Hugh Howey hooks you once again in another brilliantly imagined world. This time in a world of sand.
Sand covers everything. It has buried cities, it has buried people and it has buried secrets. People carve out an existence literally by hand. Everything is scarce, especially hope. One of the booming trades though is diving. Using specially designed suits ‘divers’ are able to dive beneath the sand dunes, recovering valuable artifacts from a buried world hundreds of metres below the ground.
Diving is a precious skill, one four siblings have been passed down from their father. However when he walked out on their family 12 years ago everything they had built and worked for was lost and their family broke apart as they tried to survive and find their place in this harsh and desolate world.
Rumours exist of a lost city full of treasures deeper than anyone has ever dived before. Vic, the eldest sibling and best diver doesn’t believe the rumours but her brother Palmer does and he has a lot to try and prove. Finding the lost city could be the way to put his family back together but there are many dangers buried above and below the sand.
Howey proved with the Wool Trilogy that he is a master of world building and all the different stories you can find inside. He does it again with the sand and dunes giving his imagination even more space to grow. The sand diving aspect is fantastic adding another dimension to the tradition of desert ‘seafaring’. Howey wraps the story up nicely with just a hint that their might be more of this world to explore in the future.
Hugh Howey wraps up his trilogy that began with Wool and Shift. Wool showed us a world beyond imagining, a world where everything was underground and the truth was hidden from everybody. Shift showed us how this world came into being and began to expose the truth. In Dust the truth must now be confronted and not everybody is ready to face it.
Unlike the previous two books Dust hasn’t been serialized which does change the pacing of the story. Unlike the previous two books I found Dust a bit slow to get started. This was partly due to the structure and also it had been a whole book since we last saw Juliette. However once things get going it is non-stop.
Juliette has returned to Silo 18 and is determined to get back to Solo and the kids in 17. Only now she is mayor and responsible for the lives of many. Meanwhile Donald is trying to prevent the plans he has exposed. But the truth will also expose Donald and it may already be too late to stop something which has planned for long ago.
What I loved about the the final book was that now that the truth about the silos had been exposed it wasn’t a fait accompli. Discovering the truth is one thing, delivering it is something else altogether. Some people do not want accept the truth, no matter what the consequences. Juliette must come to terms, not only with the truth she discovered, but the consequences learning this truth will have on others around her.
Howey delivers a fitting finale to the Silo trilogy; thought-provoking, action-packed and keeping you guessing all the way to the last page.
My newest release is DUST. It wraps up the Silo Saga that began with WOOL and continued with SHIFT. As I write this, it’s been two years to the day that I released WOOL, which changed my life forever. Putting the final touches on this series has been extremely rewarding.
Where are you from / where do you call home?:
I grew up on a farm outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. After a career as a yacht captain, I eventually settled here in Jupiter, Florida. I live with my wife and our spoiled rotten dog.
When you were a kid, what did you want to become? An author?:
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’ve dreamed of doing this since I was twelve. I never thought it would be possible, and I took a circuitous route to get here, but I’m now savoring every moment.
What do you consider to be your best work? Why?:
I, ZOMBIE. It was my most risky project, the one that touches on the most traumatic experiences of my life, and a work that was approached for purely cathartic purposes. It’s the least appealing to readers and the least commercial, and I enjoy that about it as well. Describe your writing environment to us – your writing room, desk, etc.; is it ordered or chaotic?:
I can write anywhere. I do all my writing on a laptop. I usually have my dog snuggled up against me, making it difficult to type or get comfortable.
When you’re not writing, who/what do you like to read?:
I almost exclusively read non-fiction. History books, like Rick Atkinson’s latest trilogy or psychology works from Steven Pinker. I am a sponge for facts and knowledge.
What was the defining book(s) of your childhood/schooling?:
ENDER’S GAME, by Orson Scott Card. Here was a book about young people saving the universe, and it was written by a guy from my home state. It made me believe I could be anything. Do anything.
If you were a literary character, who would you be?:
I’d be one of Shakespeare’s fools, acting dumb but often saying something with a sliver of insight and wit.
Apart from books, what do you do in your spare time (surprise us!)?:
I collect seashells. I take pictures.
What is your favourite food and favourite drink?:
Pizza and beer. I could eat this every day (if only my wife would allow it).
Who is your hero? Why?:
My parents, both of them. My mother for the way she raised the three of us while working several jobs. My father for his kind heart and work ethics.
Crystal ball time – what is the biggest challenge for the future of books and reading?:
Competing with various free forms of entertainment. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, social media games . . . these are the things books will compete against. To thrive, they’ll have to continue to offer a brand of entertainment found nowhere else, and that is the building of vivid worlds in silent imagination.