This is the sequel to the New York Times best-selling Wool series. It combines the three Shift books into a single audiobook in order to save the listener a few bucks. The saga concludes with Dust, which will be available in late 2013.
In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate.
In the same year, the CBS network re-aired a program about the effects of propranolol on sufferers of extreme trauma. A simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event.
At almost the same moment in humanity's broad history, mankind had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall - and the ability to forget it ever happened.
©Lifetime Hugh Howey (P)2013 Hugh Howey
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 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.
I have this odd love/hate relationship with this saga. I find huge amounts of it really well done and extremely absorbing. Like Wool, it drew me in and I found myself thinking about the story throughout my day. But the problem came when I would sit down to listen. It just didn't suck me in and carry me through when I was actually 'headphones in, play pressed'. My mind would wander and I would look at my phone in shock that it had only been 20 minutes. I listened to this at 3x and it still took me two weeks. For comparison, I can do a 10 hour book per day at that speed normally.
I agree with many of the reviewers who said this could have been woven in as delicate backstory in what I assume is now coming in Dust. My caveat to that concept, however, is these details may have been necessary for a really spectacular finish in the final book. That's what I'm banking on. I know it's a long road to walk, but I'm really hoping it was worth it.
I don't want to sound like I hated this listen- I honestly didn't. Reynolds did a great job- very glad they switched narrators. My only thought on that though is I kept waiting for him to talk about Darrow and the Reds.
In any case, if you're into the saga, listen, it's worth it. If you have a long list of stuff you would like to get to, I might jump to that first. It's a good book and has a lot of beautifully developed characters. Great last five minutes that gives me a lot of hope for the final installment, but it sure takes its time getting there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant
A robust work of fiction that takes the reader behind the curtain to how the Silo world came to be. A bit slow on action but full of intrigue which helps show the complete story of the silos. A must for those who loved ‘Wool’!
Mr. Reynolds' narration can be a bit slow at times but overall really helps bring the story to life!
I would have trimmed the content down a bit. I liked how much detail there was, and I also liked how the whole point of the book seems to have been depicting people who were completely dead inside and just "phoning it in" for their jobs and lives, but I feel like it dwelled on that bit of atmospherics for almost the entire book. A good premise, but it needed to be more concise.
As it was, "Shift" ended up making me feel like the characters, and the only thing keeping me listening to "Shift" was my long morning commute. So it was already a part of my ritual, and there was no point in changing it. I guess that makes me exactly like the characters in "Shift."
I loved "Wool" immensely. I loved every single character in "Wool," even the "bad guys." I even loved the romance that people seem to like protesting about. After finishing "Wool," I got "Shift" as soon as I could, anxious to spend more time in this world.
While I like how "Shift" answered many of my questions about "Wool," I didn't like the long slog and I didn't care about any of the characters nearly as much as the denizens of "Wool." I especially didn't care about Washington DC in the above-ground near-future (which populates about a third of the book).
Would I have been so harsh on "Shift," if it didn't come after "Wool"? I'm not sure. I think much of my criticism boils down to "it wasn't as good as 'Wool,' which was excellent."
No, I think I am done with this author.
I am on Chapter 9 and this book/story is so boring I can hardly stay awake. If someone asked me to describe the storyline, I would not have a clue, it just goes on and on and there is nothing there to relate too. I am so very disappointed. I thought this was the 2nd book to Wool but it is not. Big waste of money.
None, I could stay awake or focus.
This book sucks!
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