It always has to get worse before it gets better

Written by

Hugh Howey in 2013

Dust is the conclusion to the Silo trilogy, started as purely a short story by Hugh Howey about a civilization that lived underneath the ground following a massive man-made disaster. I wish I could say that the conclusion was epic, grand or great, but it actually…wasn’t. It wasn’t even particularly satisfying, and it actually leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

We pick up the story of Silo 18, a bit after the election of Juliette to the mayorship, with her new lover, Lukas,  as the head of IT, working together to thwart the nefarious plans of Silo One and the big baddie of the series, Senator Thurman. We flit between the exploits and challenges of Silo 18 and the work of Donald Keene in Silo One to stop the conspiracy and, at the same time, find out more about just what the ultimate end game of sticking people into silos was supposed to be.

Dust deals with the ideals of hope, surviving the unimaginable and doing the right thing, the human thing. While Thurman was portrayed as someone dealing with the unimaginable, and wanting the best outcome for humanity, this final instalment shows the reader just how bad the social experiment of the silos is, to the modern, thinking person. It is inhuman, inhumane, senseless and based on obscure mathematical formulae and indicators.

While the beginning and middle of the book are quite good, and follow well from the earlier instalments, I found that the end just felt very rushed. It wasn’t forced, some things you could see coming, the deaths of certain characters, the desperation of trying to survive. But the end, which tied up the various character arcs, but didn’t solve the much wider problem of what actually happens to every remaining silo, leaves too many threads hanging. Though it is, by all accounts a happy enough ending, with hope for the future, it doesn’t resolve the overall conspiracy itself.

Dust is still a good book, a decent conclusion to a great series. It’s just a pity that the ending felt as rushed as dressing after you realised you just slept in by an hour. That means that what should have been a great end to the series, is merely a good one.


A rolicking good adventure let down by a rushed ending.

Should I read this?

Yes. Despite the ending, it is still a good book and good story, continuing on the world building that occurred in the first two instalments.


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