Kristen Baldwin
August 30, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The saga that began in 2011 with a breathtaking self-published novel called Wool comes to a satisfying end with Dust. Mechanic-turned-reluctant savior Juliette is perilously close to proving that her home — a city built in an underground silo, away from the earth’s now-toxic atmosphere — is not the only ”world” out there. Howey’s propulsive narrative metes out all of the answers Juliette (and we) have been seeking: Why were the silos built? Is life outside possible? Even though his heroine suffers painful losses along the way, her tale of survival still has a powerful lift. B+

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