We live across the thousand dunes with grit in our teeth and sand in our homes. No one will come for us. No one will save us. This is our life, diving for remnants of the old world so that we may build what the wind destroys. No one is looking down on us. Those constellations in the night sky? Those are the backs of gods we see.
©2014 Hugh Howey (P)2014 Hugh Howey
It's value neutral, no time lost and a little bit of a gain.
Sand doesn't stand up to Howie's first series of books (Wool, Shift, Dust). The world building and character development are lacking compared to the riveting Silo world of Wool, which was enjoyable and addictive. You cared about the characters in Wool even if the lines between good folks and bad eggs were a bit simplistic. In this book, more of the same of that but without the same general development and attention to detail. The people and the world of Sand just exist (despite all the action) and are not as compelling.
Slight spoiler as example:
The glaring treatment of Mom as Dystopian prostitute is just hammered home (no pun intended) every time the character was in the scene or beyond. Her children, near and far, do not have an interaction with a friend or stranger without their mom's (survive or perish) profession being thrown in their face as a slut-shaming joke. I mean it, every time. It's lazy, clumsy, and somewhat awkward until it becomes distractingly annoying.
While I've never found Howey to be sophisticated in his handling of adult relationships or sex in general, I thought he was better than this.
She did a great job. Howey writes straightforwardly and without flourish (or variety) and Chilton bought the story to life and made it what I think would be a better listen than read. I did listen at 1.25 narration speed but it was not due to the narrator (it worked well at both speeds) but the writing.
I kept thinking of Kevin Costner in Postman and Water World even though the only middle-aged man who is a 'would be' a main character is but a distant memory to the family in Sand. This not a good sign. I'd much rather see Wool as a mini-series!
I'm on the fence about the rest of series, even though the story picked up at the end with some of the most thoughtful writing and the only real moments of intrigue in the book. Like the best of Howey's characters though, I do have hope...
Howey has served up a novel rendition of the post-apocalyptic genre. With much of the explanation for the climatic and geologic conditions left up to listener's imagination, a future world that is little more than a giant sandbox is the starting point. Geographically, the story is set in Colorado which has basically become a desert overlying our distant past. The sparse barely survives by "sand-diving" in an analogous manner to scuba diving hunting for the buried treasure from an ancient civilization. The story revolves around one family with a father gone missing, a mother forced into prostitution to support her family and the children of varying ages, most of whom have gone into diving to make ends meet. Their journey concerns the dawning recognition that there is more to the world than their small patch of sand.
Howey presents credible scenarios where "sand-diving" is accomplished by special dive suits and static electrical charges to vibrate the sand such that movement similar to swimming can be attempted. Deep dives runs into pressure issues analogous to ocean diving. While the story is self contained, Howey has clearly created a future that offers much expansion potential with a great mix of characters.
The narration is quite well done with a great range of voices and pacing that matches the mood and tone of the tale.
I am normally a big Hugh Howey fan, but what the hay? This was a very interesting story line (as usual) but it felt fragmented and disjointed. I really could have cared less what happened to the main characters. Although Karen Chilton is a fine actress, there were just too many mispronunciations (three when I quit counting) for me to get past. These were not terms or character portrayals, just things a director or audio editor should have caught. What a bust, the two star rankings are only because I think there was potential for both the story line and the acting, but it just didn't cut it.
Something other than scifi/fantasy.
Mispronouncing common terms that had nothing to do with the story line or characters. She just blew it on the read and no one seemed to catch it.
Emptiness...why should I care what happens next?
Skip this one unless it's on the $4.95 sale rack and you can't live without knowing.
I almost gave up on this book and asked for a return credit but I kept listening and in the end I'm glad I did. The first half of the book was confusing and irritating because of the constant introduction of a huge cast of characters and the constant jumping around between time periods and characters. I had a hard time keeping track of everyone and ended up starting over several times just to figure out who the characters were. Some books you can let the words flow through one ear and out the other and you still know what's going on. Not so with Sand. One must pay attention to everything. About halfway through the story all of the pieces came together and I was totally hooked. This was my first Hugh Howey book and I am going to try another.
Reading is in my DNA. Dad, Granddad and Grandma were all journalists and crazy readers. When I can't read, I listen!
This latest book by Hugh Howey is well-written, and extremely well-narrated. Karen Chilton's voice matches the landscape of heat and sand, I honestly could not imagine a better narration. As far as the story, words don't describe how well Hugh Howey makes the people and environment so real you feel you are there. I LOVED this book.
Yes. I was working while I was listening for the most part, and sometimes I miss things. Also, it was just too short.
The whole concept of sand-diving and the suits that allow them to do it.
I love her narration - she makes me see the characters in my mind.
Be careful what you dig for.
I want more......more....more....more!
I bet it would be hard to follow up Wool and the rest of the Silo series. Though it may not be as good as Wool, Sand is a very interesting concept for a book, I just wish that Howey would expand on the story a little more....and he just might.
70+, been reading SF since 1953. Vision is going so have switched to Audible.
A perfect example of "butterfly effect" in our daily lives. Thought provoking in many ways. I will continue to watch for more Hugh Howey presentations.
I am very tolerant of mediocre writing if the story is a good one. But I could not get past the grade school prose to find out if there was a story at all. Lazy and hackneyed. I cannot believe this is some kind of series. I cannot imagine suffering through it.
I mostly enjoyed listening to this story, but was unhappy with the ending. There was a lot left unsaid or unexplained. It would have been nice to bring all the information together.
The Narrator was very even toned and quiet. She spoke well, but mispronounced a few words. I felt the story was more dramatic than her reading, which was always very even.
It was a worthy read, and I stayed to the end, but felt unsatisfied when it concluded.
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