Nathan's Reviews > Casting Off

Casting Off by Hugh Howey
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Nov 22, 2012

it was amazing

Each book brings a freshness to the story. It's weird how well this is done. It's not just the view and voice, but there is a natural, almost logical flow of genres as well.

Some of that kind of detail comes up later in the series. There _should_ be a "logical" flow of genres. That actually plays out as a plot point in a very meta-compositional way.

This book is a murder mystery book. It's still the same sci-fi, dystopian work that the previous books were, so the murder mystery has the oppressive elements of a suspense/horror, but in a more abstract way. Throughout, it is clear who the killer is, and so the story is clearly building itself as a battle, a good versus evil.

Those kinds of stories tread a fine line with dystopian literature. You absolutely cannot be too hopeful or you will blow up the whole dystopia. Things aren't bleak and decaying if all you needed was a little self-confidence and elbow grease and the world was suddenly better. This story not only clearly understands that, it directly confronts that fact, and this is the book where that confrontation takes place.

People die. Battles are lost. The horrible things that happened in the previous books are seen in a different, historical light. They had to happen that way. Entropy is a universal law.
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