The Book: Hugh Howey’s Dust, published August 17, 2013. Kindle Edition
The Plot: Now that Juliette has returned to Silo 18 after her unintentional jaunt to Silo 17 after being sent out to clean and Donald has worked enough shifts to catch up to her in time the real action can begin in the silos. Over the course of eight previous installments we’ve learned about life in the silos and about how they came to be. Juliette has been voted mayor of Silo 18 but her focus is entirely on digging her way over to Silo 17 to rescue Solo and the kids there. Donald is trying to find a way to save everyone in all of the surviving silos from their ultimate fate that’s been planned for hundreds of years since the silos were first populated. In the end Juliette does make her way to the other silo just in time to use it as a refuge when Donald’s superiors cut the cord on her home silo. Ultimately the only option for everyone is to go outside and try to find their way to safety. The end result? Not exactly what I was expecting.
The Commentary: After reading all of the Wool books and following them up with the Shift trilogy I was incredibly eager to see what Hugh Howey was going to do in wrapping the saga up. I have to say I was ultimately pleased with Dust because as a final installment to a fairly lengthy series it did a good job of tying up loose ends while still leaving a few things open to reader speculation.
I’ve always been fascinated by stories that feature a trapped society that doesn’t know the truth about the world outside. There is something about that particular trope that keeps me hooked from start to finish and from the very first Wool book to the final pages of Dust I had a hard time keeping my imagination in check as it ran wild about what I would do with the same circumstances I found the characters in.
While there may have been some plot holes here and there with the earlier books, I felt that Dust was fairly tightly written with very few problems. The pace moved more briskly than previous installments, and the characters felt like they were much more fleshed out on the whole. Overall I thought Dust was a fitting end to the series and I’m interested in seeing what Hugh Howey does next.
Needs More: Lukas. I really liked the character of Lukas in the early Wool books and wish I’d had a chance to see him interact a little more with Juliette after her return to Silo 17. Their relationship had a lot of potential but unfortunately other things had to take priority to move the story forward.
Needs Less: Confused Charlotte. I understood the reason she was part of the story but I felt like it could have been handled better in the end. It often felt like when Charlotte was on the page she was forcing her way into the story a little bit.
Worth It? Yes, I think it was worth reading Dust. It was a satisfying conclusion to the series and if you’ve read any of the previous books you should definitely make your way through the end of this one to see how things turn out.