I managed to finish reading Shift this afternoon and thought since I'd not got around to writing about Batman, that I'd put this one up now. Shift is the second book in the Silo series and contains the novellas six to eight. In away this sort of feels like the middle books in most trilogies and series because it focuses on filling in the gaps and questions raised in the first stories. I really loved reading Wool and was looking forward to reading Shift. However, I felt a bit disappointed at first because I really wasn't interested in how creations of the silos and life within them during the first years.
Then again, I quickly got into it and started to enjoy Howey's writing. He really has a way with words and is able to tell a very fast pace and gripping story. I think also that his writing his this open quality to it, that allows everyone to read it. Also it feels like honest writing, he's clearly enjoying the stories of the characters and wants to share them with others.
I found the characters this time around where just as good as the ones before. They all come across as being realistic and you can connect them to real people you know or did know, because they all have some very clear traits. They all individuals though and you get drawn in to wanting to know more about their lives- even the background characters. The felt the move to focus on more male characters also helped to balance out the female focus in the first book. The dialogues are to the point and care so much emotion, you can really hear them speaking from within the pages.
Opening with Legacy, we are introduced to Donald and his life. He's a young congressman who has connections via his ex-girlfriend and gets involved in creating and building the silos. Of course he doesn't really understand what's going on and he seems even blind to other happens in his live. He doesn't come across as strongly as Jules did and he seems very much like a puppet until the eightieth novella. The story switches between Donald at the beginning of the silos and during his first time living within the silo. He, like the everyone else in silo one goes through a pattern of being cryogenically frozen and then woken up to do some work.
For someone who's not good at keeping up with dates, this can be a bit confusing. Actually, though out the whole book trying to keep up with the time can be a bit tricky and it does take awhile to figure the time lines out.
Order is the seventh book and it follows most of the characters from six as they are awakened from cryogenic sleep. They face new problems and Donald learns a lot more about himself and the ideas/workings behind the silo. This is in between cuts to silo 18 and the story of Mission. He's a teenage boy with a trouble past, working as a porter. His silo is under threat of revolution and has he fights for survival, it becomes clear that his fate is actually being controlled.
Pact rounds everything off and finishes where things begin with Jules in silo 17. Before hand, we get the story of Solo and the fall of that silo. I think this had to be my favorite part because there was a lot of dystopia and a lot more straight forward action happening. There is also an ending that feels a lot more resolved then the first book. I think that for trilogies and series, the ending is still important to get right and it should feel like an actually ending.
Overall, this was another great book. It was nice to feel in the gaps left by the first one, but I still would have liked the focus to have stayed with the present of the first one. I'm really hopeful about the last one now!