Hugh Howey is one of my favorite authors. I’ve been a fan ever since I read Wool and the rest of the Silo Series. His works fit nicely into my favorite reading genre, science fiction, but that’s not what I like most about his books. I really enjoy the writing. More than anything, Hugh Howey is a storyteller. He has a knack for immersing you into whatever environment he’s created, connecting you with the characters and making you feel like you’re a part of the story.
It had been a few years since I read one of Howey’s books. If the notes on my blog are accurate, it would have been near the end of 2019 when I read Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue. I wasn’t avoiding him over this time, he just hadn’t released any new material. When Across the Sand appeared in one of my Amazon newsletter recommendations last year, I was beyond excited. I immediately added it to my reading list and made sure that it would be near the top of my list for 2023.
Across the Sand is the sequel to Sand. It picks up where that story left off and moves things forward. It had been a long time since I read Sand – seven years to be exact. Needless to say, I had to do some catching up to recall the original premise behind Sand, the characters, and their background. If I was smart and had the time, I should have skimmed through Sand before starting Across the Sand. It would have helped me get up to speed a bit quicker.
In any case, it didn’t long to reorient myself in the Sand environment thanks to Howey’s storytelling ability. He recognized it had been a bit of time since the original. He did a good job recounting key parts of the original story and providing background on the key characters.
Overall, I liked the book, primarily because I’m a Howey fan. I have to admit, though, that It wasn’t my favorite Hugh Howey book. Some of it may have been the length of time between reading the original and the sequel. Some is probably due to the fact that the Sand universe isn’t my favorite Howey domain. I liked both the Silo and Beacon 23 domains better.
If you’re new to Hugh Howey, this isn’t his first book that I’d recommend. I’d encourage you to start with the Silo Series (starting with Wool), and then move on to Beacon 23. After that there’s plenty of good Howey works to choose from, including Sand. On the other hand, if you like Howey’s work and have read as much of his work as I have, then I’d definitely recommend putting Across the Sand near the top of your reading list.