Sam's Reviews > Casting Off

Casting Off by Hugh Howey
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's review
Jan 03, 2013

it was ok
bookshelves: scifi
Read from January 03 to 04, 2013

First off I hate to give bad reviews but this isn’t really a bad book just an OK one. So here goes with no spoilers I promise. I was in the middle of book 3. When I asked myself do these characters ever get any depth before they die? Are the most basic, obvious motivations all the bad guys can muster? Or has the silo somehow bred out any intelligence and suspicion? I can now answer that question. Nope what you read is what you get.

Book 3 was aptly named casting off because that is exactly what I’m doing with book 4 and 5 in the series let alone the prequels because life is too short.

My first issue began with “book” 1, all 50 pages of it were one dimensional characters, which is actually being charitable, 1D is more accurate. They’re even 1D when they think to themselves!
Here are a few quotes. Let’s see if you can figure out what type of profession this person identifies with:
"Something had happened. A great and powerful thing had fallen out of alignment"
"was as much the fine art of preventive maintenance"
"an active dispute was no different than walking into a pump room where something was broke"
"There were always confounding variables---you couldn't adjust one dial without sending something else a-kilter"
"a habit borne of ... previous life among the sludge and grease"
"It was like encountering a rusted bolt that refused to budge"
"had learned to attack them with grease and with fire, with penetrating oil and with brute strength. With enough planning and persistence, they always gave. Eventually."
"This break in the routine was like a timing belt stretching out of shape, a piston developing a knock."

Etc., etc., etc.

If you guess this person identifies with being a mechanic you win. And that was not the only character to have such a singularized view of the world in terms of profession.

But I could almost overlook all that if it wasn’t for the fact that the entire plot was:

1) Many bad yet very similar things keep happening counter to recent historical recollection (see I told you no spoilers :) Could they be related? Nah must be coincidence
2) Person X says and does very blatant challenging bad things. Could he be a bad guy? Nah just a jerk. So me and everyone else will take absolutely no precautions whatsoever nor bother to watch our backs in anyway
3) WOW person X really IS a bad guy! Could he be responsible for all those very bad things that have happened? Nah must be coincidence

Yep 3 books. And then it ends with a totally taped on cliffhanger. You know what don’t care. Even if the rest of the series somehow explains it all away I’m tired of have the wool pulled over my eyes.
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