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Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey
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Apr 24, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: dystopian-apocalyptic-worlds, the-cream-of-the-crop
Recommended for: Anyone who loves a great story

So, I read this in installment form (you have no idea how damn hard it was waiting for each part to come out), but I am lazy and it’s simply easier to review Wool as a package, so I am reviewing this edition. I downloaded the first one when it was free. And you know how free books can sometimes be, so it took me a bit to get around to reading it. I knew it was a novella so I was sort of saving it for one of those stuck waiting somewhere boring moments where I needed a shorter read. Finally I started book one, and was blown away within the first couple chapters. In fact, I could not put it down until I had finished it. So imagine my HUGE disappointment when I got to the end of this grim little story (unaware initially that there were more). As I was bemoaning its brevity, I went online to see if Hugh Howey had written anything else. That is when I discovered there were other installments available (can I getta’ hallelujah)!! Each section continued to be as good, if not better, than its predecessor. I read each peice in whole gulps because I simply couldn’t find out fast enough what was going to happen. Complex well-developed characters, an engaging original plot, impeccable timing, and a richly detailed dystopian setting will keep any reader of fiction hooked. The moral quandaries created by the unique situation and the required sacrifices to ensure the silo’s continued survival would also make it a good book club choice, that kind of stuff is good fodder for discussion.
Onto a brief synopsis of the plot…Some apocalyptic event in a future time has occurred rendering the planet no longer habitable. The air and the land are too toxic for human/plant/animal survival, but a small cluster of individuals have survived. They did so by creating a completely self-contained mini-society within an underground silo, and with strict rules and established infrastructure generations later they continue to survive. But this well-oiled machine is housing secrets, and it has no tolerance to prying eyes and dissidence. It demands strict obedience and conformity to ensure the maintenance of the status quo. It also requires a firm commitment to complete and permanent encapsulation within its walls forever. Talk of even going outside is forbidden and punishable by death (which fittingly enough is carried out by being sent outside).
So let’s refresh- this book is insanely good (like one of my favorites good, and that is a hard list to get on); in fact everything Hugh Howey has written that I have read to date has been golden. If you haven’t read it yet, then DO IT NOW, you have no idea what a gem in the dystopian/ sci-fi genre you are missing. And if you have already read it, then go try out some of Howey’s other stuff, because it’s all exceptionally good. I look forward to his subsequent releases with much anticipation (and BTW he should seriously consider making The Plagiarist and Half Way Home full novels! They were too brilliant to just be novellas, but that’s just my humble opinion)
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