25 April, 2013

#BookReview :: Wool by Hugh Howey

In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside. His fateful decision unleashes a drastic series of events. An unlikely candidate is appointed to replace him: Juliette, a mechanic with no training in law, whose special knack is fixing machines. Now Juliette is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and she will soon learn just how badly her world is broken. The silo is about to confront what its history has only hinted about and its inhabitants have never dared to whisper. Uprising! 

When I first heard about this book, I was under the impression that it’s a series of five novels. Its only when I looked up the summary of Wool #2 on Goodreads that I realized my mistake. Wool had originally been released on Amazon as novellas and in five installments and the book that I had was the Wool Omnibus that covered what the first five eBook installments. 

The setting is that of dystopian. Global warming and its effects have destroyed the earth. What life remains, lives as a community in a giant silo. They live under strict rules and regulations and any deviation leads to “cleaning”. Cleaning is a ritual that each exile performs in order to clean the camera lenses once they are sent out into the open – to their deaths. The story starts with Sheriff Holston getting ready for his turn to go out to the opens. On his death, the Mayor and Assistant Sheriff pick a new Sheriff, Jules, who isn’t the most popular choice. From there on the story takes unexpected twists and turns, mainly following Jules and her story.

The characters first… I mostly liked Jules. She is a hardworking and practical girl. She’s got beauty, brains and brawn. There’s hardly a secondary character, but Lucas filled in the protagonist’s friend cum love interest well enough. The antagonist actually didn’t inspire much fear in me – but that’s because I like antagonist who likes to get his own hands dirty, while the one in this book was quite happy to sit back and let others lead into the battle. Though we didn’t get to see a lot of Holston, I had an image of him in my mind from the way Jules, Mayor and the assistant Sheriff remembered him. I have a feeling that not seeing him in action is our loss.

The plot is a mix of Sci-fi and dystopian. I liked the general set-up of the premise of this novel. There were quite a few loopholes in the plot though that keeps me from rating this book a five star (and also the climax…) But the truth is that I noticed the ‘misses’ only after I put down the book at the end. The author had been successful in sucking me so deep into the story that I never second guessed the printed words. I kept turning the pages to cheer on Jules and for the action.

Find out more about Hugh Howey

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