Review: Shift

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Posted on : 10/02/2017 01:55:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Shift Shift by Hugh Howey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a well-deserved 2-star review.

After the fantastic experience in reading Wool, this book was a notable disappointment.

In Wool, we learned of a world where everyone lived in silos that ran hundreds of stories deep. There was strict control of information and reproduction. And occasionally, people got fed up and took a walk out in an outside world so dangerous that the air itself was a confluence of corrosion and lethality.

At the end of that book, we learn that the decision to live in these silos was not in response to something that was done to us. It was the plan of action knowing what we would do to others.

Shift presents what we did. And it represents a thoroughly unbelievable belief about how the U.S. government functions. A single US senator creates funding for the design and construction of the silos. He sets of a program to evaluate and select those who would be "saved". He uses a pair of US Congressmen to do the design and construction management.

The US President isn't saved. The cabinet isn't saved. The only people that get saved are this senator and those he has selected. The US government simply doesn't work this way.

The book also indicates a lack of knowledge about geology and civil engineering. The location for each silo is excavated before the silo sections are placed. A void is left around the silos to allow remote detonation and destruction. The laws of physics and limitations of geology mean that this sort of construction methodology isn't possible. Structures of that size must be placed on deep piles to support the load. Deep excavations are subject to collapse of the pit walls.

As a last (but not final) criticism, the premise of having a multi-state political convention be the reason to drive people into the silos creates some further issues. The silos are portrayed as having spaces extending from the central hub for farming, manufacturing, etc. The silo residents are also described as largely having no idea that there are other silos in the world. Most of the residents think they are alone in the world. As vibrations will travel a long distance below ground (and a really far distance in stone/tightly compacted earth) the silos would have to be positioned miles from each other to prevent such vibration transmission.

Yet the campaign event that drives everyone into the silos suggests that each silo opening is close enough to the others to permit people to hear the activities at each adjacent location. It is also a short walk from one silo to the next. If the silos were that close together, then the residents in each silo would have easily heard activities in adjacent silos.

The one brief moment of respite in the book was when the political party responsible for this mess is revealed. I laughed.

Read Wool. Enjoy it. Skip the rest of the series.

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Review: Waiting Out Winter

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Posted on : 10/02/2017 01:55:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

Waiting Out Winter Waiting Out Winter by Kelli Owen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A 3-star review. Really more of a 2.5-star review.

Thought this was going to be a suspense/horror book. Not really a lot of either involved. Perhaps that explains my response as I was expecting this to involve some level of horror that simply was not there.

A fairly pedestrian "something bad happens and some people survive" storyline. The characters were not terribly engaging.

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