Sand (adult dystopia) Review

March 25, 2014 Reviews 3 ★★★½

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, profanity, and/or violence.
Sand (adult dystopia) ReviewSand Omnibus by Hugh Howey
Series: Sand
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Pages: 400
Format: Audiobook
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The old world is buried. A new one has been forged atop the shifting dunes. Here in this land of howling wind and infernal sand, four siblings find themselves scattered and lost. Their father was a sand diver, one of the elite few who could travel deep beneath the desert floor and bring up the relics and scraps that keep their people alive. But their father is gone. And the world he left behind might be next.

Welcome to the world of Sand, the first new novel from New York Times bestselling author Hugh Howey since his publication of the Silo Saga. Unrelated to those works, which looked at a dystopian world under totalitarian rule, Sand is an exploration of lawlessness. Here is a land ignored. Here is a people left to fend for themselves. Adjust your ker and take a last, deep breath before you enter.

Sand is an adult dystopian novel about the distant future, where all of the old cities are buried in sand, where survival is difficult, and where people dive under the sand to retrieve treasures from the ancient past.

I was given the opportunity to review the audible version of the novel.

Narration: At first, I felt the narrator was a bit stilted with no emotion. After a few hours she got much better and it no longer bothered me. I don’t know if that is because she improved her narration, or if I became more accustomed to it.

Story: The story is indeed an imaginative one. The world building is great here. There isn’t any history on how things became what they are, but there is a ton of narration on how things are now. The story is primarily about family, and secondly about the world they are in. There is plenty of action (and non-action) and usually it kept my interest. Every now and then they just kept going on and on about the same stuff and I wanted them to just move on. There is plenty of mystery too about where their father went to and what those people are like.

There are a few really strong characters who lead the novel. The strongest is by far Vic (the sister in the family), followed by Connor (the second to youngest), and Palmer, the oldest. When it starts out you think Palmer will be the main character the entire time, but this novel switches to other main characters throughout. Other than Vic and Connor (and somewhat Palmer), the other characters were much weaker.
Also, Vic’s boyfriend was quite intriguing and the novel would have been so much better had there been more of him in the novel.

Language: I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel with as much profanity as this one. I really didn’t think it added a whole lot to it at all. Maybe a little could have made the world more realistic but it was just way overdone here. It really lowered my enjoyment a little bit. And then were some descriptive sections… talking about what happened in their mother’s brothel and what not… didn’t need to hear any of that.

This is an engrossing story and it really makes you want to keep reading (or listening) to see where it is going. The way the family dynamic was, in an “everyone for himself” world was believable. I had to suspend my belief at times dealing with the technology or the physics of a world buried in sand. And the language got on my nerves. But overall, I am glad I read it and the story-telling is well done.


About Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey spent eight years living on boats and working as a yacht captain for the rich and famous. It wasn’t until the love of his life carried him away from these vagabond ways that he began to pursue literary adventures, rather than literal ones. Hugh wrote and self-published his first adult novel, Wool, which won rave reviews and praise from readers. Dust is the final part of the trilogy. Hugh lives in Jupiter, Florida, with his wife Amber and their dog Bella.

3 Responses to “Sand (adult dystopia) Review”

  1. Karen

    Sand is next up on my books to listen to! Glad to know you liked it overall! 🙂

  2. Marni J

    I had no idea Hugh Howdy had put out this book. It sounds like a good read. I’m big into dystopia so I right away out on my Goodreads list. I know if I’m looking for something new to read to check your blog because you seem to have the same book interests as me.