Silo Series Review and Analysis by Hugh Howey

Silo Series, Wool and Hugh Howey

Since the 17th century, we’ve been mesmerized by the countless arrays of novels from illustrious authors of all time. Our feelings have been enraptured repeatedly through the fascinating plots and narratives that these brilliant minds creatively crafted.

Their book is romance and horror itself, giving us that heart-stopping excitement from falling in love and getting hurt altogether.

Yet, with all that, their stories give us the much-needed grip of spellbinding spiel, provoking our senses with raging intensity and fire to feel and imagine, and create a poignant realization.

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New Breeds of Best-Selling Talented Writers

And as time moves forward, a new breed of exceptionally talented writers emerge who have been uninterruptedly bewitching us with fresh and sensational storylines. Along with the contemporary, refreshing releases come varied genres and themes that make reading these days more interesting and intriguing.

Two of the most popular combo today are science fiction and dystopia, and among the well-known authors of this genre or theme is Hugh Howey, who gave us a best-selling riveting book series in nine folds entitled “Silo Series.”

With that, let’s dig deeper into the nonuple editions of Howey’s best-selling book series alongside his omnibus releases that caught readers’ attention worldwide. Let us also try to get to know Hugh Howey better.

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The Silo Series

Howey created this nine-book series, which he collectively called “Silo,” beginning 2011. These post-apocalyptic dystopian science fiction novels were initially a stand-alone short story entitled “Wool.”

Due to the popularity that the book received, he started to write more entries for it, and that is how it became the ninefold “Silo” series.

Wool (Silo Series – Book 1)

Howey first published “Wool” book one of his “Silo Series” on July 30, 2011, which was initially an independent short story. Seeing how things were unfolding with his debut narrative, he created these nine masterpiece plots.


The plot presents us how humankind clenches to survive in an underground city of Silo that extends a 144-story distance below the surface in a post-apocalyptic dystopian Earth.

It follows the life of the city’s sheriff Holston. Hence, the title. Howey narrates that everyone living in Silo long-taught that the world outside the area is deadly and toxic. Nonetheless, anyone who expresses any form of desire to go out will have to suffer the consequence, and that is to clean the exterior sensors.

Well, the upshot doesn’t end there. While cleaning the outdoor sensors is inevitable, death is also inescapable. People learn that everyone who cleans the sensors outside dies later.

Before the occurrences of the story, about three years ago, Holston’s spouse became convinced that the world outside Silo is, in fact, inhabitable. She also believed that the IT department in-charge of running the exterior sensors had misled the people. So, she willingly offered to clean and ended up dying.

Three years after losing his wife and still mourning, Holston seeks permission to go out of the city. They allow him, and in return, they give him a protective suit. When he goes out of Silo, all he sees is a flourishing, full of life world.

As he feels encouraged and high-spirited by what he sees, he delightedly cleans out the city’s external sensors. After cleaning, he begins to explore the outside world, removing his helmet, bringing him to a heart-rending truth that lies behind the walls of their city.

Genre – Dystopian Literature

Pages – 58 pages

Goodreads rating – 4.12/5

My rating – 9.12/10

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Wool: Proper Gauge (Silo Series – Book 2)

Four months after, Howey released the second book in the series due to popular demand from the readers.


Considering the demise of Holston, Silo needs a new sheriff to take his place. For this reason, the two heads of the government authority, namely Major Jahns and Deputy Sheriff Marnes, undertake a trip to the city’s lowest region, the Machinery zone, to interview their top candidate for the position named Juliette.

Down the road, they come across several areas of Silo, which include the obscure IT department head Bernard, who demands his preferred candidate. Nonetheless, Jahns discards his ideas. While on their way, the two officers discover a lot about each other, and thus, eventually, Jahns discloses a relationship with Marnes.

Finally, they meet Juliette, who immediately demonstrates her personality and characteristics as independent, responsible, and stubborn, leaving good impressions to Jahns. After a few hesitations, she accepts the job, and on their way back to the city’s center, the major and the deputy discretely start a romantic relationship. Furious about the decision, the IT head Bernard is angry with Jahns and Marnes. Instantaneously, the major falls ill and realizes that she had consumed a deadly poison from the deputy’s canteen.

Thereupon, the story, along with the lead characters of the plot, brings us to broken alliances in the government that could put an end to the city they have longed worked extremely hard to protect.

Genre – Dystopian Literature

Pages – 106 pages

Goodreads rating – 4.15/5

My rating – 9.15/10

Wool: Casting Off (Silo Series – Book 3)

Four days later, after publishing “Silo Series” book two entitled “Wool: Proper Gauge,” Hugh Howey printed out the third novel in the nonuple collection on December 4, 2011.


Basing from the story of the second book, Silo has officially appointed a new sheriff named Juliette. While other former sheriffs may have come from the shadows of deputies and respective heads of authorities, she comes from the depths of the lowest region of the city.

However, without much knowledge of governing or serving the law of the land, the newly hired sheriff of the city, who is a former mechanic, gets confronted by the baffling concerns on how to uphold peace and order.

That, and the ghosts surrounding Silo’s past, confounds Juliette on how she’s going to focus on bringing the city to its bright future. And even before she can commence to settle in, the buzzing cogs of Silo are kicking off to start anew.

Yet, how is she going to that when things are not in their right perspectives, and the people, whom she trusted and whose help she direly needs, are nowhere to support her as they already come to perish. And if Juliette is not careful enough, she might end up like them.

Genre – Dystopian Literature

Pages – 122 pages

Goodreads rating – 4.34/5

My rating – 9.34/10

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Wool: The Unraveling (Silo Series – Book 4)

Hugh Howey published the fourth edition of his “Silo Series” entitled “Wool: The Unraveling” more than a couple of weeks after, on Christmas day, December 25, 2011, a perfect gift to readers out there, especially those people who are following the series.


Despite what seemed like a perfect, well-controlled, and peaceful society, Silo lies secrets behind that are waiting to unravel.

The story begins with flashbacks of the life of the city’s new sheriff, and as the story progresses, the plot is getting bolder and more gripping than ever. Book four beguilingly tells us about a tale in their past of a rebellion, a war they have learned in essence, but have figured out nothing.         

With the myths and legends of an uprising circulates the community, nobody has the slightest idea of what went wrong or what happened because such concepts are part of the taboos that they dare not speak of in Silo.

Now, after almost two centuries, the citizens of the underground city of Silo will have a chance to know more about the distant revolution as they’re going to begin one of their own.      

While we witness the revolt happening in the city, we will also get the chance to see what lies beyond the hills of the boundaries of Silo, finally. And Juliette remains to be your favorite kickass, feisty heroine who you will love entirely.

This edition will also introduce more people in the city, such as Lukas, who will steal Juliette’s heart. Thus, creating more excitement to avid readers who are following the series.

Overall, this novel speaks of its title as it mainly focuses on unraveling or discovering things that were a bit unclear or not evident in the previous books.

Genre – Dystopian Literature

Pages – 166 pages

Goodreads rating – 4.36/5

My rating – 9.36/10

Wool: The Stranded (Silo Series – Book 5)

About a couple of weeks from the brand new year of 2012, Hugh Howey released and printed out the fourth book of his best-selling series entitled “Silo.” It was on January 14, 2012, that Howey had his “Wool: The Stranded” book four published, leaving his fans and readers ecstatic as they get more excited about how the story will unravel and end.


As the new Sheriff Juliette continues to investigate the mysteries that lie beneath Silo, leading her to meet the head of the IT department Bernard and the young astronomer and member of the latter Lukas, the man she’ll get entangled with that will bring her to unraveling more the city holds.

Book five chronicles Silo eighteen at war. While the mechanics retreat to the lowest region, the mayor uses deadly force to free the few, and in the process, entrusts Lukas with all the secrets behind the city and leaves him with a direction to execute the protocol despite the outcomes.

The fearless Juliette later finds out that there are other survivors in Silo seventeen. Amidst the flood in the lower levels and the danger she has to face, she must save Silo seventeen at all cost against all impossible odds, and at the same time, stop the perpetuating war in Silo eighteen. Most of all, she has to stay alive.

Lukas, on the other hand, has to decide where his loyalties lie. Without a doubt, “The Stranded” is a perfect conclusion to the “Wool Omnibus” collection as it reveals some interesting facts behind the underground city, such as how many levels are there in Silo and how the design came about.

Genre – Dystopian Literature

Pages – 254 pages

Goodreads rating – 4.36/5

My rating – 9.45/10

First Shift: Legacy (Silo Series – Book 6)

On April 14, 2012, Hugh Howey published his first “Shift Omnibus” collection, book six of his “Silo Series.” It is the prequel of the “Wool Omnibus,” the first five books in his nine-novel series.


The “First Shift: Legacy,” which is the sixth book of “Silo,” is the forerunner or precursor to the first five “Wool” novels in the series that details how the world came about to the status quo as explained and narrated by the young congressman Donald Keene and Silo’s chief Troy.

It was the year 2007 that the “Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN)” designed both the hardware and software platforms that would let robots smaller than the size of the human cells to make groundbreaking advancements in the society, such as conducting repairs, making medical diagnoses and self-reproduce.

During the same year, a TV network showed again a program that tackles the effect of a simple, small pill called propranolol to those people who are experiencing extreme trauma, leading to a discovery of what it can do and that is wiping out the memory of any traumatic occasion or occurrence.

Nearly almost the same time in the vast history of humanity, mankind discovers the key to the world’s absolute destruction, along with the capability to not remember anything that it ever happened.

Moreover, it details the recruitment of the government of Donald to design a shelter with the implication that it is only for protocol and that it will never come to use. In short, it was a simple “just-in-case” scenario, and so they said.

One distinct feature of this shelter is that it is underground.

After more than half a century, Donald’s design came to realize, the last survivors of the earth seek refuge in Silo that he created. Yet, no one remembers the past. Everyone has forgotten the life they used to have before the underground city.

This book explains the seemingly forgotten the former things in the first five books in the series.

Genre – Dystopian Literature

Pages – 238 pages

Goodreads rating – 4.22/5

My rating – 9.25/10

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Second Shift: Order (Silo Series – Book 7)

Following the “First Shit: Legacy” is the “Second Shift: Order,” which got published on November 20, 2012. It’s the seventh book in his “Silo Series” and the second on his “Shift Omnibus.”


This edition follows the characters of the sixth book, the second “Shift” version entitled the “Order.”

These people have been awakened after a century of subjected cold-sleep to consult.

With the hope to answer some of the unanswered problems, and among them is the introduction of the young new character Mission in Silo eighteen, where they’re presently undergoing an inclusive fight that threatens the survival of the people living in the area.

Conversely, Donald should forget everything in the past. However, the information that he shouldn’t remember may end up saving him.

Mission just had enough of everything, and thus, he seeks out to change the world surrounding him. He wants all the lies, rules, and secrets to get laid out. By doing so, he puts his life on the line.

He battles to create resistance and save those who have remained hopeful despite circumstances. Yet, one question remains, are the people he is trying to save worth it?

Genre – Dystopian Literature

Pages – 268 pages

Goodreads rating – 4.27/5

My rating – 9.32/10

Third Shift: Pact (Silo Series – Book 8)

Published on January 28, 2013, the book eight of Howey’s “Silo Series” entitled “Third Shift: Pact” is a finale of the trilogy of the “Shift Omnibus” collection. This book tells the fall of Silo seventeen, and the transformation of the character Jimmy into Solo.

The story of Donald Keene continues in this story.


The third in the “Shift” trilogy gives us a background story of Solo and the whereabouts of Donald. Also, it details on Donald’s understanding of the overall view of Silo. The story follows the dramatic transformation of Solo from being a naïve seventeen years old to an inhibited individual living a strikingly strange life.

Donald, on the other hand, turns into someone a bit different from what we have known and imagined him at the start of the “Shift” trilogy. Yet, he is in the middle of confusion between the gaps in the history that he remembers of the Silo. It details his struggles in trying to remember what had happened during the first two shifts.

We turn back time in 2049 to understand what occurred prior to building the silos and the reasons how and why they got built. In this book, we further learn that they were run after the planet’s destruction, and much of the story comes from Donald and the elder Senator Paul Thurman, who puts the latter under his thumb.

Despite not knowing the truth behind the construction of Silo, Donald trusted Thurman his life as he also used to date his daughter Anna, he accepted the responsibility to design the underground city.

Supposedly, none of the frozen females should serve on shifts, but Thurman brings his daughter secretly to make use of her skills in computer to resolve a problem. During the last part of this book, which is 2345, Donald wakes up becoming the ultimate authority, Mr. Thurman, and so, he takes advantage of the opportunity to find out the truth.

Genre – Dystopian Literature

Pages – 277 pages

Goodreads rating – 4.30/5

My rating – 9.32/10

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Dust (Silo Series – Book 9)

The final edition of the “Silo Series” of Hugh Howey is the “Dust,” which got published on August 17, 2013. This book brings the notable lead characters in the entire series together, such as Donald and Juliette, as well as the other people in Silo eighteen and the remaining survivors of Silo seventeen.


In “Dust,” Howey puts us back to the world of Silo eighteen, where Juliette or Jules is serving still serving as the mayor of the city but spends almost all her time reaching out to her friends in Silo seventeen.

There’s plenty of complaining about her nonconformist types of activities and dealings. Furthermore, an orthodox and similarly comparable to a cult religious movement is gaining supporters and followers.

The plots take turns with what is presently happening in Silo one, from which the other controls of the other underground cities originate. Still pretending to be Thurman, Donald is currently having regular secretive contact with Juliette and Lukas over at Silo eighteen.

Nonetheless, the situations at both mentioned silos are deteriorating, and Donald is dying. Yet, he doesn’t understand why. Upon waking up and knowing what happened, Thurman wakes up extremely angry.

Three mysterious murders happened in Silo one, and eighteen’s denizens were able to finally dig through the seventeen just before their ground gets terminated by Thurman.

As a result, anarchy, chaos, and violence spark.

Genre – Dystopian Literature

Pages – 458 pages

Goodreads rating – 4.26/5

My rating – 9.26/10

The Omnibus Collections

Hugh Howey’s nine-book series entitled “Silo” comes with two group collections or omnibus editions.

The first group of the omnibus edition is the “Wool Omnibus Edition,” published on January 25, 2012, which comprised of the first five books in the “Silo Series” and the five books of “Wool” narratives.

  1. The Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1-5)

It is the collection of the five books from the “Silo” series with the title “Wool” into a single volume. Hugh Howey’s successful sci-fi dystopian novel was just a short story at first, but due to the high demand, he created the rest of the nine books.


In summary, this collection tells the story of humankind trying to clench to survive, while on the brink of devastation with the world outside becoming harsh and unkind with a limited view and the talking about is forbidden.

Despite that, there are always those whose hope never ceases. Yet, in this society, the government thought of them as dangerous people. These are the residents of the Silo, who infect other citizens not with a contagious disease, but positivity, optimism.

Yet, the authorities take it as illegal or unwanted, and so, they will receive the consequence of doing so. The punishment seems to be extremely simple. They receive what they’ve been hoping for, and that is to go outside.

And so, they will, unknowing of what could happen next.

Genre – Dystopian Literature

Pages – 509 pages

Goodreads rating – 4.23/5

My rating – 9.23/10

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The Shift Omnibus or the Shift Trilogy (Shift 1-3)

Published on January 27, 2013, the “Shift Omnibus Edition” is the second group collection of Howey, which consisted of the “Shift” stories and the sixth to eight books in the nonuple “Silo” storyline.


These three succeeding books in the “Silo Series,” books six to eight with “Shift,” as its main focus, come with the prequel of what happened before the “Wool Omnibus.”

It happens in 2007, the organization in charge of creating nanobiotechnology, namely the “Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN)” makes a design both the hardware and software to permit robots that are smaller than our body cells to conduct a series of significant functions for us.

These machines can self-reproduce, provide medical diagnoses, and conduct repairs. And in the same year, a TV news network aired a program again that details the effects of a pill named propranolol to people suffering from extreme trauma.

This simple pill may look harmless, but it could erase all your memories once you take it, and therefore, present the world with its absolute devastation and ability to eradicate everything that has happened.

Genre – Dystopian Literature

Pages – 570 pages

Goodreads rating – 4.12/5

My rating – 9.12/10

Analysis of Author: Hugh Howey

A native of North Carolina, Hugh Howey comes a long way as one of the most notable and best-selling authors of his generation. What started as just a short story in e-book, specifically in Amazon Kindle Store, is now a massive hit.

Analysis of Author: Hugh Howey

Howey became the number one best-seller on Amazon and the winning author of a Kindle Book Review of the “Best Indie Book of 2012 Award.” That is why when it comes to e-book, those novels that go directly straight to the readers, Hugh Howey’s name is prominent and well-acknowledged.

Previously working on a day job with near-minimum wage, he ventured into writing. His “do it yourself” work ethic and modesty put him as among the most admirable authors of all time. According to him, he found success in publishing because he writes for his love and passion for writing. He self-published his books because he wanted to own his work.

When asked about his area of expertise as an online publisher or a writer, he says that it’s fiction.  Although he has been doing for quite some time now, he still feels that he doesn’t belong in the genre despite the success of his “Silo Series.”

Howey, claims that he’s a bit of a wanderer or vagabond and continues to share that he dropped out of college to sail off the island for one whole year. He encountered a couple of hurricanes while cruising. He had taken two odd jobs, according to him, to repair the damages to his sailboat, which leads him to become a yacht captain.

He became a yacht captain for the majority part of a decade, yet in between meeting his wife and spending more time in the drylands, he expressed his love for writing. He said that he always wanted to be a writer. However, he couldn’t get through the first few chapters of any novel he’s writing.

Beyond every one’s surprise, “Wool” was the seventh or eighth book that he has published. He admitted that it’s a concept he had come up with a year earlier, prior to publishing it.

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Relating to the several personal experiences and the current news happening all throughout the world, he wanted to write a story about humankind terrified of what the outside world has in store for them.

And in the process, promote heroes in his story who are not afraid to take the challenge and go out and witness it for themselves. With that, find better ways to make the world a better place.

Hugh Howey also shared that he has quite a hard time letting go of the characters in his book. That is the reason why he always makes sure to force himself to do so often. Letting go of other characters like dying allows him to introduce new characters in the story.

Credit David Peterson

He believes that in reality in almost all speculative fiction story, all the characters are going to perish someday, and by not revealing that moment, he thinks that it cheapens the story when you doesn’t show how the story ends.

Adding to his admissions, he said that there’s one demise in “Shift” that surely got him, but he wouldn’t tell who that is and continued that the death of Bernard was satisfying for him, as it puts an end to the awful totalitarian ruling he orchestrated. Thus, giving people a new chance and hope.

His favorite authors include Bill Bryson, Judith Rich Harris, Neil Stephenson, and Neigh Gaiman while adding, that he likes to become a better storyteller as he wants his plots to be both simple and complex with tons of mysteries. However, they must all be easily understood.

Lastly, Hugh Howey believes that what makes a great writer is dedication, stating that you have to write each day and do it for years. When you refused or unwilling to commit to that, then he thinks that you will never become great.

In conclusion, Hugh Howey proves to everyone that when you have the passion and the right amount of dedication and commitment to pursue those dreams and put it into action, you’ll achieve greatness and success way beyond your expectations.

His other piece of advice to aspiring authors is that they should publish their works as if millions of people will read them. He mentioned about investing in a good quality cover art, which will look attractive in both print and online thumbnail.

Finally, he said, don’t be in a rush to publish your book, but make your work shine.

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Dave P
Dave P
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