Thousands of them have lived underground. They’ve lived there so long, there are only legends about people living anywhere else. Such a life requires rules. Strict rules. There are things that must not be discussed. Like going outside. Never mention you might like going outside.
Or you’ll get what you wish for.
This is the start of a series of short stories that follows a group of people living in a post apocalyptic world. An old, enormous silo has been converted into a last refuge for those who have survived the toxic air that will kill anyone who goes outside.
This isn’t necessarily an entirely new story. As most know, post apocalyptic fiction has become a very trendy form of entertainment in the last decade or more and there are undoubtedly similar stories in the genre. However, if you lumped Holston in with “all the other apocalyptic fiction” you’d be doing it a huge disservice. Hugh Howey makes this somewhat familiar tale his own by telling an intensely compelling and personal story about one man’s journey through the confined world of the silo.
This is an intimate tale as we solely follow Holston through the present and as he relives the anguish of his past. An extremely traumatic event three years in the past has made him question everything about the silo and its inhabitants. One thing I loved about following Holston is that we only know things as Holston begins to learn them. This was important because a huge part of the appeal of this story is the intrigue surrounding why the silo really exists and what really happens if you go outside.
“The children were playing while Holston climbed to his death”
From the opening line above, I was completely hooked and had to know more. Although this story had no action or battles there was a sense of urgency, of imminent danger and death that held me in suspense until the very last page.
This was a fantastic start to what I expect to be an incredible series. In the span of only 58 pages, Hugh Howey managed to suck me into this bleak, dystopian world, care deeply about Holston, and best of all kept me riveted as I quickly turned each page with the need to know more. Hauntingly sad and vividly realized, I highly recommend it!