Derek's Reviews > Wool Omnibus

Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey
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's review
Apr 29, 2012

it was amazing

I’ve only just started on the 5th book of this fascinating series, so I will update this as I go. But so far me review is only of the first 4 books.

This is a unique series, since it started as about a 45 page short story that has spawned 6 books and counting. (hopefully many more to come). That’s about 45 pages according to my tablet I read it on, minus the table of contents and things like that. It may not be a completely accurate number, but close enough to give you the idea.

My mother thought the 1st book was somewhat slow moving. perhaps because I read it to her around 11pm and she was tired, but I find the book to be very intriguing from the opening sentence. I don’t think it’s fair to call it slow moving. I’d say it’s just the right amount of slow (if you can call masterfully building up to the end, “slow”) for a book that short, before it quickly becomes the most gripping story I’ve ever read, and in only 45 or so pages. The end itself left an impression on me few books of 400+ pages are capable of. I cannot recommend the 1st book enough. I single out the first book because once you read it, you WILL read the rest.

I can’t explain how the story changes from the 1st book to the 2nd without giving massive spoilers, so suffice to say, the story, as it progresses from book to book tells an amazing and mysterious story, with fantastic plot and character development. An interesting and unique world, best summed up by the author’s description on

“This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.” -Book description from

The 4th book was fantastic. I just finished it today. So many mixed feelings, so many intense moments. My curiosity constantly tormented, my attachment to characters constantly threatened.

The books range in size from about 45 pages to 250 pages of pure story, not counting the forward, table of contents, things like that. Very unique I think, for a series, and yet, it’s perfect. Very easy, light reading, streamlined perfectly across the 4 books and counting that I’ve read.

I feel like what I’m about to say seems as ridiculous as saying that a Bazooka Joe comic was more poetic than Hamlet, or that a 1 liner on a Popsicle stick was more insightful than Sun Tzu’s Art of War, but I have to say that the Wool series is the best I’ve ever read, period. Better than The Hunger Games (a trilogy I loved) by a country mile. better Than Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. As ridiculous as it seems to say, better than The Wheel of Time series which I idolize. Such an unfair, unjust thing to say, that these few short books are better than some of the greatest works of fantasy ever created, but in my opinion, it’s true for the simple fact that no other series has truly piqued my interest this much, from the very beginning, and to this moment and counting.

It’s not fair to compare it to The Wheel of Time, Hunger Games, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, or any other book, because they’re so very different, but the bottom line remains: If I could only read one, it would be Wool.

Do yourself a favor and head on over to Amazon and pick up the Kindle version of the omnibus for a ridiculously low price. And while you’re at it, head over to author Hugh C. Howey’s website and check out his other works.

I have never been more excited to read a book in my life, and I cannot do this series justice. Read the first book for yourself, and you won’t put it down. It’s so short, it requires minimal time and effort on your part to read one of the best stories I’ve ever read.

Rather than break it down from book to book, or various aspects from plot to character development, I will keep this simple.

*EDIT* should note that I did finish the 5th book, and it was as awesome as the rest.

Overall rating: 10/10
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