Monday, February 25, 2013
Third Shift : Pact Review
Third Shift: Pact is the third and final book in Hugh Howey's Shift trilogy, which in turn was a prequel to Wool. I previously reviewed First Shift: Legacy, which I loved and Second Shift: Order, which I was not so crazy about. Third Shift more or less carries the story up to the "present", by which I mean Juliette's storyline from Wool (parts 2-5).
Like the previous two Shift stories, Third Shift has two separate plots. One follows Donald, the congressmen who unknowingly designed the silos (well, he didn't know the purpose of them) and who ended up being separated from his wife in the rush to get into the silos when the Democratic National Convention was bombed (by the Democrats! See my review of First Shift for details). At the end of Second Shift, Donald had been trying to leave the silo when he was caught and brought back in and cyropreserved. However, when he was woken up, everyone assumed that he was Thurman, the senator who initially came up with this whole silo plan. Someone switched the bodies in the cyropods and apparently no one had ever served on a shift with Thurman before so they just assumed Donald was the senator. Suddenly Donald finds himself in charge and with access to the entire silo.
He encounters both Anna, Thurman's daughter, and Thurman himself through the story, but also follows the events happening in Silo 18. We see the conversation that Lukas had with a nameless voice in Wool 5 from Donald's perspective (of course Lukas was speaking with Donald). He also enlists his sister Charlotte to help him fly drones as far as they can. The drone starts to crash but before it does, Donald is such he saw grass outside of the boundary of Atlanta where the convention had taken place. So potentially there is a functioning world outside of Silo land. The final book in the series, Dust, will pick up this storyline. However, Donald seems to be suffering some affects from his journey outside the silo. His hand has a rash and he keeps coughing up blood, so he's probably a goner! He also stumbled across the Pact, which revealed the true, rather dark purpose of the silos. Read to find out what that is!
The other storyline follows Jimmy, who later becomes Solo, who Juliette met at Silo 17. As a 16 year old, his parents tried to protect him during a rebellion within his silo but he ended up essentially alone in a bunker for years. He finally got out and grew up to some extent although he really will always be a lonely teenager at heart since he lived by himself for about 30 years before Juliette showed up. Jimmy's storyline wasn't that interesting; his character's voice never evolved that much. And he always seemed younger than 16... or a little bit special. I get that he was alone for most of his life but I wasn't crazy about his chapters, although towards the end, we eventually catch up to his meeting with Juliette.
Overall this was okay. Not as good as Wool, which my Dystopian Lit kids are reading now and loving but it did set fill in a lot of history of the silos and even better caught the story back up to Juliette's time. Hopefully all will come together with Dust!
Buy it at amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also buy the Shift Omnibus with all three stories linked together.