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Posts Tagged ‘Hugh Howey’

Shift

In Book Reviews on June 22, 2014 at 6:00 am
Arrow Books 2013

Arrow Books 2013

This is the second book of this trilogy by Hugh Howey. I read the first book back in August so if you want to read that post first, click here.

Nutshell blurb: The story takes place before Wool. We find out how and why the silos were built and the measures that were put in place to protect the people who live in them.

This book was quite gripping and, frankly, creepy as hell. This is why I love dystopia.

But before I talk more about why I liked the book, can I just direct your attention to the yellow circle in the picture above? This is a pet peeve of mine. I know that people do this to sell books, but I think it’s sneaky and underhanded. I try not to read too many reviews before I read a book (except for the ones I read on the blogs I follow) because I don’t like people to market things to me. I don’t mind it if people whose taste I trust tell me what they thought of a book. But the Sunday Times stating that this is ‘The next Hunger Games‘ is not going to get me to buy the book. In fact, if I had bought this book based on the fact that it’s been touted as ‘The next Hunger Games‘, I would have been extremely pissed off to find that this was absolutely nothing like The Hunger Games. Other than the fact that it’s dystopia. And a book.

I’m sorry. I’ll stop ranting now. But it’s nothing like The Hunger Games. So there.

Anyway, I really liked this book. It only took me 7 days to read which is pretty good considering that it’s a hefty 578 pages.

I always struggle to tell you about some of these books which contain twists and turns because it would grieve me to no end if I spoiled it for you.

I’ll do my best to not spoil it.

Let’s talk about the main character, Donald. That’s safe. He’s a pretty interesting guy. He’s a young senator who studied to be an architect at university. He’s enlisted by an older senator (who helped him win his votes) to design some underground silos. He doesn’t know why he’s doing it and does it despite having a bad feeling about it. I like this guy because he’s desperately in love with his wife. He does his best to prove to her that he’s not going to cheat on her even though he’s now working on this project with an ex-flame from university. This love for his wife is a central theme in this book and it is heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time.

The book flashes back and forth between the time time when the silos were being built and the people who are on shift in them in the future. Eventually, the future collides with the events that take place in Wool. There are a few ‘aha!’ moments when you realise that you’re reading the back story of someone from the first book. I really liked that.

I’m intensely curious about what’s going to happen in the next book although it will take me a while to get around to reading it. My stack of books to be read is quite sizable at the moment so I shall have to wait to see what happens. I’ll definitely buy the next one though.

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Wool

In Book Reviews on August 4, 2013 at 9:33 am

Wool

Arrow Books 2013

The children were playing as Holston climbed to his death…

I rarely ever read books when they come out. It’s not a fully intentional thing, although I do tend to avoid things that are surrounded by too much hype. I guess I just don’t like to be told what to read. Taste in books is a very personal thing and I guard it jealously. This means that I avoid any book I see advertised on billboards or on bestseller lists, almost defiantly. I may read one of these books once the hubub has died down, as long as it has an interesting premise. Does reading something after it’s cool make me some kind of literary anti-hipster? I don’t know. Let’s not start with the name-calling.

I’ve always liked doing my own thing independently from what the crowd is doing, but I will admit that sometimes I take it a bit far. I didn’t start watching the X-Files until the re-runs started playing because I couldn’t stand that everyone was making such a fuss over it. Turns out that it became one of my favourite shows. So yeah, I need to work on this little quirk of mine.

I’m telling you all of this because I hesitated when I found this book in the book store. I first saw it advertised on the underground during my daily commute and immediately dismissed it and moved on with my life. Then I saw a couple of threads about it on Goodreads which I didn’t read because I knew that they would be spoilerific. (It doesn’t matter if I don’t intend to read a book. I hate spoilers.) I did read the premise of the novel and I didn’t want to want to read this book. Given my intense love of dystopia, I decided to get over myself and give it a shot.

Thank goodness for my sudden onset of common sense!

Nutshell blurb: The atmosphere of Earth has become so toxic that people now live inside a silo that goes deep underground. Occasionally, people are sent outside to clean the cameras that transmit images of the outside to the people who live inside. The cleaning is a death sentence reserved for criminals although sometimes people volunteer. These are usually people who have gotten too close to the truth.

As awesome as I thought this book was, I almost put it down at one point. The first 40 or so pages gripped me completely. Was Holston really climbing to his death or would he be saved at the last minute? What’s this book about? OMG WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN???

And then we switch to a different PoV for nearly 100 pages and it sent me straight to Dullsville. Population: Me. Why are we following this person? Where is this story going? I found it to be incredibly tedious and I wondered if I could be bothered to finish it.

If this had been a library book, I might have put it back in the bag to go back. But, I bought it and I felt compelled to soldier on.

I’m so glad that I did.

Once we actually got to the main character’s PoV things improved drastically. The action picked up as did the suspense and I zipped through the rest of the 500+ pages in no time. (It helped that I was on holiday as well.)

The main character was interesting as were many of the secondary ones. The problems they faced were intense and left me desperate to know what was going to happen.

Once I got further into the book, I realised the relevance of the part which I thought was dull and when I read the book again (and I’m sure that I will at some point) I don’t think that I’ll find it as boring.

I’m definitely glad that I stuck with it and I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

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