Angela's Reviews > Dust

Dust by Hugh Howey
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really liked it
bookshelves: borrowed-from-amazon, e-book, 2014, part-of-a-series

(WARNING: Contains spoilers for WOOL and SHIFT)
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Dust opens with Juliette down in the bowels of Silo 18, overseeing a massive dig. She's been back in her home silo long enough to be elected mayor and, as mayor, she unilaterally decided the best thing for her constituents is to tunnel over into Silo 17, thereby doubling their available room and increasing their available resources, not to mention making an easy pathway into Silo 18 for Jimmy (Mission/Solo) and the children in Silo 17. Unfortunately, the majority of Juliette's constituents believe (a) she's insane, (b) she's demon-possessed, or (c) she's lying. In all three camps, the people believe there are no other silos and Juliette's tunnel will ultimately kill them.

Meanwhile, in Silo 1, Donald maintains communication with Silo 18 and keeps trying to reach other silos that he thinks may not be dead after all -- Silo 40, in particular, which inexplicably went dark several "shifts" ago without intervention from Silo 1. And his sister Charlotte keeps working on modifying a drone sufficiently to survive the "bad air" surrounding the silos.

Although I enjoyed the story, I must admit to some small irritations. Donald, for one, annoyed the fuck out of me. I mean, I felt sorry for the guy (view spoiler) but the constant breast-beating and self-flagellation was wearing and, worst of all, did nothing to advance the storyline. Yeah, we know you feel guilty. We established that way back in Shift. Stop wallowing and get on with it!

Irritation #2: After devoting a fairly large chunk of text to discuss Silo 40 and its mysterious dropping-off-the-grid-lo-these-many-years-ago, Howey lets go of that loose end completely, leaving me to wonder if this was a plot turn that was edited out in the final draft.

Irritations aside, and looking back over the entire trilogy, I found the story of Silo 18 compelling, horrifying, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful. Perhaps Howey could have plumbed the depths of the human psyche a little further (small irritation #3: I was really interested in the religious fundamentalist faction that cropped up when the silo populace's worldview was challenged and would have liked to have seen that twist explored in more detail -- although the story was served well without it, I just thought that would have been a rich vein to mine), and perhaps the ending could have been just a shade more hopeful, but overall, Howey produced a rich satisfying trilogy with plenty of solid substance.
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Reading Progress

October 6, 2014 – Started Reading
October 6, 2014 – Shelved
October 6, 2014 – Shelved as: borrowed-from-amazon
October 6, 2014 – Shelved as: e-book
October 6, 2014 – Shelved as: 2014
October 8, 2014 –
35.0%
October 11, 2014 – Finished Reading
January 17, 2015 – Shelved as: part-of-a-series

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