Shift is the prequel to The Wool Omnibus. It primarily tells the story of how the underground silos came to exist and why the world became unliveable. The first half of the book is very different from Wool, and much slower. It starts with Donald Keene, a congressman involved in a top secret project to build an underground facility. He believes the lie he’s fed about the facility’s construction, and is quickly trapped into an existence he had tried to believe wasn’t possible.
The opening of Wool grabs you right away. Sheriff Holston knows he’s going to die, has in fact asked for it, but against all odds is hopeful he may somehow find his lost love and survive. You feel sorry for him, and wonder if he may not make it after all. It’s enough to get you invested in the story straight away, if only to see if he is right.
Jaye Ford has a way of hooking you into her stories by creating conflict with questions. Blood Secret starts off well, and like Rennie, you’re initially unsure whether Max was attacked, or if he simply walked away. The story unravels slowly as more and more information comes to light.
As with Illuminae, Gemina is told through a series of emails, instant messages, schematics, classified files, and transcripts. In addition, there is the benefit of Hanna’s journal pages also being included. I love the different format of the way these novels are written. It involves the reader and makes them feel like they are part of the investigation and subsequent trials taking place.
Illuminae isn’t written like a traditional novel. The story unfolds through a “dossier” of hacked documents — emails, ship schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more.
Forget Her Name is told from Catherine’s viewpoint as she first receives her sister’s snow globe, throughout her wedding and the events that follow. I felt her fear and confusion, and desperately wanted to know who it was behind the sinister events that kept happening. The distrust she felt for her parents, and the growing insecurity she felt regarding Dominic, other family members, and friends, only drew me into her world further. My own theories as to who was/wasn’t involved kept changing with every twist and turn.