Dust (Silo #3) by Hugh Howey
“Our actions, you know? They last forever. Whatever we do, it’ll always be what we did. There’s no taking them back.”
In Wool we’re introduced to the world of Silo 18; people have fled an inhospitable environment to live underground. They’ve forgotten the world they come from and anyone who dreams of returning to it, is forced out. Shift introduced us to the world of corrupt political heads who are willing to get what they want by any means necessary, as well as the survivors of failed Silo 17.
Dust brings us back to present time in the Silo Saga universe, with Juliette as the newly elected Mayor of Silo 18. Juliette is determined to dig; she wants to expand the Silo 18 and claim 17, she wants to rescue her new friends and prove to everyone else that she isn’t crazy. Lukas is torn between his love for Juliette and his duties to the Silo as the new head of IT; he’s worried the Juliette is creating too much fear and that the Silo is headed for another uprising.
Donald is still awake in Silo 1, still conspiring with his sister Charlotte, but now he’s running out of time. He’s slowly dying, he can’t keep lying about the noise coming from Silo 18, and the cryogenically frozen body of an attempted murder victim just turned up. Charlotte is flying her drones over the Silo farm, looking to see what lies beyond it, if anything.
Lukas and Donald can’t let Silo 1 become suspicious. All it would take is a little suspicion to trigger the push of a button that would end all life in Silo 18. And Juliette is determined to sever Silo 1’s control over her home…
This story has the suspense that Shift lacked, along with an ominous Us vs. Them feel. Silo 1 and Silo 18 are battling for their right to survive the apocalypse, their right to live and die as they choose. Juliette is struggling with the choices she must make to do what is right; the choice between right and wrong never seemed so cruel. The right think might get her killed but the wrong thing will keep thousands of people enslaved. And the ending… It was kind of perfect if you don’t mind the predictability of the triumph of good over evil, which I don’t.
The only question I was left with at the end of this series: What was Thurman’s problem with dogs? He literally wrote the book on surviving the end of the world, and provided the survivors with resources, including the livestock… So why are they eating dog? How were they mislabeled “food” instead of “man’s best friend”? Thurman just doesn't make those mistakes…although, given the events of the story I suppose he wasn't the most sane or reasonable person to begin with…