Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Scifi

How To Ruin A Book? You Make A Sequel, Of Course. Shift by Hugh Howey (Silo series)

It is truly a sorry affair that most sequels just do not turn out right.

Well, alright, not most. Some.

Can we settle on a lot?

I can start naming now,

(The sequel to Blood Red Road, Metro 2034…)

and I am sure you can carry on with this list to eternity. In fact, please carry on in the comments! I would really love to find out what sequel drove you mad.

So basically, I think we can draw the conclusion that you pretty much have to be J.K. Rowling not to mess up the sequels.

So am I surprised that Shift wasn’t really a charming sequel to Wool?

No, dear friends, I am not. But am I disappointed?

I don’t really know where to begin with this book, or frankly – IF I should begin at all, cause you can see I just gave it 1 star, which I pretty much never do, so you must be getting the vibe that not only did this book not satisfy me, it probably even enraged me.

In fact, if that book had been a game, I would have rage quit.

This book has many very unfortunate factors that made me hate it. Part of it was that it was a sequel to a mind-blowing book. But it’s not just that! The plot dragged and dragged and dragged… I can’t think of a book that has tortured me quite so lately.

If I had to compare it with Wool, well, first of all, the main character is such a wimp that you can’t even. Literally. Second – okay, the first book is quite depressing. But it’s also uplifting in a way, cause they keep fighting. Nobody gives up. Shift though? What happens to the guy is so depressing, that if you have any empathy at all, like even the amount sea critters have, you will probably get sorely depressed from just touching the book, much less reading it.

(Hint: I totally did.)

Unfortunately, I can’t find much more to say about this book. It’s a non-story completely. I know it will not remain in my mind at all, because, well, pretty much nothing happened. Half of it was a retelling of what happened in the first book, half told stuff about a guy I honestly don’t care to hear about, and intermingled in between all of that, there was maybe a little bit about how or why the silos were actually built. Alright, I’ll give you that – there is the backstory. But hey. I could have saved so much more time (and brain cells) if that was just given to me in like 10 pages.

Now you will say, Evelina, dear friend, WHY DID YOU NOT DNF??

Well, now. I actually have a pretty good reason for that.

You might know I do not DNF almost ever, but this time I was buddy-reading this with my mom. And since I was taking my sweet time, she kept whining about wanting to talk about the story and just tortured me into finishing it! It was terrible 😀 abuse, I tell you! Here’s a GIF of me (superstar!) to show you how I felt while reading this book – I think it’s a better outlet than text:

So have you read Shift or Wool? And what sequels let you down?

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jackie B.
4 years ago

Oh girl. I am so sorry. That’s… just the MOST disappointing. I completely understand why you didn’t DNF. I have done that more times than I’d like to admit. When I’m reading with a buddy or for a book club, I just want to finish a terrible book so I can clearly explain to people why I didn’t like it. And so I can explain to them why there are so many other books they should read (and recommend them based on what they enjoyed about this book)! I haven’t read Shift or Wool. One of my friends did recommend… Read more »

4 years ago

I think Ancillary Sword is the sequel that MOST disappointed me in the last few years. Ancillary Justice was so special and Ancillary Sword was so utterly mediocre in every way, lacking the slightest bit of what made its predecessor special.

I’m just glad you didn’t say The Dark Forest, so I don’t have to internet fight you.

Nathan (@reviewbarn)
4 years ago
Reply to  H.P.

Huh. I thought AS took the series a new direction that I loved; I started picking up a culture vibe and almost liked it more than the first. Well, not really, Justice was too good not to love it the most.

Anyway, on Wool. I loved the first short story but really wasn’t a fan of the entire arc.

Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

Love the gif lol. Sorry this disappointed you though :-/ I get frustrated when books repeat everything that happened in the previous one, and the dragging plot does sound like a problem.

Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

I mean, I imagine that’s why authors do it. Or they do it for the people who skip the earlier books. But I like to binge read, and I keep my own summaries of books so that I can read the summary before starting the next book in a series if it’s been a while. So for me the recaps are frustrating. And people who skip books and expect to understand everything annoy me so they don’t deserve recaps lol.

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

I really enjoyed Wool, but I never got around to reading this sequel. And isn’t there also a third book?? Now I’m SO glad I didn’t bother, thanks for the warning!

4 years ago

Sequels are so tricky! I feel like the pressure of the first book pushes many authors to overdo, overwrite, over-everything, and it ends up a disaster!

Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium
Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium
4 years ago

hahaha I agree! You asked me about the sequel of Dust Lands. I did like it but it wasn’t a five starts. Maybe 4. I stared the last and UGH. No sure. LOL I wasn’t able to get through Wool and I was going to try because of your review but given that the series doesn’t continue hat good.. Hummmm…


[…] The Garden is a retro fantasy based in a pre-war Chicago (think gangsters, orphans and magic) and Shift is the sequel of Wool – a dystopian story about how the world ended and people got plunged into […]

4 years ago

First, omg, I love how you title your review posts! And second, I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience with this book. I haven’t read these in particular, but I’ve certainly had had books disappoint me when I had high expectations from a previous book. Sigh. What to do. Sometimes some books really should stay as Standalones.

4 years ago

Hahaha, yeah it works! It makes it seem less like review and more like a discussion. Kudos to you! And no problem! xd

4 years ago

Sorry to hear this book was so disappointing for you. I am the same when it comes to DNF-ing. I always say that maybe the book gets better, but most of the time there`s only 5 pages left and the book got worse.

Mary Kate
Mary Kate
4 years ago

There is one series that comes to mind that had a good sequel. In fact, I like the second book better then any other in the series!
It’s Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter.
(The first book in the Gallagher Girl Series is I’d Tell You That I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You.)

Di @ Book Reviews by Di

🙁 Big sads. I HATE it when sequels are a let down and 1 star? That must have been AWFUL. I’m so sorry!

I haven’t read Wool, never heard of it until you actually, but now it’s definitely off my list just because of the sequel!

What did your mom make of this, by the way?

4 years ago

This seems to be a thing. That the sequels are bad ad they are often! Then the authors try to cover it up by saying that it’s a trilogy, or a series so no one will remember the sequel…


[…] great luck with sequels this year. In fact, I have written quite a few posts about bad sequels (Shift, sequel to Wool and A Closed And Common Orbit, sequel to A Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet). […]