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Publisher's Summary

Wool introduced the silo and its inhabitants. Shift told the story of their making. Dust will chronicle their undoing. Welcome to the underground.

©2013 Hugh Howey (P)2013 Hugh Howey

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    2,173
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    1,238
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    299
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    37
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    11

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    226
  • 2 Stars
    25
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    10

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    304
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    46
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    14
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 01-01-18

Best novel in the Silo Saga series!

The Silo Saga series MUST be read in order to understand the story. And it is a single story. Author Howey does a nice job of character development. The series of audio books takes 49 hours to listen to at recorded speed. I listened at 2X speed so my time commitment was 24.5 hours. Most of the series occurs about 100 years into the future except for the first parts of Wool and Shift which are about 20 years into the future. The same narrator (Tim Gerard Reynolds) narrates Shift and Dust very well. Get the Kindle version of Wool because the narrator of the novel is horrid.

My favorite post-apocalyptic/dystopian series is the Project Eden series by Brett Battles which takes 61 hours to listen to its 7 novels. How does the Silo Saga compare to Project Eden? Project Eden is much better, William Forstchen authored the three novel After series. Each of the three novels are better than Wool, Shift, or Dust. Still the Silo Saga series is worthwhile reading for fans of dystopian novels.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 07-12-17

Is this the end of it all or a new beginning?

The Silo Saga enters its final book set up for success. Wool painted a picture of a bleak future where a dystopian underground society is all that manages to keep humanity on the right side of extinction. Shift then revealed who was behind the building of the silos and their published plan for delivering mankind to a better future; however, it also exposed that the official plan intentionally leaves out that a key decision will eventually made about who will and won't survive. All of this makes for excellent backdrop as the characters from both books converge to determine the ultimate fate of mankind.

Hugh Howey sets things up so that multiple factions are vying to determine what will ultimately happen. There is Senator Thurman who is one of the architects of the original plan and also one of the keepers of the final secret. He feels justified that he is doing what must be done to ensure that there is a future for humanity no matter how ruthless his actions are. There is Donald Keene, who now remembers his past and has decided that "doing the right" thing is the best course of action and does his best to counter Thurman's final secret plan. And finally you have Juliette, who has grown up in the silos and wants to now determine her own fate instead of letting either Senator Thurman or Donald dictate the outcome.

Things have certainly gone sideways and it is entirely possible that the actions of one or all of the main characters could cause mankind to go extinct and perhaps rightfully so. Yet each of the perspectives offered has its merits, even Senator Thurman's, and it is never clear which path is best. Thurman fears that if you let everyone determine their own fate then mankind will just return to the same brink of destruction that it was on when he enacted his bold plan. He is probably right but that doesn't prevent Juliette and Donald from doing what humans do as they fight for a different fate from the one Thurman has prescribed for them.

Although it felt like things wrapped up just a bit too quickly at the end it was still a satisfying conclusion to an excellent series. I certainly recommend this series to any fan of apocalyptic tales and I look forward to more from Hugh Howey. With Tim Gerard Reynolds once again doing the narrating the audiobook is an excellent way to experience this unique story and certainly worth your time.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Meanders, then races to a satisfying conclusion

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.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dubi
  • New York, NY
  • 04-07-18

Dust Settles Silo Story -- Well, Mostly

Spoiler alert: Every Beginning Has An End, says the tag line above the title of Hugh Howey's conclusion to the Silo trilogy. Dust is the end of the beginning of this story (figuratively -- I don't believe Howey plans to continue this series). But it doesn't answer every question -- Howey tells us in a brief afterward this this story, like every story, must continue to live on in our minds.

The saga started with Wool, which expertly built a dystopian post-apocalyptic world in which the remnants of American society shelter in giant self-sufficient underground bunkers, silos. Shift followed, a prequel that went back to America as it exists today to tell the story of how the silos came to be. Dust brings those two threads together to show us the fate of the silos.

As with the other volumes, the story starts out slowly, painstakingly, seemingly mired in detail, as Silo 18 tries to connect with neighboring Silo 17. This is Howey's genius, to start at this highly detailed level and build up from there -- build character and build worlds. About halfway through, the dam breaks, and the story takes a more kinetic route to its conclusion.

Unlike the prior two entries, I found the pace of the first half too slow, too bogged down in minutiae, and then I found the frenetic pace of the second half leaving me with too many unresolved questions -- not ambiguity about character or the future of the world (as Howey suggests is at it should be), but technical questions about how some things could turn out this way.

I also disliked the narration -- I was possibly a minority of one who actually liked Amanda Sayle's narration of Wool, and I find Tim Reynolds's reading of the next two books to be stiff and cliche (gruff English accent). And since this question arises in every multi-part series, there is no way you can read this book without having first read Wool and Shift.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Slow start to a (mostly) satisfying ending

The last book in the 'Silo' Trilogy.

It starts out slow enough, and only really builds interest about half-way through. It wraps up the Silo trilogy in such a way that was somewhat predictable, and allows for another book to follow (if the movie options aren't immediately forthcoming).

This was the weakest of the three books, and also the most confusing storyline.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

okay ending to a mixed-bag series

It's clear that Wool, Shift & Dust are the end product of a short story that got stretched beyond its natural length. The premise was so flimsy and ill-conceived that it could not support the weight of so much exploration.

This ending did give some resolution to the plot and to the characters (most of them, not all). You won't find any big surprises here. The story plays out the way it had too.

Ultimately I feel that this entire series was a waste of time. It could all have been told in one book. The second in the series didn't even have to exist, and this one was way longer than it had to be.

Post-apocalyptic sci-fi is my favorite genre, so the fact that I was bored nearly the entire time came as a bit of a shock. I guess I just never got over how stupid the setting was, or the fact that the author based the entire premise on an arms race that wouldn't have had a stalemate any different that the nuclear arms race (mutually assured destruction, anyone?).

The scope of the building of the silos was too big for us to believe that the architect wouldn't have been a need-to-know person, so that entire character was silly. I also can't believe that a small handful of people could have orchestrated the whole thing, or that at the end of the day, they could have nuked the planet.

The story drags on through 3 books, and feels just as claustrophobic as the silos. The author could have been braver and let us explore the world outside... but again, this was a short story, with little thought given to anything outside of the teeny tiny slice of the world we see.

The books weren't horrible. Well, Shift was, but Wool and Dust weren't. I guess I'm going to give this a middle-of-the-road rating. Had I known what I was getting into, I never would have picked up the series. It's just not worth the time. It doesn't leave you with anything to think about. It's just a silly, flat story.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 01-13-14

Fine Conclusion of Silo Series

I was unimpressed with Wool, the first book of this series then was quite surprised and impressed by the second book Shift. Dust is not quite as good as Shift but is much better than Wool. The characters are all interesting, the prose is good, and the story is satisfying. I don't think Wool was worth reading and I think just starting with Shift would be a better experience. There is not a lot of science in this science fiction, it is a novel dystopian environment to explore the ideas of conformity & control, freedom & destiny, and time & death. Dust starts somewhat slowly, then builds to an interesting level and ends just a bit too quickly. Dust does not maintain the tension that Shift did, but was still quite worth the listen. The narration, as in Shift, was excellent.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very entertaining dystopian trilogy

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Anyone who enjoys speculative, scifi, or dystopian fiction would enjoy this trilogy. Beginning with "Wool" the second book is "Shift" and "Dust" wraps up the silo series. While "Wool" could stand alone, the series is not complete without reading all three. But they aren't too long and never boring. Read the books in ORDER there are spoilers!

People are born, live, and die in an underground silo. For them, this is the world and the outside is deadly and always has been. They've been in the silo for as long as anyone can remember, longer. They are the only ones, the gods built the silo and provided for their every need. It's a grim existence, but they don't know that. They tow the line and live by the rules, if they don't, they are sent outside to "clean"—wipe the lens on the video camera that confirms that they are safe inside, and the world out there is not.

Those selected to clean do not come back. And the video feed shows that they die, most within minutes and within sight. There are powerful incentives to obey the laws of the silo, and yet there are a few who rebel—and die, until one brave young woman who comes back in from a cleaning.

What will she find out? Who really built the silo? And, why?

"Wool" introduces the world of the Silo. "Shift" let's us know there is more to this world than the inhabitants know about, gives us a look at the creators, and their diabolical motivations. "Dust" puts the inhabitants in more peril than they can believe, and finally resolves it in a twist that is both unexpected, and a little bit predictable, but satisfying.

There will be a movie(s). But don't wait for that, you'll enjoy the story as it is.

What other book might you compare Dust to and why?

Better than Divergent, not quite as good as the Hunger Games. Definitely worth the time and credits!

What does Tim Gerard Reynolds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He does a good job with the book, but I felt like a female narrator would have been better at least for the sections where the point of view was a female—which is more than half of the book and series.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

What if the world was ended, on purpose, by the powers that be? What if you were the only one who knew—could you convince others? What if your lives depended on it?

Any additional comments?

Hugh Howey had a tendency especially in the first book and some in the second, to overuse the word, "palms". (34 times in Wool!) He could have picked some synonyms. The reason this became very noticeable was Tim Reynold's pronunciation—he said it like "pams." The use of the word grew less as the books went on, but it bugged me.

I did notice that the writing got better and better with each book. And, it wasn't bad to start with. It's no wonder Howey has picked up the support of a publisher for his print work, and he's a smart guy for hanging on to the ebooks and audio as a self-publisher! Congratulations on a job well done!

I'll be watching for new books from Hugh Howey.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Long, depressing story that ends well

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend it to anyone who likes dark, thought-provoking SciFi.

What other book might you compare Dust to and why?

The story compares favorably to the classic Philip Wylie book about a post-nuclear-apocalypse and a small group of people living in a bunker -- I believe that book is called "Triumph". It made an impression - I still remember it well 50 years after reading it. I'll remember the story from this Silo trilogy years from now as well.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The performance was not up to snuff. The story's narrator Donald was supposed to be from the American South, so it was jarring every time to hear an obvious Yankee accent simply mis-pronounce words like "palm" as "pam". His rendition of women's voices was lacking. . I've listened to a lot of Audible books -- while not the worst, Mr. Reynolds was in the bottom five percentile. I will avoid books read by Mr. Reynolds in the future.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. The first two books are just too depressing to sit through all at once -- this book is the culmination of the trilogy started with Wool, and continued in Shift. I had to take those books in small doses. Had the trilogy not ended well I would have canceled Mr. Howey off my list of authors to read/listen to. However, the end book delivers.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Read, Great Ending to an Amazing Saga

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this novel. It was an awesome conclusion to all of the fantastic storytelling and great characters Hugh Howey has given us with Wool and Shift. It was all over far earlier than I would have liked it to be, but then I was dreading finishing this book even as I started the first chapter. It probably went by so fast too because I was enjoying it so much. I didn't want the Silo Saga to end because I have had such a great experience surviving with its characters for some time now. Wool is still my favorite but I enjoyed reading Dust much more than Shift. While shift did a great job of revealing to me how this crazy world came into being Dust returned to having more dramatic and exciting things happen in the story like Wool. There were a lot of scenes that were very gripping and kept me glued to my iPod to hear each and every new word.

I won't give anything away but I will say when I read the ending I was so happy to be with those characters in that historical moment for them and for their world. It was really moving and I was smiling the whole time I read it. It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows for every character though, and I really enjoyed seeing characters I have come to love go through more intense and trying situations.

I felt that Hugh did a good job of ending his series and keeping a good balance with all of the characters and silos in the story. By the time you're reading this book there are many characters and silos Hugh had to juggle to finish out his awesome saga. It didn't feel like that though. Yes there was a log of switching between silos and characters, but everytime the viewpoint character or setting switch I was just instantly right with them or right there that it never felt like a big back and forth. It just felt like one cohesive and awesome story. I highly recommend this book. I loved it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Damien Hudson
  • 08-15-18

The end is nigh

This book was way better than the second in the series but not as good as the first.
Narration was ok, but once again not as good book one.
Faster pasted with perspective from a hand full of character we get see the finale "plan" and if it ever gets instigated. We get to see survival, or not.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kimberley Connery
  • 09-06-16

Highly Recommended!

This was a thought provoking trilogy, which built on itself really well from book one through to the end of this book; expanding not only on the characters but also on the scope of view the reader is given of their world. I Highly Recommend the whole trilogy! Narration was excellent.