possibility of a feature film, comic books, audio books, and other as yet unimagined entertainment formats, is probably a result that even the author could not have envisioned. But the material is worthy. And one of the coolest aspects is that the organic growth of Howey's Silo world is a product of one powerful imagination – unfettered by a more structured literary establishment which might have chipped away at, or certainly changed and shaped, the author's unique vision -- that gave us this masterful dystopian morality tale.
And to Mr. Howey… keep writing! Your hungry readers are waiting to eat DUST. ...more
I had of course heard that this was a popular book, but I make a point of not knowing too much about a book before IMinor spoilers below!
I had of course heard that this was a popular book, but I make a point of not knowing too much about a book before I start. I downloaded the sample, and then jumped in. I didn't know *quite* how wonderful it was supposed to be, so I wasn't expecting the great American novel... or even the great Balkan novel.
I had no idea the author was so young (only 2 years older than my daughter!) and that was a surprise I discovered after I read the whole book.
To me, it worked. But not completely. As many have pointed out, the stories of the Deathless Man and the Tiger's Wife were fascinating, and I enjoyed finding out that they were related. I bought the relationship between Natalia and her grandfather. The writing is lyrical and the descriptions beautiful.
Frankly, though, the novel seemed to me a bit self-conscious. SO much of the fables and so little of the here-and-now. Almost as though the author wrote all the back-stories as an exercise (as we writers often do) but then decided -- what the heck? -- to include them in the book. And I wonder about the purpose of all of that material. The Apothecary, Luca, the Bear? Because so much was revealed slowly, and hinted at, I expected a knitting-up in the end... I thought perhaps the Tiger's Wife was going to give birth to the woman who became the Doctor's wife! But there was no knitting up. There was a denouement of sorts when we realize that there would be no more information forthcoming about the Doctor's death. There was an imagined last scene with the Deathless Man. And yet, I was left feeling disappointed. To have come so far and read so much about so many peripheral characters (interesting as they might be) and then not get the major answers... I was frustrated.
Kudos for so much of what went on in this novel -- gorgeous language, a real evocation of the mythos of a region, fun tales to follow through a winding story -- but I could have wished for more.
I think this author is extraordinarily gifted, but I also believe that she needs to mature as a writer.
Juicy, exotic, involving... I really liked "Abigail"! The combination of the era and the faerie world, plus romance, past family history, conflict andJuicy, exotic, involving... I really liked "Abigail"! The combination of the era and the faerie world, plus romance, past family history, conflict and travel made this a fun book to read. I gather that it's the beginning of a set of books, and I look forward to reading the next one.
Powerful characters and evocative setting. Don't miss it! ...more
Another good book in Anne Kelleher's David series, written from the point of view of a young man with Down Syndrome. David is caught up in theAnother good book in Anne Kelleher's David series, written from the point of view of a young man with Down Syndrome. David is caught up in the expectations of his family with regard to how much independence he should have. Just about to be 25, he is interested in a romantic relationship -- is that appropriate for him? Is the young woman's family in agreement? What if David gets hurt?
This series and this book in particular raise important questions about how we relate to developmentally disabled people and how they relate to other folks. What's wonderful is that the story is also entertaining, and gives us a fascinating glimpse into this world.
"When David Was Surprised" and "How David Met Sarah," (the first book in the series), are essential books for readers who are themselves developmentally disabled and for those who love them. In addition, anyone interested in gaining some insight into this population is urged to pick up a copy.
Written at an elementary reading level, these books are nevertheless fun and informative for anyone.