Book Read: Shift by Hugh Howey

Shift by Hugh HoweyMy second book of the year (2016).

When I bought this book, I didn’t know whether to read it before or after WoolShift is a prequel to Wool, but is the second book in the series. A discussion with the kind book seller (at Waterstone’s in Amsterdam) didn’t help. I bought the book anyway, but left it on the shelves until I had bought and read Wool. Then I left it for another few years…

Although I didn’t remember the details of Wool, I soon realized that there were people in this book who had also appeared in Wool. In fact, we get the back story for what happens in Wool. Not surprisingly, of course, since it’s a prequel.

The story starts with a world as we know it, and then works towards the world in Wool. We find out why the silos were built, and we’re introduced to some of the silo secrets that we were totally oblivious of in Wool. I found some of the story a bit slow. In particular, I found that I wasn’t too interested in the back story about how the silos came about. On the other hand, I loved the story of Jimmy in silo 17, whom we follow through the years. He’s also a (minor) character in Wool, and I very much enjoyed finding out how he became the person we meet in that first book.

Amazon says:

“In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platforms that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate. In the same year, the CBS network re-aired a program about the effects of propranolol on sufferers of extreme trauma. A simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event. At almost the same moment in humanity’s broad history, mankind discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall. And the ability to forget it ever happened. This is the second volume in the New York Times best-selling Wool series.”

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Number of pages: 570

First published: 2013

I got this: bought at a bookshop

Genre: Post-apocalyptic


About Judith
I'm owner and editor at and We edit books and articles for independent writers.

3 Responses to Book Read: Shift by Hugh Howey

  1. I really enjoyed Wool but haven’t read this one yet. Sounds like I should pick it up!

  2. Alex says:

    I’m curious about but not enough to read it. Ideally I’d ask someone who has read it tell me all about it 😛 I’ve recently read Howey’s Beacon 23 and it was a really interesting stand-alone sci-fi.

  3. Pingback: Wool Series- Hugh Howey | Lucybird's Book Blog

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