Dust, by Hugh Howey

“She felt none of the fear from the last time she was sent out, but none of the deluded hope that drove many to exile. Somewhere between pointless dreams and hopeless dread was a desire to know the world. And, if possible, make it better.” 

The tension in Silo 18 is near breaking point. With Juliette’s return, a series of events is set in motion that will uncover the full extent of Silo 1’s plan for humanity, and force a choice upon every citizen from level 1 to 99: to live and die as blindly as before, or to risk everything… and go outside.

But then everything begins to go wrong, and soon it looks as though there may be no choice left at all.

For those readers new to the Wool series, the first book was originally released as five interconnected short stories. Set in a giant underground silo some time post-apocalypse, the characters of Wool are unaware that anything living exists outside the concrete walls. That is, until Juliette is sent out to clean the camera lenses that give them their only glimpse of their ruined world – effectively a death sentence – and discovers they are not alone. The second book, Shift, slips back in time, describing the actions leading up to the creation of the silos. In Dust, Howey pulls together threads from both stories in a tense and dramatic lead up to the grand finale of the series.

Though Dust is largely plot-driven, it is certainly worth mentioning that the writing itself, for all its lack of elegance or beauty, is certainly better than adequate. The characters actually have individual voices – so rarely the case in stories with multiple viewpoints.

This is not a novel that can be slipped into comfortably without prior knowledge of Howey’s post-apocalyptic world. It is, however, a decent conclusion to a very good trilogy, and one fans should be satisfied by.

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Arielle is a avid reader, writer and music-geek in her final year of a Bachelor of Visual Arts degree. She loves all fiction but can’t seem to stay away from sci-fi and fantasy. She lives in Auckland with too many books and not enough shelves.

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