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226 of 246 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than WOOL (spoiler-free review)
What you need to know:

If you haven't read Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5), read that first. It's true that this is a prequel to that story, involving completely different characters, so you might think you could read this as a stand-alone novel. But don't. Knowing where things are headed is critical to understanding and appreciating the events in this...
Published on April 15, 2012 by Gromit

versus
50 of 61 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Skip and wait for Wool 7
You're here because you read Wool 1-5 and couldn't wait to put your hands on number 6. Then before you clicked "buy it now" you decided to scan the reviews to see if it's the genuine article. Impressive number of 5 stars, and they're all saying it's good old Hugh and you're not going to be disappointed. A few 4s and 3s, probably those cynics who always have something to...
Published on August 30, 2012 by U. Rubner


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226 of 246 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than WOOL (spoiler-free review), April 15, 2012
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What you need to know:

If you haven't read Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5), read that first. It's true that this is a prequel to that story, involving completely different characters, so you might think you could read this as a stand-alone novel. But don't. Knowing where things are headed is critical to understanding and appreciating the events in this novel. Go buy the WOOL Omnibus, and read that first! You won't regret it.

If you HAVE read the WOOL Omnibus, then what are you waiting for? You know you're going to buy this book: so get on with it already!

* * *

First Shift: Legacy is better than the WOOL Omnibus.

This is the rare prequel that doesn't just add to the original story, but actually elevates the entire preceding series to a whole new level. It's rich in characterization, packs a real emotional wallop, and it paints a frighteningly believable story of how our real-world could get from here to... well, there. And like all great sci-fi, it makes you think. In describing how things came to be, First Shift: Legacy delves much more deeply into the Orwellian themes raised in WOOL; and it doesn't present any easy, pat answers. This is the kind of book that you won't be able to put down -- and when you're finished, you won't be able to put it out of your mind. This is a fantastic story; WOOL fans will not be disappointed.
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59 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugh Howey's latest work is also his BEST!, April 15, 2012
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I purchased First Shift Legacy as soon as it came out and ended up read it from start to finish in one sitting. From the very first page, I simply couldn't put it down. Fans of the Wool series will not be disappointed, this is Hugh Howey at his best. The story is gripping, fast-paced, incredibly shocking and the characters are once again fleshed out and "real".

Also, references to current events (such as the CDC's recently published Zombie Apocalypse Survival guide) and emerging technology (such as nanotechnology) really brings the story to life. Because of Hugh's use of realistic technology, this book could soon be disregarded as science fiction and instead be viewed as science reality. After reading this book, my views on nanotechnology have actually changed taken a u-turn. I won't spoil the story for you by telling you which way they turned! Also, by the end of the book I was definitely left pondering our future and wondering if living in a silo is in fact that far-fetched.

First Shift Legacy is also full of memorable passages that you will find yourself reading over and over due to Hugh Howey's uncanny ability to exquisitely portray ideas and emotions. The two that resonated with me the most are:

"It was the pain of a chronic boredom mixed with the discomfort of time wasted."

and

"Here was Washington encapsulated as far as Donald was concerned. It was as though he had the same two choices: he could spin in circles, completely lost and doing little, or he could dive down one avenue and forsake the others, always fearing he'd picked poorly."

In conclusion, First Shift Legacy is an incredible start to the prequel chapter of the Silo Series. I knew the book was going to be good after reading the Wool Omnibus, but I didn't that it would be THIS good. First Shift Legacy is hands down my favorite book in the Silo Series and Hugh Howey only seems to be getting better and better with every single release. I can't wait for the next part!
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50 of 61 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Skip and wait for Wool 7, August 30, 2012
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You're here because you read Wool 1-5 and couldn't wait to put your hands on number 6. Then before you clicked "buy it now" you decided to scan the reviews to see if it's the genuine article. Impressive number of 5 stars, and they're all saying it's good old Hugh and you're not going to be disappointed. A few 4s and 3s, probably those cynics who always have something to say. The 1s are generally rubbish - those who don't really read the book and just want the general score to go down, or those with serious attitude issues.

But the 2s are different. The 2s belong to people who were utterly disappointed, and you wonder why.

The only other reason someone would read these lines is if they were Hugh Howey himself - if it's you, Hugh, I'm terribly sorry to dampen your mood and hope you're busy with writing Wool 7, which I promise to buy because I have no doubt it will be as great as Wool 1-5.

And for those of you who are not Hugh, I'll start by saying I gave a 5 rating to Wool Omnibus. It's an amazing project, and definitely one of the best books I read for a long while. Since you read it yourself you know what I'm talking about.

Wool 6 is everything Wool Omnibus isn't: unimaginative, predictable, and you cannot identify with the heroes even for a single moment.

I kept hoping that at some point Hugh will pull a dirty trick, some kind of clever Ender's Game style twist that will dwarf all of the pain I had to go through reading so far, but it never came. There WAS something at the last quarter of the book, some sort of plot trick that under other circumstances may have pulled a 'wow' out of me, but it was lost in the general gloom of reading a book that just didn't live up to the high standards of its predecessors.

I had that hope for a brilliant plot break even at the last few pages, and kept checking the progress bar on my Kindle: 96%. No groundbreaking truth. 97%. No amazing U-turn. 98%. No gut-twisting revelation. 99%. It's almost over, I can't believe there was nothing at all. 100%. It's really over, and you know what, I'm actually glad it did.

Whereas Wool Omnibus is a real page turner and you can't put it down, I often found myself finding excuses NOT to read a few more pages of Wool 6. To be honest, Hugh attempted something few writers dare do: tell a tale where the end is already well known to the user and make it interesting. It's a daunting challenge and unfortunately Hugh did not succeed.

I could go on explaining why, but here's the bottom line. You either believe the 5 star reviews, buy Wool 6 and then find out for yourself, or you frown, get some serious doubts, and read more of the 2 star reviews and realize: it's a trap. Run away. Skip Wool 6, read a spoiler to find out what you missed from a story-arc side, and just wait anxiously for Wool 7. Check if it continues the Wool 5 story just to make sure (unlike Wool 6 which is a prequel), and buy it without bothering with any reviews. I guarantee that it will rock. Why am I so sure? Because it will be written by Hugh Howey, a magician who had a mental lapse in Wool 6 but will have surly recovered by the time you read Wool 7.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mild letdown, April 19, 2012
By 
Saldana "homa88" (Double Bay, New South Wales Australia) - See all my reviews
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The Wool Omnibus was excellent.

This prequel started off great. It immediately answered my nagging question as to why there was no elevator in silo 18. The writing was excellent, style was good, pace was right, character development good.

But I agree with a few other reviewers. This story is not ready yet. I am unable to suspend disbelief and accept that the whole scheme succeeded the way it did. It is just not possible in that setting, on the scale as described, presumably with all dissenters silenced by psychiatrists and pills.

Still, rest assured Hugh, it wont stop me from buying Wool 7.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not at the same level as Wool Omnibus, April 20, 2012
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I've been a fan of Hugh Howey's work since I picked up the first book of the Wool series. I've gone on to read everything he has on Amazon.

While I enjoyed Wool 6, I can't in all fairness give it a 5 star rating like I did for the Wool Omnibus.

When an apocalypse is set in the near future, most of us have a harder time "suspending disbelief". We are aware of the facts on the world stage. We've grown up with various end-game scenarios since we were kids. We've seen all the movies. And most of us know how congressmen operate (at least in broad strokes).

This book poses two wars with Iran without any background on such wars; an architect grad cum congressman who is able to design a 70 story silo on his own in prefabricated sections with credentials equivalent to a "baby engineer" (and has the leadership skills to keep the silos going); a nanobotted military leader who is able to accomplish a world-wide cataclysm in his spare time and decides that democratic party members are the 'best and brightest' to save in 50 silos. All by 2050. C'mon......

It just didn't hang together.

Sorry Hugh. I had high expectations.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Very Poorly Written Silo Story, July 30, 2012
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I purchased First Shift - Legacy (Part 6 of the Silo Series) (Wool) by by Hugh Howey during my reading of the second book of the Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5) - and have already reviewed Wool Omnibus on Amazon. In a nutshell, my earlier review of the Wool Omnibus series praised the character development and dialog up to the uprising in Silo 18; and after that the plot, character development and dialog just "went south" and never recovered. Out of respect for Hugh Howey, the author who has attempted such an ambitious project, I purchased First Shift, hoping he would get more into the science of Wool, the Silos and paint a better picture of the dystopian world he was attempting to create. I really wanted Mr. Howey to really get into the depth and soul of the various dystopian themes he hinted at in Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5); but unfortunately "the wool was pulled over my eyes" (sorry for that silly cliche).

First Shift - Legacy (Part 6 of the Silo Series) is packed with very boring dialog, implausible science fiction scenarios, and amateurish character development; it is not even a good "second draft" in my opinion. The sexual and relationship tension in the plot was a boring distraction from the main theme of the book; and the goofy political scenarios and good-old-boy politics was completely out-of-place. The story line in Silo 18 about the First Shift had potential; but the story line was padded with so much boring and implausible self-talk and self-doubt that it seemed more like a poorly written romance than a solid science fiction work of art.

In writing this review, I do worry that I may offend the many fans of Wool; and I also am concerned about the feelings of Hugh Howey, who obviously has the potential to be a good novelist and story teller; however, the truth of the matter is that, as others have reviewed, this book was a disappointment. I think the reason many reviewers give this book such praise is that there is so much potential to weave a fantastic story around the dystopian concepts and themes around the 50 silos; so many people are imagining what a great story this could be. However, what is actually written in the pages of First Shift - Legacy (Part 6 of the Silo Series) is a very thin plot with trite dialog and boring characters. First Shift is repetitive and bland at best.

My advice to Mr. Howey would be to sit down and really develop the details of the dystopian world he has created with the "silos concept" and then research into the science that would support such a world in 2050, and then put all this in context of what people will actually be doing 40 years from now, from a social, scientific and technical perspective. Then, after a fully developed mental view of the dystopian world he wishes to use as his pallet to discuss humanity, supported by science and technology in 2050, write a true science fiction novel.

What we have in the current direction of the silo series is a wondering, disjoined, unscientific, poorly developed plot with implausible characters, dialogs and situations. The reason I find this so disappointing is that the core dystopian ideas that the author would like to weave a story around, combined with the background of a world of "silos of humanity", has a lot of potential and could be a great series. It is ambitious, certainly; and I would love to read a deep, compelling story around the silo themes. Instead, we are subjected to boring, trite dialogs and poorly developed concepts.

I wanted to like this book so much. I wanted to see the dystopian world and the humanity of it all unfold as a classical science fiction novel; but First Shift is so poorly written that the plot is left to the readers imagination; and all that is left on paper for readers are undeveloped ideas, boring sexual tension, implausible political situations, no supporting science or technologies, and uninteresting dialogs.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The logic behind Wool unravels in this prequel, August 19, 2012
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Wool has hints about how the world of the silos came to be. This prequel lays that out in detail.

Unfortunately, the plot is too ludicrous even after you've suspended disbelief. (Or maybe that's fortunate for us - our world won't end this way, anyhow.) Add to that cardboard thin characters and a near total lack of motivation for their actions, and you get a disappointing novel.

If you liked Wool as much as I did you should probably avoid this book. It will spoil your memories for you.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Give Me More Wool!, April 24, 2012
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Hugh Howey is good. I mean he is really good. I would even say he is one of the best writers Ive ever encountered, but it took me some time to sit and think about Legacy before I could write a review because something was off a bit when compared to Wool 1-5.

Legacy is a good book, because of Mr. Howey's talents, but I would still put it a step below the previous books in the series. At first I couldn't my finger on exactly why, but a few of the other reviews on Legacy made me realize what the problem was.

The plot in Legacy is a little thin. In the first five books there is so much mystery that anything could be realistic when it comes to why the silos exist and the earth is a wasteland, even if it was aliens. That world exists far in the future and we cant connect the world that we live in to that one very easily.

In Legacy we are given a world very much like the one we are in now, except its about 35 or so years in the future. The politics seem to be the same, the country seems to be the same, and it could have been the year 2012 in the book because it was so similar to what we live in. Now throw in one senator who has the power to build giant underground bunkers, manage to fool ridiculous amounts of people, and nuke his own country, and it just becomes kind of unbelievable. I cant imagine that happening today so its hard to connect to a world thats almost the same as the one we live in now, at least as much as its explained in the book.

Its also hard to believe because certain things are not explained. Whats up with Iran and why does it seem so powerful? Why are we at war? Are they really going to be capable of destroying at least the USA or was it all psycho paranoia on the senators part? Where is the President and other important figures while this Senator is building his doomsday bunkers? Why did Senator Thurman become what he is?

I could go on with questions, but the bottom line is the story became a little unbelievable probably due to certain things not being explained enough. Now if we went to the year 2049 and found the USA surrounded itself by a wall, shut itself off from the world, and has Presidents that are in office for life I would say ok now the paranoia and destruction makes sense because a still powerful, but dystopian country, pretty much imploded taking everyone else with it, but instead we are given a perfectly normal setting basically the same as today and are expected to believe all of this weirdness is how the bunkers came to exist.

Yes, I've gone on about what I didn't like, but overall the book is still good due to the abilities of the writer. Unlike others, I was able to connect to the characters. I enjoyed going back and forth between 2049 and 2110 as the story played out, and I definitely liked having certain questions answered. Nanotechnology was a great addition to the apocalypse and I didn't see it coming. The book definitely leaves you with more questions even though some things were answered. I want to know where Senator Thurman is. Hes the type that wants to live forever, but we see no mention of him in the future so is he frozen and waiting with the women and children or what?

Like others have said, this is a prequel, but you should read book 1-5 first before touching this one. Overall Wool is a great series, and Im looking forward to more tales from the Silos.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I hate to say it...., May 2, 2012
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mikej (Virginia Beach) - See all my reviews
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I read Wool 1-5 and thought overall it was 5 star work. Great writing, great character development, excellent plot, amazing twists..... when it ended I was hoping that there would not be a follow up. One problem I see with some of the books that are released in episode form is that much like certain TV shows, they just don't know when to stop. When Wool 6 was released and I read that it was a prequel I was actually pleased. I thought that given what was already written this could be a very interesting story. This is where I was wrong; the interesting part. Same great writing style, excellent character development..... but the story was just flat. I very much enjoyed the way the author went back and forth between the two different time periods. What I guess would have been considered plot twists were very easy to guess at in this story. I thought the author did an amazing job of telling a story in 2050 without having to get bogged down in the details of really explaining what was going on in that future time. Excellent writing, I just didn't feel it was an excellent story.

It was very interesting to see the correlations on the stories from Wool 6 and prior stories from the silo but I just felt there wasn't enough of a plot to make it interesting. Had I not read and loved 1-5 so much I don't believe I would have continued reading 6 all the way through. Would I purchase Wool #7 if/when it is released? Absolutely. Just as I felt that Wool 2 was a little dry but necessary in order to build up to the coming stories, that is my hope with Wool 6. Time will tell.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good, April 26, 2012
By 
miki (Salt Lake City, UT, United States) - See all my reviews
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I really loved wool1-5. Therefore very excited to read the prequel. I had a really hard time getting into the first 1/3 of the book. Generally when that happens I stop reading the book. I am glad I didn't stop reading this one.
I do see a lot of flaws in how one senator and two juniors could possibly get away with what they do. A multinational corporation would make This more realistic. I finally did get sucked into the rest of the book since Mr. Howie got into his characterization of the main person. His ability to even have me suspend reality for the rest of the 2/3 with his clear prose and characterizations carried the book
I wish it had made more sense, had actually given us more depth as to why this world in 2052 would make anyone turn to such drastic means.
Hopefully Mr. Howie will revisit this world and have more insight and meaning behind the plot.
I will certainly look for a book 7 in the wool series and one which will be more thoughtful, insightful, and more enjoyable than book 6.
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First Shift - Legacy (Part 6 of the Silo Series)
First Shift - Legacy (Part 6 of the Silo Series) by Hugh Howey (Paperback - April 5, 2012)
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