Hugh Howey is hands down one of my all-time favorite science fiction/futurist authors, and it was well worth the six-year wait for his latest book, which continues his Sand Chronicles. You don’t have to, but I would recommend reading Sand first, as this new book jumps in where the first novel in this series left off.
Generations far in the future, the cities of Earth have become buried deep under sand. The rugged survivors of humanity located in former Colorado either cluster in a smallish new city on top of the sand or live out in the desert sand-diving to bring up spoils of humanity’s past civilization and sell these. Some of the barely surviving desert dwellers head into the city seeking refuge but instead become brutally enslaved and forced to mine for ore. Animosity runs deep between the two factions of humanity, to the point of seeking to destroy each other.
Howey’s tale focuses on two families: a talent dessert sand-diver clan of four surviving siblings and their mom, having lost both their father and oldest sister who were two of the greatest sand divers ever. One of the brothers discovered the buried city of “Danvar” (Denver eroded over time) and the youngest brother has a unique talent for restoring old technology. The other family: a father and daughter from the city, where the father both oversees the mines and also goes on mysterious assignments, and the daughter has befriended one of the prisoners.
City and desert dwellers collide in a thrilling adventure – from swashbuckling times riding sand surfers to being sand-imprisoned by tech-wielding sand nomads – all with a looming threat of catastrophic destruction. Keeps you on the edge of your seat and marveling at Howey’s great capacity for powerful world building.
Thanks to Avon, Harper Voyager and NetGalley for an advanced reader’s copy.