Shift by Hugh Howey

Be careful of spoilers!

I told you to keep an eye out for this review. Bah this series is so addictive and the final instalment comes out in October!

It was just as good as Wool, which is a hard thing to achieve as that was a brilliant series opener. This book doesn’t follow Juliette or Lukas, instead it follows and unassuming man called Donald in a world before the Silo. It’s a sort of prequel that finishes where Wool left off and it helps to understand this series so much more. I mean, I thought I understood Wool but I really had no idea until I read Shift.

Hugh Howey has created a wonderful series and I have never really been attracted to sci-fi books but this has really opened my eyes. While I was reading this book I remember thinking that he has a great imagination with all the details he has put into it, but then it’s also a little plausible. With the way the world is today this could happen to us.

Shift begins in 2049, Donald is a Congressman and instead of doing work to run the country he ends up working on a mysterious project which continues to consume his days. The are flashforwards to 2110 which follows a man called Troy who has forgotten parts of his life, he spends his first shift trying to get by and ignore the feeling that he was forgetting something while posing as the head of Silo 1.

Through these timelines I came to realise that this was set an age before Juliette’s story and this was the history of how her life came to be. Things such as the red crosses are explained and slowly but surely everything falls into place and just when you realise something strange is going on you find out that Troy is Donald and he has been manipulated by people around him.

He and many other people have been ushered into 50 silos and only those living in Silo 1 have memories of the world before its devastated state because they were alive then. Each person works a shift of six months before being placed into a cryopod and put to sleep for decades, only to be awoken for another six month shift. They exist to oversee all of silos and ensure their safety, but there’s something more sinister going on.

When Troy realises he’s Donald he is put into a deep freeze, never to awoken again….until trouble is brewing in one of the other Silos.

The best thing about this book is the glimpse it gives you in the other silos. It explains the great uprising in Silo 18 from the perspective of Mission and highlights the questionable morals and ethics that the people of Silo 1 employ in order to keep humanity alive. Once the reset happens we move onto the troubles that Silo 17 suffered and following Solo’s tale is emotional and touching and the more you find out about his years of solitude the more I realised it was a miracle he even made it through the past few years.

It’s a short but detailed history and it opens your eyes completely to what is going on in that world, and the most intriguing thing is that the feelings I harboured towards authority in Wool remained for Shift.

Yes, I felt sorry for Donald, he was tricked and manipulated but other than that I cannot sympathise with him. whether he likes it or not he is partially responsible for what has happened. He does try to make amends as he does not want to be a part of this system but in the end he resembles the man he grew to hate. However, he is trying to good so I look forward to seeing his character develop more in Dust, especially since he’ll be going up against the strong-willed Juliette.

Overall, this is a brilliant story and leads up to the event of Wool perfectly, it maintains the standard that the previous book set and does not disappoint at all.


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