This is a standalone novel, which I think is important to point out as the author has a bias toward single word titles which can get confusing. I had to use Wikipedia as a primer.
My wallet is a temple cow which few are allowed unfettered access to the milking teats of. Subscriptions and the like are just not part of my world if alternatives exist. I do not allow bills to auto-debit, only a handful of services have that honor (I love you Netflix).. An exception may be ready to occur however. Writing books in a serial format seems to the standard MO for Mr Hugh Howie, and if all of his work holds true to the quality of Sand, then I am going to have to be monitoring RSS for new releases or auto purchase items as they become available. I loved loved loved this novel. I bought the omnibus forms of another serial series of his (wool). If it is just as good, then he will get my cash in a small trickling gush as he releases installments on future work. I despise him for gaining this much power, yet will allow him access to the milk.. He must wear gloves.
- Sand, Omnibus (Hugh Howie)
- 336 pages
- John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books
- ISBN-10: 132876754X
- ISBN-13: 978-1328767547
Set in the future, timing is kept unclear. Huh? What kind of statement is that? Well, It is far enough in the future that Orion no longer carries the name Orion. The constellation has modified. No longer does it tie to Gilgamesh fighting the Bull. Now it is the constellation of Colorado, though the bull is still involved, the warrior Colorado is now the emphasis.
Time being what it is, this is not the center point. Sand. This is the key. Sand covers everything. Great roiling hot dunes of sand. Living on this sand is a society eking out existence, digging ever moving pits to access underground aquifers, avoiding the badlands from whence men do not return.
There is a special class in this society who have a skill set to control the sand, Sand Divers. Imagine Scrooge McDuck dives into his money-bin and splats dead onto the hard as concrete surface layer. Imagine McDuck instead actually breaches the surface and makes it under his money just to be crushed to death, suffocating because he is unable to inhale due to pressure. His money is sand.. Small, easy to carry or move, but increasing in power with each individual element added to the pile. Now imagine him wearing an electronics excessive wet-suit, recharge-ably powered by sun and wind, controlled by his mind, which allows him to radiate energy. This energy moves the money around him like water. He is swimming and leaping in no time. Duck Tales whoo hoo.
This is what sand divers do. Sand bends to their will, their technology, their drive to survive. They swim to the valleys and dead world beneath the sand searching for relics and salvage. These elements are prized in the shops and markets. Metals, plastics, papers. The trash and nick knacks of our existence. Everything from the bygone age has use and value.
Sand is about what occurs when you find something beneath the sand that could get you murdered.
Kids book? No. Probably good for teens. I had trouble putting this one down. Written as a standalone novel, it is hard not to be disappointed when the end comes. It is really easy to hope for and be frustrated that no more of the Sand universe is available for reading. I have to wonder if this is an artifact of the serial progression. I find that short stories have the same feeling. All is right, but why isn't there more. I assume that the Wool series which is an omnibus trilogy, will feel more naturally resolved, but who are we kidding :)
Excellent read. Worth the money, but if you are not sure, combine all those left over dollars on your holiday gift-cards and spend that.. No harm no foul.
Sourced: Purchased on Amazon on a quick sale. One day I will also be purchased on a quick sale and will end up naked, bearded, and wandering the desert with my eyes removed. All for the entertainment of the masses on a televised reality show. If you see it, remember they owe me royalties even if i die in the wilds.