Juliette Nichols, newly-elected mayor of Silo 18, is also the only person known ever to have stepped outside her silo and survived, and she is bound and determined to reach out to the few survivors she found clinging to life in the nearly-destroyed Silo 17. Her actions, however, are causing unrest among the people of Silo 18, who fear the poisons and dangers they have always been taught fill the outside world. But new discoveries bring chilling truths to light, suggesting that the danger may be coming from entirely different sources. Can they break through the lies and manipulations of the past and present, and find some hope for a new future, free from the control of those who destroyed the world in the first place?
This is a poignant, heartrending, and ultimately hopeful end to a marvelous trilogy. Those familiar with Wool and Shift will find themselves drawn again into Howey’s carefully-detailed world, with its substantial history and fully-human characters. The plot is vigorous and suspenseful, and there is always more going on beneath the surface than is apparent to the eye.
The reader cannot help but feel for the characters, to grieve for those who die and celebrate the triumphs of the survivors. Without a trace of preachiness, the author draws readers into thoughtful moral quandaries and ethical debates concerning fear, liberty, and human society. The conclusion is utterly satisfying, with its fair share of both mourning and joy, a sense of deep loss mingled with new hope.
Read the other two books first, if you have not done so already; this is not a stand-alone book and would lose a great deal of its power if not linked with the others. Still, this is a brilliant series, and deserves a wide readership among fans of science fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, and really, all those who enjoy a well-told story that fully engages both heart and mind.
Reviewed by Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader