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Book Review of Wool, Shift, & Dust by Hugh Howey
These books were originally published in multiple parts each, what I am reviewing here are the omnibus editions. All three books are telling essentially the same story with Shift picking up the tale I’d say about the middle of the Wool timeline and then Dust taking the story to it’s conclusion. Even though the story and timelines cross-over they are told from different perspectives. Howey’s writing style is easy to read and follow — I’ve not read any of his other books (though I now plan too) but at least in these there are no impossible made-up words or ideas to contend with. Not suggesting those are always bad things but they do sometimes make a book harder to enjoy. In my initial review of ‘Wool’ I had said that I thought Mr. Howey had a chip on his shoulder with his Help Desk people since he essentially criminalized the ‘IT’ department. I’m so glad that I read the other two books so I could get the rest of the story! Since I don’t want to give everything away I will say that the basic premise throughout the story of a dystopian society created by a corrupt government via the catalyst of an eminent biological attack is completely (and sadly) believable. Juliette, whom I will call our protagonist (though not the only one) is a real and likable woman – a person you will be rooting for until the bitter end. I guess the main antagonist is Thurman, but he is really just the linchpin of a much bigger evil. I kind of wanted a 4th book to continue the story but I guess I will have to be happy with the ending as it is – and it does have a happy ending even though there are losses along the way. (I will have to be satisfied imagining for myself what happened next… like who married whom, who got be the next mayor, if they found others… etc.). I absolutely recommend these books! It’s an enjoyable way to spend a weekend or two!