Okay so the premise of this book is what brought me to make this purchase in spite of the reviews. I had absolutely no idea the following this series had, I was simply looking for post-apocalyptic dystopian that didn't include teenagers with super powers. The fact that I was coming from a book that had a large portion of the setting in an underground cold war bunker made this a match made in heaven for me.
First off let me say that Hugh Howey has a fantastic vehicle here. The premise is fantastic and if you are into what I have previously described and also into sci-fi, to a degree it's not overtly sci-fi, this story is for you. The setting is a community is living in a "silo" that is built into the ground. It isn't a missle silo it's meant for living. It is huge, 140 levels, and people live and have families and jobs like farming, mechanical, law enforcement, IT etc... Several generations have passed, as far as one can tell, since the outside is a viable option as a space to occupy, however we don't know why. The reason we don't know is because it is a forbidden topic. If you speak about it above a whisper you are sent to "clean," to clean the video cameras, that take in the skyline and scenery out in front of the silo. YOU DON'T COME BACK FROM CLEANING. The reason that the mere mention has so harsh a penalty is because with all the claustrophobia an uprise has occured in the past. The air is so unstable that, even with suits, the climate cannot be weathered. Very little, in fact, nothing is known outside of this particular silo to this paricular community.
The story begins with a Sherrif, a great guy by all accounts, whose wife had a breakdown a few years before and wanted to go outside. The dreaded request and she gets her wish to the Sherrifs dismay and she, like all the other cleaners before her doesn't come back. The Sherrif a few years later has a breakdown, longing for his wife, and utters the same request. He doesn't come back either, and thus begins the mayors journey with the deputy to hire a new Sherrif. That Journey will take her all the way down the silo on foot (no elevators) to interview all the candidates. On that journey a mystery and murder begins to grip the silo. Before you know it the community that seemed to be getting along fine is thrust into the middle of the controversy. At the middle of it is one of the most annoying atagonist in print and the brand new Sherrif. The Sherrif will have to go to the end of their known little world, and then some, just to put a dent into the mystery of the murder and start to unravel the secrets the Silo has a white-knuckled hold on.
The bad news, the narration is complete torture and utterly monotonous. That's just the truth, I saw the warnings in the previous reviews and it is the truth. Sayle does pause between every sentence and injects no emotion whatesoever into the story and it would have been welcomed. There are points in the story where shit is going down where emotions would be running high. It was quite distracting, especially for someone like myself whose mind will wander given the smallest chance. Those chances were everywhere during this narration. So if you are a reader and an audiobook individual you may want to read this one and go to audiobook on the next installment. This is part of a trilogy and the narrator of the next two books, the second of which I have already listened to, Shift, and liked more than this (it's a prequel), is really good. Thankfully he is on board for the third book, Dust, available Oct. 1st, which is a ways away. Too long for me to wait actually.
That's easy Top 5 but I have just got started on Audible...
Obviously the main character the hero, but also Richards.... as best supporting actor
The scene with the 3 FBI agents knocking on our heros door, a fellow agent, and he allows them in for questioning
I did listen in one sitting
actually really really enjoyed this story, so much so that I immediately looked for the sequel on audible. Unfortunately that wasn't available but enough with my problems. The story opens with an intense scene I will not spoil for you. The narration is fantastic truly, I listened to another audiobook right after this one and didn't know how fortunate I was. The story isn't bad either, but the pace of that story is what makes it special. I deeply cared for the hero in the story so Hicks did his job there and I'm very much into fringe topics and conspiracy so I didn't have a problem with the plot. If you're not into fringe, conspiracy etc... this isn't a book for you.
I did have some issues delving deeper into the book in respect to the antagonists. I would have liked more back story and explanation on them. You are just left with the you know what the characters have found out about them motif. I expect a little more than that, a fairly large gripe on my part and the antagonists themselves weren't that well thought out. Certain attributes they possess and talents they use don't seem to work without an explanation that you aren't given. Basically you just have to accept them for what they are and what little are known about them. Also there are major major world events taking place here that are far fetched.
The good news is that the pace of the story and the telling of it is really so good that I came out of this more than satisfied with the listen. Quite entertaining and the story gets in and gets moving.
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