Book Review: Sand Omnibus

Sand Omnibus, by Hugh Howey

By far the shortest of his dystopian trilogy [1], if longer than his shorter works [2], this novel has a lot of parallels with both Wool and Shift. Like Wool, this particular novel deals with people who are trapped, but not in a silo protected from the radioactive sands, but rather above those sands, apparently hundreds of years later (long enough for the tops of the skyscrapers of Denver (called Danver by the people here) to be hidden underneath 600 meters of sand. Like Shift, though, this novel features men (and women) doing what they have to do, including grimly using atomic weapons in a massive and unexpected war.

This novel provides a lot of lessons for those who are inclined to understand them. Among these is the fact that no matter how miserable life is, it can always get worse. So can the language, as this is a pretty foul-mouthed novel dealing with the gritty lives of people who live their lives in a dump that looks like it’s from the Walking Dead or The Book Of Eli or something else that and have to deal with the potential of having their city destroyed by weapons, their people enslaved, and their waters removed by brutal mining.

The novel itself begins somewhat slowly, with a diving expedition gone horribly wrong, the discovery of a long lost society–our own, and large amounts of death and destruction and ominous messages and threats. The novel examines what it means to be human, and how a dysfunctional family that has broken apart over their father leaving them to cross into No Man’s Land and their mother’s ensuing prostitution, as well as the rape of a daughter. As I have said before [3], I find it bothersome that rape is so commonly used as a plot device in fiction, but at least this novel does not dwell on it in disgusting detail, but shows rape as one of the ways in which fallen men try to dominate others. As a novel with a compelling and complicated plot in which everything ties together with a satisfying, if bittersweet, ending, those who have stuck with the Dystopian trilogy to its end will see hope of a new beginning, even in a bleak world.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/book-review-wool/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/book-review-shift/

[2] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/book-review-halfway-home/

[3] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/book-review-zoheleth/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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4 Responses to Book Review: Sand Omnibus

  1. Pingback: Book Review: The Mystery Of Lewis Carroll | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Book Review: The Maze Runner | Edge Induced Cohesion

  3. Pingback: Book Review: The Death Cure | Edge Induced Cohesion

  4. Pingback: Book Review: Evel: The High-Flying Life Of Evel Kinevel: American Showman, Daredevil, And Legend | Edge Induced Cohesion

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