I am so sorry that I’m late with this one, NaNoWriMo distracted me quite a bit. I had actually planned on keeping you updated with my progress for that last month, but I guess I never managed to get round to it. I finished my first ever NaNo year on the 26th and it was very tough but also very rewarding (although it is fair to say that while I made it to 50,000 words my novel is far from done).
Unfortunately the delay in actually getting this review up means that there is no time for a vote and so I’ve already chosen the book for this month. I shall be announcing it tomorrow evening.
Anyway, enough of the catch up, you want to know about Dust. Well, what can I say, it was amazing. It had so much to live up to and it managed it all. It was thrilling, gripping and ruthless. Hugh Howey did not relent and at times it was difficult to see how the characters would ever be able to find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Dust happens to be the last instalment in the Wool trilogy and settles back on the character of Juliette while still focusing on Donald, Solo and the introduction of a new character (sort of). This dystopian, post-apocalypse tale is amazingly thought-provoking, and while it seems far-fetched there is also a little nagging part of your mind that says: ‘actually, one day this might happen’.
Anyway, Dust takes place after the events of Wool (Shift being more of a background book rather than one that furthers the events of the tale) and begins with Juliette reluctantly taking on the duties of Mayor and trying to find her way back to her friends in Silo 17. Her own Silo 18 has been divided by her claims of worlds similar to theirs existing beyond their walls. Some are willing to believe and begin to dig while others refuse and begin to fear their new leader.
Meanwhile, in Silo 1 Donald is having a bit of a crisis and is trying to guide Juliette and Lukas and keep them alive, he eventually enlists the help of his sister Charlotte, but their efforts are hindered when a murder and an attempted murder have been discovered in the confines of the Silo. And so begins the adventures of these characters, they may be miles apart but their stories intertwine so thoroughly that it would have been impossible to feel satisfied without the ever-present flicking between points of view. However, there were times when I was put in Donald’s shoes and I would have much preferred to stay in Juliette’s.
Despite their obvious flaws (Juliette being stubborn and Donald being prone to making the wrong choices) it is impossible not to become attached to each of them and as they struggle to survive in this harsh world your heart goes out to them. The writing is as brilliant as always and I could not help but marvel at Howey’s genius. I could not have asked for a better end to this story.
It includes everything from bits of humour to heart wrenching loss, thoughtful insights to incredible instances of self-sacrifice. In fact, by the time you get to the end of this novel you have te feeling that perhaps this isn’t a post-apocalypse tale, but perhaps a pre-civilisation one. There is the chance to create the world anew, and I certainly had my fingers crossed that they wouldn’t make the same mistakes as their ancestors.