Book Blurb :
In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform 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 had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall. And the ability to forget it ever happened.
One of the initial review books that I was asked by the publisher if I was interested in reviewing was Wool. I was surprised as the book is not exactly something I would accept normally but I agreed because the premise of the collection sounded interesting. I ended up enjoying the collection and was curious and excited to hear the announcement of Shift that was being touted as the prequel to Wool.
In Shift, we get three stories and learn the history of the silo and how things came to be in Wool. Unlike the last collection of stories in Wool, Shift has the same characters throughout the book but they appear in different eras due to cryogenics. What do I mean by cryogenic, you’re probably thinking as you read this? In simple terms, they have managed to successfully freeze people and wake them through technology they have created. In addition, what’s special about this is they don’t have to wait until death. They can do the procedure at any point and it is becoming very useful as things become bad in the year 2110. The only problem with the cryogenic process is that they have to take pills to help repress old memories before the advent of the silos. It causes problems as only men have been allowed to be wakened until certain silos start having problems. Only men are allowed to work in Silo One that is the hub of all Silos and where no woman or child is allowed to go because of how things operate.
The stories of the Silo start in the story. First Shift has two men, Donald Keene in the year 2049 a young congressional representative from Georgia, and Troy in the year 2110 who has been woken up for his work shift. It would first appear they are miles apart until their roles become clear and their worlds collide in 2110. Donald has come to Washington hoping to make a difference. He knows it not going to be easy but he has the Senator for Georgia on his side and his close friend Mick there with him as a fellow congressional representative. However, the Senator has other ideas and both congressional representatives are asked to help with a building project that the Senator has going. The Senator has been working on this for years and is now putting into action his secret plan as he has the right people that he can trust. Donald embraces the project without questioning the Senator as they are old acquaintances but soon his personal life is falling apart. His wife Helen thinks he is crazy and not over Anna, the Senator’s daughter. As the Senator makes more demands and increasing is more secretive with his dealings, getting his daughter Anna involved and his sister Charlotte who happens to be in the army in this project, you think he would start to question things but he doesn’t in this story and it frustrated me along with how little we learn about Troy in this story.
In the year 2110, Troy is in the midst of his six-month shift as supervisor in Silo One. Troy does not question anything until things start to go wrong in the hub. Some of his workers in Silo One start to go crazy and are forced to go back to cryo-sleep until some unknown date. Troy tries to think how to solve the problem and decides to visit the sleeping area only to discover a chamber that contains someone he though he knew. It brings repressed memories to light but he has no time to question them as they start to have problems in other Silos.
Second Shift is the second of the three stories, and continues seamlessly from the first, and brings us closer to where Wool begins. Things are getting worse so some drastic measures are made and three important people are brought back. Anna, Senator and Donald return and the POV changes to Donald’s perspective mainly as we learn how he discovers what exactly he was working on all those years ago and how it impacts him now as he works to save the Senator It continues into the third story as we finally discover what has happened to reach exactly where Wool starts from.
This collection centers on the men, there are not many women in this book who get named and that is because they are not important. Off the top of my head, I only can name three and they were all either related to Donald or the Senator. There is Anna, the Senator daughter and former girlfriend of Donald; Helen, Donald’s wife and Charlotte, Donald’s sister. These women are central to what the Senator wants but treated as mere sexual objects. I will not go into many details but it is something that may get women up in arms. For me, personally, now that I think about it, it’s wrong but I get why it seemed to be a part of story as it make sense as we go on. 4 couples and I must admit I enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons in comparison to its predecessor, Wool.
Publisher : Random House Australia
Source : Publicist Provided for review
Released : April 2013