“Wool” by Hugh Howey


I’m on a huge Post-Apocalyptic kick since the book “Partials” by Dan Wells, so I picked this one up after seeing it on the ‘new and hot’ wall in my old store.  There wasn’t much of a summary on it but the mention of air so toxic you die in minutes caught my eye.  I’m glad I picked up this book, I was expecting a typical sci-fi post-apocalyptic adventure book but what I ended up with was a really good look at humanity. Forced to breed by lottery, dating by rules, colour coded as to where you worked, and talking about “outside” was an instant death sentence.  All of these seem like horrible fates, but how else would you manage thousands of people living within a 140+ level silo?  What was seen as cruel and unjust by some, was seen as necessary evils by others.

Hugh Howey takes elements of other familiar writers and blends them into a style all his own. A character he chooses in one chapter to be the central focus, may be dead in the next.  It made the story unpredictable and addicting!  Life inside the silo is much like life now, there are the justice and science branches which run everything; and then the farmer, merchant, and mechanical classes that keeps things running smoothly.  The story doesn’t even start out slow; you’re introduced to the Silo’s Sheriff, who you learn in a few lines has been sent out to “cleaning”.  That is their death sentence, they are put in a suit to give them a few minutes and sent out into the toxic air to clean the cameras so the people within the silo still have a good view of the dead world outside.  The one thing no one understood was WHY everyone did the cleaning, even if they threatened not to.  Keeping this mystery in mind, the whole story is set upon this secret as to why people clean, and what it’s really like outside.  New secrets are revealed, secrets that could put everyone’s lives at risk, or, in the right hands, could possibly set them all free.

Finally, after many years of gnashing my teeth, the other two books in the Silo trilogy have been published (they were on ebook, but I’m a paper-sniffer)! I have not read them yet, but I do own them (thanks to the fact I got my boyfriend obsessed with it as well). So once I read them I will be doing another review to see if the rest of the series holds up to the absolutely amazing first installment!

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