Dust by Hugh HoweyDust by Hugh Howey

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsI know I’ve retired from reviewing, but since I reviewed the first two volumes in the SILO trilogy (Wool and Shift) and there isn’t a review for this third one, I thought I would do a little guest review here for my friends at FanLit because nothing sucks more than the first two books in a trilogy being great and then the third one going right off the rails and exploding in a burst of unresolved plot lines and out of character behavior.

Let me just say, that fate has been avoided here. Dust by Hugh Howey is a sizeable story, taking its time to bring together all the different plot lines and hints it’s spent the first two volumes laying out and weaving them together into a satisfying conclusion. All the little things that have been scratching at the back of your head since the first book — why are the levels so far apart? — get answered. I honestly can’t remember a book that wrapped up all the questions as thoroughly as this one did. This is an example of some immaculate plotting.

Howey uses straightforward prose. This is a book of ideas rather than language, and the ideas he’s been exploring throughout the series come home to roost. The ideas are important, but he doesn’t let the ideas outweigh the characters either. The characters don’t adhere to some abstract ideology. They are emotional and conflicted and change their minds and do stupid things and great things, and sometimes stupid and great are the same, and it makes them human. He’s not afraid to kill off characters, but he’s more towards the Rowling end of the spectrum than Martin.

Hugh Howey Silo Saga: Wool, Shift, DustI don’t want to go into too much plot detail to avoid spoiling the earlier books. Just feel comfortable in knowing that you aren’t going to be chucking this book out the window with a howl of frustration when you get to the end. My only criticism is that in wrapping up all the different plot lines, and with several different point of view characters, the momentum falters a bit towards the middle of the book. Juliette and Solo have definite voices, but I felt like Donald and Charlotte blended a bit and weren’t as distinctive as I had wished, especially when they were working together.

I hope you finish out the SILO series if you have started it, and if you haven’t, I encourage you to pick it up, safe in the knowledge that it is completed and quality work throughout.

~Ruth Arnell

Dust by Hugh HoweyDust is a sad, triumphant, hopeful, and satisfying conclusion to the SILO saga.

~Kat Hooper

NOW A SERIES ON APPLE TV+. Wool introduced the world of the silo. Shift told the story of its creation. Dust will describe its downfall. In order for a new world to begin, the old one must fall. Juliette, now mayor of Silo 18, doesn’t trust Silo 1, especially its leader, Donald. But in the world of the Silos, there is no black and white—everything is shades of gray. Donald may not be the monster Juliette thinks he is, and may in fact be key to humanity’s continued survival. But can they work together long enough to succeed? In Dust, the final book in the New York Times best-selling Silo trilogy, the choices that Juliette and Donald make could lead to salvation . . . or to the death of everyone on the planet.



  • Ruth Arnell

    RUTH ARNELL (on FanLit's staff January 2009 — August 2013) earned a Ph.D. in political science and is a college professor in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.

  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.