Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wool Omnibus Edition (2013)

Wool (Omnibus Edition, Wool 1-5). Hugh Howey. 2013. Simon & Schuster. 508 pages. [Source: Library]

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


Jordan Shadowens 1:06 PM  

I couldn't find a message button, so I am sorry for the spam. I wrote a book in kindle singles called "The Fifth Scientist". I don't know if it is any good or not, so I am looking for someone to review it, if you would be so kind to take a look at the sample on there and than get back to me I would be much appreciate it! If not continue doing what your doing I like the set up!

hopeinbrazil 10:09 AM  

I skimmed your review because I was afraid of spoilers. I also bought this after Seth's review. Hope to get to it soon.

Seth 1:21 PM  

So glad you enjoyed it. I'm planning to read his prequel series soon, and then he's got a final Silo series coming out later this year. Looking forward to the continuing story.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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