Dust by Hugh Howey is the final installment of the Wool series. I have read the entire series and I love it. I really freaking love it. Hugh is a genius. He’s done it again. This book is wonderful. I have been fascinated with this people trapped in an underground silo since I first came across the series. Thank goodness for random free books on Amazon from time to time. I don’t think I would have read this series otherwise.
This installment of the series is between three silos. If you have read any of the other books in the series, you will know that there were fifty silos. Some of them have been silenced forever. The silos are self-contained living spaces. They grow their own food and process everything on their own. It was only a few very powerful people who created the entire idea of the silos.
In silo1 we have Donald pretending to be Thurman. He has woken up his drone pilot sister, Charlotte, to help him determine if there is anything living out in the world. Meanwhile in silo18, Juliette is mayor and is working hard to dig to silo17 where her friend Solo and a few kids are living. She plans to expand the living space for the people of her silo. They lost a lot of lives in the most recent rebellion. Juliette does not find being mayor easy. She also has a fairly new relationship with Lucas, the new head of IT that she tries to upkeep. Not everyone is fond of her ideas as mayor. A lot of people do not believe the things she says. Some even accuse her of bringing back strange diseases from silo17.
Donald finds out more and more disturbing things. In the last installment, Donald tried to get rid of some people he decided to hate. Someone has found his actions. He knows it’s only a matter of time before he is found out. Donald only has a little while to live anyway. Coughing up blood is something Donald does multiple times a day.
Thurman was the object of Donald’s attempted murder and it turns out, he’s not dead. The medical team is able to patch him up enough to find Donald. Thurman doesn’t play around he knows who did this to him and where he is hiding. Charlotte must was helplessly as her brother is beaten severely by security guards and Thurman himself. Donald is taken into custody and otherwise imprisoned.
Juliette’s team in mechanical works tirelessly to get through to silo17. They finally do it. People are unsure of how things are going to work out. Meanwhile, Juliette has gone outside to take samples of the air, soil and the decomposing bodies that litter the area around the silo. Her plan to get back inside goes off fairly nicely. She isn’t burned like her last time reentering the silo. Things go rather well. The tests do not go so well. I turns out the samples taken right outside the silo door are much more toxic than the samples taken yards away. Suddenly, a light bulb goes off. The argon being pushed out when someone goes out of the silo to clean is not actually argon, it’s something much worse.
Donald has been secretly talking to the people of silo18 for a few months, but Thurman finds out. He plans to shut down the silo. As luck would have it, Juliette’s dig has gotten through to silo17 just in time to save some people. She can’t save the five-thousand people or a little less who live in her silo, but she is able to save some. They go silo17, Juliette loses several people important to her in the process. One of the ways silos are brought down is by pumping deadly gas filled with tiny body-destroying nanos into the silo through a secret gas line. All those that are left behind die. Juliette must think of a new way for people to live the little food in silo17 will not last forever.
Meanwhile, a sympathizer has both found out Charlotte and Donald. They tell him everything. He begins to remember who he is. He helps Donald and Charlotte out. Donald plans a plan to end all plans. All the planning of the silos and all the terrible people who made those plans will pay.
Do Juliette and her people find a way out? Is there something on the outside? Why is all of this taking place in Georgia? Well, you’ll have to read the book. I can’t promise the answers to all of those questions though.
What I liked
I love this series. I love how it ends! You have to read it! Read it! It’s freaking awesome. I just really love how these people fought against others who were trying to micromanage their lives. I love how they got free in various ways. I love how they resisted. I love how they opened their eyes and learned to think for themselves.
I must admit, I have a certain affinity for dystopian novels. I don’t know why. I guess it is often because the protagonists in those novels wake up and learn to think for themselves. They learn to adapt to their new world. They live and they learn. I just love it. I love how, even out of disaster and apocalypses, people are able to think anew. They’re able to survive. There may be great loses of life, but people always survive. Life moves on.
Thurman so gets what is coming to him and I love it. I love it.
I still really want this series to be a television show. I would watch it, every single episode. Trust me, if I can watch all the episodes of Doctor Who, I could definitely watch all the episodes of Wool. That’s what they would have to call the show. Look, TV people, decide to make this show, then hire me as a consultant. I’ve read the entire series, I think I could be really useful in your production.
I still don’t know why Hugh chose Georgia for all this craziness. Georgia is usually the last place you think of when you think apocalypse. All of that has changed with the advent of The Walking Dead though. I lived in Georgia for many years. I love and hate the idea of this sinister production happening there. I can totally see it happening purely due to the corruption levels in the state of Georgia. Recently, I read an article about how Georgia is number one as far as corruption in the state government. I can see how this would happen.
Donald turns out to be an amazing character. He’s noble. He’s conflicted. He’s caring. He’s dying. He’s confused. He’s troubled. He’s a murderer. All those things make for a very, very interesting character. He saved a person, he saved lots of people I think. He risked everything to save his sister, talk about your sibling devotion, I wish I had me some of that.
Hugh has inspired me in a lot of ways. Hugh is self-published. He started this series not thinking that it would ever get this big. He published it digitally on Amazon, and now it’s this sensation. I know in the beginning he did not have a ton of faith in his writing. I’m glad he decided to publish the first story. He inspires me to work harder on getting my material published. Thanks Hugh, seriously. You’re a role model. By the way, I’ve been to your site, you can totally come visit mine.
I love the idea of how all these people are self-contained. Everything they need is in their silo. It’s all going to run out at one point, of course. That’s why things have to change. It reminds me very much of the book by Eoin Colfer, The City of Ember. It’s a great book and it was made into a movie, shame on the movie people for not making the entire series into movies. I have not actually read the rest of the series, but I would really like to. The people of Ember also live underground, but they’re at the very end of the shelf life for their society. Things are running out. Power flickers and the last of the food is dangerously dwindling. I do wonder if Hugh ever read that book. It’s really for children. Why are some of the best dystopian novels for children? Look at The Giver by Lois Lowry, it’s technically a children’s book.
Just read this entire series. Do it. Don’t argue. It’s worth any money you spend on it.
What I didn’t like
Why are the IT people the bad guys? Seriously Hugh? I have to wonder if Hugh has worked in IT. He probably has and is purely poking fun at himself. He seems like an IT sort of guy. I’m an IT person, I don’t want to be pinned as the bad guy/gal.
Just read it. Ten stars, five stars, a million points, eight cows, whatever rating system you like, choose it and this series has top ratings.