Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book 19: Dust

I'm just going to refer to this as a novel even though I know it's a bit more complicated than that.  The concluding volume in Howey's Wool series, Dust starts up where both Wool and Silo left off, focusing on the dual narrative of Silos 1 and 18 with a few appearances from 17.  Juliet's the mayor but coming back has not exactly won her everyone's support.  There is religious unrest, and basically a lot of people are not sure what to expect since Juliet's return has very much stood their beliefs and lives on end.  Despite all this, Juliet is determined to dig to Silo 17 and connect the two spaces.  Donald, meanwhile, is dying and trying to find a way to protect his sister and Silo 18 once he is gone.  Once the siblings are discovered, things get a bit hairy in Silo 1.
I think Howey's choices make a lot of sense, even if I don't like all of them.  Instead of embracing Juliet and her revelations, the truth makes people uneasy.  Unfortunately that rings rather true of humanity - some people are angry at new truths, and others hide from them, embracing their old systems even if they are proven wrong.  In fact, Plato talked about this as far back as his Allegory of the Cave.  The person that leaves the cave, sees the light and returns to bring the light to others will be greeted with anger or seen as insane.  As a result, the parts of the narrative I disliked were simply reflections of human nature, and realistic.  Of course, I want the heroes to band together and overcome but unfortunately that's not how things work, and there are still some heartbreaking moments in this novel.
I enjoyed this and thought it was a fitting conclusion to the series, though Wool remains the best as far as tension and the characters developed.  There are a few more misunderstandings than I liked between characters here, though once again understandable, especially in relation to communications between Silo 18 and sympathetic supporters in Silo 1.  While I would love to know what happens next, this last book does a good job of wrapping up the big questions without too definitely solving everything.

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