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First Shift: Legacy by Hugh Howey
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First Shift: Legacy (2012)

by Hugh Howey

Series: Wool (6)

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2421147,619 (4.07)11
Recently added byDaftKnits, phiguru, Vettius29, michael.d.dillon, mjcjones, private library, LukaBabu, SusanBNM, cmoewes
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Description: In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate.

In the same year, the CBS network re-aired a program about the effects of propranolol on sufferers of extreme trauma. A simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event.

At almost the same moment in humanity’s broad history, mankind had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall. And the ability to forget it ever happened.

Thoughts: So you all witnessed my inarticulate gushing over Howey's Wool pentalogy, mostly because saying anything too concrete would rob you all of the IMMENSE pleasure of penetrating it's layers for yourself. I hope you are ready for a bit more of the same now that I'm reading the prequel pentalogy, First Shift.

These 5 books are supposed to cover how the environment and situation found in Wool came to be and cover a bit of history pertinent to certain characters in the later chapters of Wool. First Shift: Legacy, switches between two story lines, roughly 60 years apart. It took a few chapters for me to really get into the rhythm of the story and adjust my brain into a near future (2049) rather than the more distant and alien future that Wool presents, but then I was very intrigued by the way that the story developed.

There was some criticism in several Amazon reviews that the development of the plans (which I won't divulge here, since you are most definitely going to read this book, right?) was too easy, that government red tape and the nature of such a project would never have succeeded, especially in such secrecy, but that didn't bother me. Yes, it takes some suspension of disbelief, but after reading Wool it wasn't a huge leap, it felt right. Maybe I'm more willing to believe this kind of situation because I spend so much time talking with people about what's happening to our food system right now that I know how companies and entities get around popular demand and even government consent to further their own agenda.

I'm rather looking forward to the next chapter, Second Shift: Order. There were some surprises at the end of First Shift- I thought I had the dynamics all figured out and then a few things turned out to be not as I expected which is nice. Keep you posted as I work my way slowly through them!

Rating: 3.5

Liked: 3.5
Plot: 3.5
Characterization: 3
Writing: 4

http://www.librarything.com/topic/153717#4130362 ( )
  leahbird | Jan 17, 2015 |
Amazing. A prequel to "WOOL" (read that first) that is chilling all the more for knowing what "WOOL"is about. I would have loved it to have more to it, but that's not because the book is inadequate... I just freaking loved it and "WOOL" and the characters. ( )
  limamikealpha | Jun 5, 2014 |
sooo good, but now I can't wait for Dust! ( )
  Jfurnee | Mar 17, 2014 |
I was a fan of the Wool series, even before I was privileged to enjoy a bit of ongoing banter with the author and some other readers. This book is a good addition to the series. It is worthy of 5-stars for its originality, 4-stars for writing, but only 3-stars for length.

As a standalone it is almost amazing. Like a five star book that just needs to be a bit longer, a bit fuller, pack a bit more of a punch. There was a love triangle, but it didn't hook me. There was a great ending, that didn't quite make me say "wow".

As a continuation of the Wool series it really is revealing. It really sheds a lot of understanding into the why and how, although it is far less intense (perhaps on the calibre of book 2 - Proper Gauge). It has quite a few links to the old books which I found a bit distracting, mostly because I couldn't remember the details, so I spent time trying to remember who or what the relationship was, which interrupted the flow of reading. I should have read this as soon as I finished the omnibus, or at least begged the author for a primer!

The series now has two very separated time periods to be written about, and I can't wait to read about them both. In this regard it reminds me of my all-time favourite book series, Anne McCaffrey's Pern series. The great difference between her books and this author is the length of the books. The originality is there, but until the books get longer they just won't cross into the 5-star zone.

I have to add a little quote from the book, this really has nothing to do with my review.
"The front-end loader let out a throaty blat as it struggled up the hill. When it reached the top, a charcoal geyser of relief steamed from its exhaust pipe, a load of dirt avalanched out of its toothy bucket...".
A charcoal geyser of relief has to rank high in my list of 'way too descriptive moments of writing'. It is up there with Mary perfunctorily, pouring milk into the bottom of her mother's cup. But that line aside, the book was good. If you liked Ender's Game then you will like this. ( )
  alsocass | Oct 12, 2013 |
I loved this book as much as I loved all of Wool. I really hope there will be so much more of this series. But really, if you haven't read Wool yet, read it before you read this one otherwise you'd majorly spoil your reading fun.

I must also add that the atmosphere of this book is so much more depressing than the 5 books before. The characters are - as before - believable and so down-right human, it's easy to forget that they are fictional.

I am certainly looking forward to more from Hugh Howey. ( )
  J4N3 | Sep 23, 2013 |
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In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate. In the same year, the CBS network aired a story about the effects of propranolol on sufferers of extreme trauma. A simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event. At almost the same moment in humanity's broad history, mankind had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall. And the ability to forget it ever happened.… (more)

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