Family dynamics, Fiction, Howey-Hugh, Mystery, Post Apocalyspe, Post United States, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction, Social Commentary, what if

#407 Return to Danvar by Hugh Howey

Return to Danvar by Hugh HoweyReturn to Danvar by Hugh Howey

I think I know where Danvar is, but I’m not going to say because I don’t want to ruin it for you.

In the beginning of this installment of the Sand series we meet Vic. Vic is the oldest of the four siblings we’ve been following around. She’s also a sand-diver, a very good sand-diver. The beginning of this book finds her diving to a depth of 600 meters, but she doesn’t tell anyone. She doesn’t let anyone know that she can dive so deep. If everyone knew, everyone would be doing it and that would ruin her edge on the salvaging business.

When she gets back into town with her diving partner and boyfriend, Marco, she hears rumors. Danvar has been found. The whole thing sounds fishy to her. She and Marco go to see her mother at her brothel. It turns out Vic’s mother actually owns the brothel. She hasn’t seen Palmer in several days. Vic begins to suspect that Palmer is the one who found Danvar. People show up who are looking for Palmer and they have guns. This is very bad.

Vic tries to trace Palmer’s whereabouts, but ends up meeting ruffians and guns at every turn. At one point a very bad tussle leaves her injured and Marco worse off. An old friend steps in to help out.

Meanwhile…Palmer is alive! He’s still down in one of the buildings of Danvar hundreds of meters below the sand. There is air enough, but he’s ran out of water and jerky. He gets curious at one point and finds the other two divers that supposedly went down before he and Hap. Palmer There is a fight with the remaining diver. It doesn’t end well. Palmer knows he has to get out. The other diver had some air while Palmer had some power. Palmer takes the air and manages to dive up through the sand. He thinks he might make it back to the surface.

The deep pit the sand pirates had dug is gone. Palmer is going to have go even further than he ever imagined with only one tank of air. He channels everything he remembers his father and sister telling him about sand diving. He sees a beacon in the sand. He goes for it. It’s Hap. It’s at this point that he realizes Hap did not meet a happy end.

He realizes now that there will be people out for his life. Upon overhearing some of the things the sand pirates are saying at their camp, he knows they are up to no good and a lot of it.

What I liked

The plot thickens again! Of course the sand pirates weren’t nice guys.

I like how the entire family is getting involved in this situation. They’ve all been wrapped into it and they can’t get out. They’re connected by various threads and ideas. Palmer becomes this key to preventing a lot of terrible things, but is he up to the task?

Vic is another tough woman, much like Julie from the Wool series, also by Hugh. Hugh apparently has a thing for some tough women. It makes me wonder if his wife drives big rigs or something. Honey, when are you going to be home? Oh, after I deliver this haul to Phoenix and beat the crap out of a band of Hell’s Angels. Darnit! I broke a nail! It all reminds me of a song by Weird Al, Driving a Truck with my High Heels On.

Again, this world of sand is quite interesting. I have known a few people who have been through sandstorms on their deployments to the middle east. Sand gets in everything. My mother also grew up in Arizona where the occasional sandstorm would role around. The sand would sting when it hit your bare skin and get through even the tiniest of cracks. Hugh seems to know about the nature of sand, but he hasn’t gotten to its destructive power yet. He lives in Florida by the way, that’s how he knows so much about sand.

What I didn’t like

Hugh is falling into this pattern, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of depicting his main female leads as tough tomboys. Tough tomboy women are awesome, we all agree right? What’s not to love about the Danica Patricks of our world? She’s a race car driver by the way. I kind of feel as if Hugh doesn’t really know how to write another kind of woman, but that’s not necessarily true. The majority of his women may be tough, but there have been a few that aren’t these tough tomboys, but all the leading ladies have been tough tomboys. Out of the Wool series, Julie was a female mechanic, there was another female mechanic(I forget her name), the mayor was pretty hardcore, Donald’s sister was a fighter pilot and so on. Most of the women were what you would consider “tough.” It seems like Hugh is missing out on the more feminine side of women. There are people who won’t mind Hugh’s tough women though.

It’s not that I don’t like Hugh’s tough women, I do, I just think he’s falling into a rut in some aspects. Not all of Hugh’s women are tough and profess manly professions, just look at Vic’s mother in this series. She’s still tough, but you wouldn’t exactly call prostitution a manly profession.


The series gets more interesting as it goes on, as any good series should.

danvar, hugh howey, lost city of danvar, mom’s a prostitute, palmer, return to danvar, Return to Danvar by Hugh Howey, sand by hugh howey, sand pirates, sand series by hugh howey, vic
Family dynamics, Fiction, Howey-Hugh, Mystery, Post Apocalyspe, Post United States, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction, Social Commentary, what if