Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
I was disappointed that Wool Omnibus was not read by a narrator who was as good as the material so I found it a real pleasure to listen to Shift Omnibus, an even better book IMO, read by the wonderful narrator of one of my favorite series, Riyria Revelations, Tim Gerard Reynolds. This is what audio books are all about for me; take a great book, paired with an appropriate great voice and then revel in the synergy of listening to a good story made even better in the telling.
If you liked Wool, you will almost undoubtedly enjoy Shift because it answers so many questions presented in Wool. Personally, I liked Wool a lot, but I really loved Shift. It is hard to decide how much of that is Howey's writing which has gotten ever more fluid as the story evolves and how much is the great narration by Reynolds. Probably some of both. Howey writes in a style that is very good for audio because he uses a lot of descriptive language; the man can truly paint a vivid picture. EX: Howey describing a character trying to shake off the effects of cold sleep; "Thoughts and memories reluctantly assembled like exhausted soldiers roused from their bunks in the middle of the night and told to form ranks in the freezing rain." And, Reynolds is one of those narrators whose voice pulls you in until you are not really conscious of the narrator at all so the story just flows and you get pictures in your mind almost like a movie.
Although Shift is labeled a sequel to Wool, it is actually almost entirely a prequel (the time periods of the two books start to overlap toward the end of Shift) and provides much of the explanation for the evolution of the "Wooliverse". It would be a crime to give much of the plot away because Shift is just chock full of those "AHA moments" when you suddenly understand something that didn't make sense or was confusing in Wool. I love being witness to real craftsmanship from an author and I could feel it all the way through Shift - Howey mapping out how this crazy society that I saw in Wool could ever have happened - AND making me believe it!
Great characters, suspenseful plot, wildly vivid settings, and a first-rate narrator - what is not to love about this? Can't wait for Dust (the next, last?, in the Wool series) scheduled to be released in August. Fingers crossed that the audio version is released at the same time with this same narrator!
I'd guess most folks who read Wool and Shift are going to want to read Dust whether or not it's great so I don't think it needs a big review. Short and sweet - Dust isn't as well written as Shift, but it did provide a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. My recommendation is a definite, "Go For It"; you'll get your Audible credit's worth with this one.
A little longer and less sweet, I was somewhat disappointed in Dust partly because Shift was so good. Shift was a big step up from Wool in pacing, plotting, and great prose so I had expectations that Howey would continue that trend in Dust and the book would be at least as good as Shift or maybe better. Dust is better written than Wool, but it doesn't have the sustained narrative tension of Shift.
Shift ends with Juliette threatening Silo 1 so I expected Dust to begin fast and furious with that conflict. Instead, Dust begins with Juliette totally focused on rescuing the Silo 17 survivors to the point of dereliction of her mayoral duties. Her people have lost faith in her (no real explanation for that) so much of the book is treading familiar ground; a visionary who doesn't communicate well trying to lead a bunch of stampeding sheep type people. In addition, we get some updates and further development of Solo and the Silo17 children, but I found much of that more irritating than interesting. The dialogue for those characters makes them sound naive and gullible, but I think they would be tougher and more "silo-smart" for having made it on their own for so long. There are also several sections given over to Elise's (the 7 year old Silo 17 survivor) pursuit of a puppy and a weird religious cult and their rituals. Both of these subplots really lead nowhere and slow the overall plot progression. (And, really, neither the girl nor any adults around her can figure out that they need to put a leash on that dog?)
On the other hand, I loved the Silo 1 sections of the book and the further character development of Charlotte (Donald's sister) was great. After some stumbling about a bit through the first half of the book, the second half is tighter and more interesting and when the final resolution comes, it's over almost too fast. I had the sense that given more time and editing, Howey could have made this conclusion really great. As it is, there are some dangling plot points and Dust doesn't have the grace of Shift, but it is still a very good read and it definitely provides a satisfying end to the trilogy. It also leaves the door WIDE open for sequels...
Audible listeners have the added benefit of narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds. The more I hear this guy, the more I like him. His voice keeps me plugged in even when a book gets a little slow. Overall, I recommend the whole Silo Saga Trilogy and I think Hugh Howey has great potential to keep us entertained for many years.
You are in for a wild ride with this near future science fiction thriller. One thing that defines this novel is movement and the pace in Lexicon is always brisk. The novel shifts quickly between time periods, locations, and points of view with many twists in the road. That almost breathless pace is a double-edged sword. It makes for a story that is exciting and there is never a dull moment. But the pace doesn't allow for the science fiction side of the tale to develop as much as I would have liked to see. The premise of using words as psychological triggers to control others has been used before, but Max Barry does have some nice new twists on the idea like the hypothesis that there might be a "machine language" for human beings - a base language that every brain uses to communicate internally and would therefore respond to if you could find those "bare words". But Barry doesn't ever quite slow the pace enough to really develop the concepts; just as one of these ideas starts to flower, we cut to an action sequence. So the sci-fi aspect of the story is relegated to mostly a plot device.
Most of the shifts between point of view were nicely done, but the plot does not unfold totally linearly and I found the shifts in time a bit confusing. In addition, there are some gaps in the plot (like a guy who can't be compromised until he is and you don't really know why) - some things don't quite jibe, but I have to admit those things didn't really hit me until after I finished the book and thought about it because while listening I was so caught up in the story.
Heather Corrigan and Zach Appelman were both good narrators on the whole. My only criticism of the performances being that neither of them did a good Australian accent. I also want to note for anyone else this may happen to - when I bought this audio book, it showed up in My Library with Part 1 and Part 2 in reverse order of the way every other book has shown up. Part 2 was first under the title and then Part 1. So, I accidentally downloaded Part 2 first and had a little bit of the middle of the book's "secrets" spoiled for me before I figured out what happened.
This is a "page turner" kind of book (a great one if you are looking for something to keep you alert on a long drive) with some good characters, action oriented plot with some cool twists, interesting settings, and competent narrators. Not classic science fiction, but a very entertaining listen.
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
If you here you know how these books usually start, there is a Then and Now through the book and you get to know one of the heroes' past. But here its different.
When you start this book you will be a bit confused, I certainly was, and I couldn't understand what was happening (which is great, its boring when you figure it out early in the book) and when i got to the point where all looked clear... well.. you still get shocked afterwards.
Ex-Purgatory was written in a different approach and actually that was one of its pros, its ending was good and twists are always there...
Cons: Narrator.. Jay Snyder is a good narrator, and he did a good job as always.... But where are the others?? I liked the combo of narrators as in the past books... it doesn't always work when you have different narrators for a single book, but in this series it works well... so ya guys, bring them back in the next book.
So go ahead, change is good, and you will like this addition!