a humble, seeking, loudmouth, Jesus lover, and sometimes heretic explores his questions, concerns, and varied interests through books.
The is the second book in the post-apocalyptic series that began with Wool. In this book we get to find out who build the silos and why. It's a good prequel and full of interesting characters and developments. If you enjoyed Wool you will also like Shift.
I saw a lot of reviews that complained that there was too much detail or too many unnecessary plotlines in this sequel. I didn't think so at all! I felt each chapter brought a little more life to the world and the series as a whole. Were the years with Solo's "friend" necessary? Absolutely not. Did I love them? Absolutely. If you're reading this series for the excitement and the mystery-solving of Wool, I can see how Shift is a disappointment. If you liked Wool because of the characters it introduced and the world it created, I think you'll find Shift just as entertaining.
I was really disappointed with the narration, however, because I loved Reynolds in the Riyria Revelation books. Sadly, he just wasn't a good choice for American accents. The southern Georgia accents were particularly jarring and sometimes slipped into something sounding Scottish.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
After Wool I didn't expect much from Shift. I did not like Wool much, finding the narration poor and the premise, story and characters quite weak. I only listened to Shift because I bought Wool and Shift at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised to find Shift well narrated and well written with interesting adult characters and a story-line that kept me interested. While the premise remained weak the story and characters made the premise almost believable. I found the difference between Wool and Shift astounding. The tone and style are quite different. I will read the third if I hear it is like Shift and not like Wool.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
You'll spend the entire book waiting for our idiot protagonist to figure out what we, the audience already know before picking up the book. Does that sound fun to you?
The story isn't boring, exactly... it's just unnecessary. Wool already told us everything we needed to know about the Silos. The backstory answers some questions... but this all could have been done in a more elegant way... preferably in a single chapter instead of this slow, useless tome.
For the most part the story held my attention, and had it had a satisfying ending, or had the it progressed the plot from Wool in any way I probably could have forgiven the insane redundancies. But it didn't do those things.
I already own Dust, so I'll see this story out to its conclusion, but had I not purchased it on sale, I certainly would have called it quits right now.
I listened to this book on 3x speed, and it was still too long. I don't recommend it to anyone who isn't totally in love with hearing about life in the Silos.
Some books just become your best friend. I have a few best friends and I continue to read them over and over again.
I read Wool last year and decided to listen to Shift about a month ago. I love reading reviews on the books before purchasing to see what others say about it. With that said I already knew that the characters in Wool were not in Shift. I still loved the book. Shift starts to give you some answers (not all answers, but some) and a little history of the Silos. I surprisingly enjoyed the story and the performance was wonderfully done.
I was so looking forward to this recording. I read Wool Omnibus, which is the first part of the saga in print, because listeners had a poor opinion of that reader. I found it compelling and devoured hundreds of pages in a few days. This recording has Tim Reynolds, who I've loved in other books, so I figured this would be even better. I was disappointed in both the book and its narration;
In contrast to Wool, which takes place over a few weeks, this one takes place over centuries - and it feels like it. There's way too much detail of various characters endlessly enduring in grim environments. There's a plot in the middle that I think was totally unnecessary, apparently to give an idea about the Uprisings mentioned elsewhere. Finally at the very end, the story starts to overlap with the first part of the saga, but by then my interest had waned considerably.
A strong feature of Wool was the opportunity for the reader to figure out what is going on. This one tries to explain it, starting in the 21st century, and I felt that made it less believable. Again there are way too many details of ordinary life in the near future, trying to show how what we have now could lead to the silo world. The whole construction and rationale just doesn't make much sense. Leaving some mystery would have been better.
Some people felt the characters in Wool were flat, but I found them interesting and cared about what happened to them. In Shift, the characters are mostly one-dimensional and mostly passive. My overall feeling listening to this was depression. I had to avoid listening to it before bedtime. Sure, it's a dystopia but the characters could have some human connection and some agency, there's very little of either.
As I said ,I loved Tim Reynolds reading the works of Michael J Sullivan, where he has a mainly English accent. In this one, he tried to sound American and sometimes just sounded weird. For instance, he pronounced "palm" as "pam". You'd be amazed how often that word came up and it jarred me every time. He did a decent job with the various characters but Howey didn't give him a lot to work with.
I rarely regret the hours spent listening to an audiobook, even if it's not the greatest, but this time I did. I will probably read the 3rd installment in print so that if it drags I can skim through it.
Great book, Hugh is a talented writer and I'm excited to read more from him. But, for pete's sake, I've never been so acutely aware of the overuse of a single word in an audio-book. Every time the reader, Reynolds, would come to the world 'palm' he would always pronounce it in some weird english-to-american crossover pronunciation as 'pam' and this wasn't a sparse occurrence either. I found myself starting to wonder if Hugh Howey set out to write this sequel with the intention of seeing how many times he could cram the word 'palm' into a single book. It bugged me enough to were I almost couldn't even finish the book. However, I still gave Reynolds 4 stars because the rest of his performance is in fact excellent, but I can't be the only one who noticed this.
Nothing draws attention to a writer's unusually frequent use of a word more than a narrator's bizarre pronunciation of it. In this case, the word is palm. Or is it pam?
It's not all the narrator's fault, though. Hugh Howey still doesn't know the difference between a clip and a magazine.
More importantly, the main character is an insufferable whiner. Those around him are blinkered, bloodthirsty zealots, or cardboard cutouts of unassuming sheep. Sadly, there is not even sport in discerning the two camps. I think Howey tried to hold together this myopic, implausible explanation for the other side of the Wool story, but it may have been better left as an exercise for the reader.
unfortunately I accidentally read the books out of order but it sure was nice to finally finish the series. even reading them out of order played nicely into the way this book was laid out.