Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Shift Omnibus by Hugh Howey (CBR-V #30)

Cannonball Read V: Book #30/52
Published: 2013
Pages: 608
Genre: Dystopian

Wool is one of my favorite books that I've read so far this year. Shift is a prequel of sorts to Wool that explains why people were living in underground silos with almost no knowledge about the world outside. It's hard to explain too much about it without giving too much away, but the book starts before the silos were even built. A politician with an architect background is commissioned to work on a top secret project and from there the story switches back and forth between his life before the silos and his life afterwards. Because of deep freezing technology, we can follow the same people over hundreds of years. Simply put them in deep freeze and wake them up a century later! I have to say, that is a pretty interesting way to move the story forward to the far future without having to introduce totally new characters. 

The book is actually a compilation of three novellas. They all featured Donald (the pre-silo politician), but we were also introduced to the characters of Mission and Jimmy. Mission is a messenger (he runs packages and messages from floor to floor in the silo) who was born illegally in his silo. Because he was conceived without his parents winning the birthing lottery, his mother was killed in his place once he was born. Jimmy is the guy we knew as Solo from Wool. He was a teen when his silo had an uprising and we see how he survived and why he was the only one left when Juliet found him.

My only complaint about this book was that the explanation for what happened outside and why everyone was in the silos was a little anti-climactic. It wasn't BAD, but I guess I was just hoping for something a little more unconventional from such a great writer. 

Overall, the book was great. I'm looking forward to Hugh Howey's third book in this series, Pact, that is supposed to be out later this year.

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