The children were playing while Holston climbed to his death; he could hear them squealing as only happy children do. While they thundered about frantically above, Holston took his time, each step methodical and ponderous, as he wound his way around and around the spiral staircase, old boots ringing out on metal treads.
After seeing Seth's review of Wool, I knew I HAD to read this book. It had me at hello. The first story "Wool" had me hooked. It was so very, very good! So incredibly compelling! And the other sections kept me hooked, kept me reading. It was so hard to put this one down. I just loved spending time with it. It was uncomfortable in places because the action was intense and one didn't know what the outcome would be, but that is a good thing. It showed I CARED about the characters.
The world-building in this novel is amazing. So well-done, so well-crafted. It felt genuine too; readers are shown what life is like in the silo; sometimes in dystopian novels, the emphasis is on the telling.
In the first story, "Wool," readers meet Sheriff Holston and learn of his wife, Allison. A few years before the novel begins, Allison learned something: something big, something secret. She thought she had all the answers. This knowledge made her appear quite mad to most. It led her to do something illegal: ask to go outside the silo. To ask such a thing clearly shows your insane. The only fit punishment is to send the person outside--in a well-protected environmental suit. The punishment also includes CLEANING the lenses; after a cleaning, those who want can look outside at the barren world...if they're willing to climb all those stairs! Most born in the lower levels (there are 149 levels, I believe) don't ever go journeying that far. After two years of mourning his wife, he thinks he has learned his wife's secret knowledge. He's prepared to follow her now...
In the four subsequent sections, readers meet several key characters. The deputy that served under Holston, the mayor of the Silo, the head of the IT department, etc. Most importantly they meet Juliette, a young mechanic working and living on one of the lowest levels. She has zero interest in being sheriff. But those in power (well, excepting Bernard from IT) have confidence that she'll do a fine job. (Bernard wants his own pick to get the job.) Juliette accepts the job, but it soon proves extremely challenging and very dangerous! It doesn't take readers long to see the power is corrupted. Readers meet a handful of characters from various levels, and the story as a whole is very compelling.
The writing, the characterizations, the way relationships were handled, everything felt just right about this science fiction novel. If you enjoy dystopian novels, post-apocalyptic novels, OR mystery novels, then this one is a must!
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews