As mentioned earlier in the year, I’ve decided to read more and as a result, have finished my first book. It’s a bit of a cheat given I was half way through it and had been for some time, but it is now finished and I’ve also powered through the novella that the author has written in the same ‘world’.
Reviewing this I’m going to cheat and review the whole series of books in one go as that makes a bit more sense than just the last two books. One thing I will not be doing is giving away any spoilers so please don’t be afraid to read the review for fear of that.
The Silo 49 Series is written by Ann Christy and is set in a world that was created by the author Hugh Howey in his books Wool, Shift and Dust. It is set in a dystopian world where people live in underground silos. Massive environments that that support mini civilisations. I won’t go into the how this has come to pass. For that, you need to read Hugh Howey original series. This series as the title suggests focuses on the 49th Silo.
There are four books in the series, though strictly speaking the last one is a novella, less than a hundred pages. They chart different time periods in the Silo so the you do not always have the same characters in each book. For me this wasn’t an issue, as I liked the grander scheme of how things were to be worked out. (I have enjoyed the incredible vastness of the Dune books). In some respects, this longer timeline is reflective of some elements of the original books by Howey, especially Shift.
Having a longer timeframe for the series means that Christy can introduce new situations and people. While this makes each book a story on its own, to not read the others, and in order, would be a mistake. I would also recommend that before reading these, the original Howey books be read first. Doing this will enhance your understanding of what is going on and why. They will also help in feelings of anticipation and dread that are cleverly produced in both series.
I often find that I get to the end of books (or series of them) and feel a sense of let down from being able to see how things were going to turn out. (I remember one book where I had correctly guessed the ending from the title and first chapter). This is not the case with these or Howey’s originals as there is always the sense that you don’t know if things will work out. I like that because it reflects life. Even current life is messy and things down work out. Add in a dystopian background with everyone living underground and messy would be the understatement. This is reflected in the trilogy to one degree or another and there are moments in each book where I was caught by surprise, even up to the very end.
The characters all come across as being very human. Even in such a different situation, the good and bad of humanity is still there and in some respects, especially with the novella, are good reminders about the best and worst of humanity in today’s culture.
If you are a fan of the Howey trilogy, then these books make for a very good addition to the Silo word, expanding it further in a way very true to the originals. If you’re a fan of dystopian science fiction then these will likewise appeal, though as mentioned earlier, do read the Howey trilogy first to better understand the world that Silo 49 exists in.
According to her own website there are other Silo 49 tales to come so I will look forward to them being published.