Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review - Shift (JS)

Shift by Hugh Howey


Review by Jacqui Slaney

Having enjoyed the first book, ‘Wool’ I was intrigued to read the next one in the series. It was described as a sort of prequel, to show how the events in the first book occurred, and though I am not overly keen on these, the idea behind this series was too good not to continue reading. 

This is the description: 

In a future less than fifty years away, the world is still as we know it. Time continues to tick by. The truth is that it is ticking away. A powerful few know what lies ahead. They are preparing for it. They are trying to protect us. They are setting us on a path from which we can never return. A path that will lead to destruction;
a path that will take us below ground.
The history of the silo is about to be written.
Our future is about to begin.

As I have said, this is a prequel, but it is also still a Book2, so do not be tempted to read it first, as it will spoil things for you.

Here is where you first meet the people behind the building of the silos, the people who first had the idea of them.

Donald is one of the designers, a congressman who owes his success to Senator Thurman, so when he given the job of designing a world for people to live in, he cannot say no, and as he keeps telling himself, these things will never be used anyway. There is a great feeling of secrecy and conspiracy here, with no one supposed to know what is being built and the tension is skilfully woven in to the tale.

The viewpoint seems to change after a few chapters as we are then with the character Troy. He is living in this artificial world, woken from a deep frozen sleep to work his first shift. His memory of what happened is fading, which is good as it stops him crying. Then he wants to remember and realises that he needs to stop taking the drugs that they are giving him.  We soon realise though that Troy is not the characters real name that the real name perhaps starts with D. The story then switches back before people are living in the Silos and then we see what happens to put them there.

The viewpoint is not only from Donald though or Troy in Silo 1, we also meet others in different Silos. We meet Mission a character in Silo 18, who starts to see the cracks that are appearing in his world.

Then we meet Jimmy, who you soon realise you know from book 1 and then we hear about Juliette, who is also familiar.

Jimmy’s back-story is good, you feel for him and he struggle to survive, and makes the whole living in the Silo much more claustrophobic and lonely.

Just as in the first book, I found myself totally caught up in this world, the change in viewpoints and Donald’s inner voice and loathing of what has happened makes the story real for the reader and I would definitely recommend this series and I cannot wait to read the next.

9 out of 10