Top critical review
Not the quality I was hoping for
Reviewed in the United States on July 29, 2018
I had very high hopes for this book. I bought the trilogy because it was rated as one of the best dystopian sci fi series out there on a couple of sites. But I had a very hard time getting through the first book.
- Poor dialogue for many characters... sometimes cringe worthy.
- I needed a strong suspension of disbelief. Here are a few examples...
- Its a totalitarian state, where the 'mayor' can send someone to their death when desired. However this 'mayor' doesn't know what is happening on many of the 144 floors, doesn't understand how the information technology or 'IT' people collect and use data on all the citizens, doesn't understand how the 'machines' way down in the mechanics area keeps everyone alive with the water and power and all that. Knowledge is power. And this 'mayor' did little more than sign birth certificates. Seemed like some token leader that didn't fit the vibe of the book at all.
- The sheriff is the law, and again in my mind just didn't fit. In this type of totalitarian state he would be integrated into IT, monitoring and controlling the thoughts of the inhabitants... with a well armed militia ready to stamp out dissent at a moments notice. Instead we get a guy and his aged deputy who know nothing about 'IT' or much of the rest of this silo... Just seemed incredibly hokey.
- They have an apprentice system for career fields, called 'shadows' that spend their youth learning their trade from the elders. Mechanics, porters, doctors... whatever. Then the sheriff needs to be replaced and they say they don't need a shadow. Eh.. just screw it and learn on the fly. Its only the law after all...
- They live in what is basically an underground sky scraper. They have foundries and machine shops and can fix whatever problems have arise... and have for many, many years. But they cannot install an elevator? They have one set of stairs going up and down... What happens when they have an earthquake? Or the stairs collapse due to heavy use? Where is the set of stairs for the porters to go up and down to deliver goods? Why not install a service elevator?? They have all these techno widgets and computers... but cannot install something that was invented in the 19th century? What??
All these things just kept echoing in my mind as I plodded through the book. I went from reading 30 pages at a time, to 15, to two... and ended up just skimming through the last third. Not very well thought out and nowhere near the quality of something like GRR Martin. I read that it was an indie book. I can see why. I am very surprised that it has done as well as it has.