Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Review: Wool by Hugh Howey

Title: Wool
Author: Hugh Howey
Author Info: Website|Twitter|Facebook
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Omnibus Edition #1-5
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardback
Publication Date: 17th January 2013

Tell Me About It
An epic story of life, love and survival at all odds and one of the most-talked and anticipated books of the year.

In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.

Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.

To live, you must follow the rules. But some don't. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism.

Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside.

Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.

My Thoughts
When I was contacted about reviewing Wool I will admit to not really hearing about this book.  After some investigating I really liked the sound of it so I accepted and soon found a copy arriving at my door.  While the picture above looks great, it does not do the book justice  and having the actual cover in my hands and seeing it first hand is amazing.  While the title is glossier than the cover, the way it is designed makes you feel like you can touch it and have all different textures under your fingertips.
Photo from Luxury Condo Survival

When I began reading Wool I had one major thought...that cleaning takes on a whole new meaning and I for one would not be volunteering to do any.  Wool is based on a community that actually lives underground in a silo, something like this one only with more levels and obviously not as luxurious.
The silo is divided into sections, people living near the top are obviously better off than the ones living below.  Each occupation also has their own levels and colours.  The Mayor and Sheriff live at the top, while the mechanics who are in charge of making sure the machine in the silo runs properly, live in the Deep Down.  The protagonist for Wool, Jules, lives and works in the Deep Down.  After the previous Sheriff requests to go outside, Jules suddenly finds herself being promoted to fill his position.  But after the Mayor and the Deputy die in suspicious circumstances, Jules is arrested, under Bernard's orders, for petty crimes she committed and sent to clean.  What he doesn't count on is the resourcefulness of Jules's friends and how far they are willing to go to help her out.

When I began reading I did not realise that the book I had was a combined work of Wool 1-5, which explains why the book is so huge, like 537 pages long, possibly the longest book I have read for a while.  I initially loved the whole idea of a community living in a silo, but as I learnt more about the silo, and the reasons for it, I changed my mind quickly.  While it sounds like the perfect place to live to survive a lot of things, the oppressiveness of the people in power is a lot to handle, having to follow rules, going into lotteries to have children, only having relationships that have been sanctioned and that will lead to marriage, but lot of the rules they had to follow were not justified, and it felt like they were there just to keep the people in control and under thumb.
Wool was a surprising read that I really enjoyed and I couldn't put down.  It took a while for me to actually make my way through it, but I devoured it eagerly, constantly wanting to know what would happen next to Jules.  I am not going to give the whole story away as there are lots of twists and turns that keep you guessing about what will happen next.  I am really looking forward to reading First Shift and can't wait for a matching copy to be released.

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