Book review: Wool by Hugh Howey

I studied English at university and this is where my passion
for dystopian fiction really ignited. I was chatting to my favourite tutor  in an office hour about an essay question for
a module on James Joyce and mentioned my love for Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and she encouraged
me to pursue my interest and write about it as a dissertation topic. Now
whenever I research new books to read, I always search for books in this genre
first. My boyfriend thinks it is weird and depressing, but clearly there is a
growing interest in dystopian literature shown by the huge success of novels
such as  The Hunger Games, Divergent and
The Maze Runner. So if you like these
books, you should definitely keep reading to find out more about Hugh Howey’s Wool.
This novel was originally a short story but the readers
loved it so much that Howey released four more parts to complete book one of the Silo trilogy. You can now buy an omnibus version of the book to save
yourself some money – or if you are feeling extra keen (like me!) you can also
buy the whole trilogy.
The story is set in the future in a world that has been
largely destroyed by a disaster and it focuses on the survivors who live deep
underground in a huge multi-storey silo that houses everything from farms to
hospitals. A view of the outside can only been seen from the very top level,
displayed on a huge screen that is linked with cameras on the outside. The
world outside is desolate and bleak and talk of going outside is forbidden,
punished by exile into the barren landscape and a certain death that lies
there. However there are a few in the silo that dare to dream and dare to push
the boundaries to find out more about what really happened years ago and what
lies beyond the hills.
After reading a synopsis on Goodreads I somehow got the
impression this book was going to be aimed at teens with a fairly simple plot
that would be predictable but an enjoyable and quick read. I’m not sure where I
got this idea from because in reality, Wool
is complex, but not overcomplicated
and I found it was something I could really
get my teeth into
. There was so much to learn about the way the characters live
I was hungry for more and more (so glad I bought the trilogy collection now!).
While it does focus on adult characters, it is suitable for teen readers too,
but be warned it isn’t a mushy Twilight style love story which unfortunately I
think The Hunger Games and Divergent etc focuses on a little too
much (just my opinion…!).
I loved Wool because
the post-apocalyptic scenario was fascinating and the fact that the residents
of the silo know little or nothing of their legacy just screams that there is a
lot more to discover.
The air of mystery was captivating and kept me turning
the pages to claw in more and more of this new world.
The book is quite a long one and at around 500 pages it may
be a stretch too far for some who prefer quicker and lighter reads. It has been
described by others as a slow burner, but in my opinion this made it all the
more interesting and gave a real opportunity for Howey to convey life in the
silo and develop his characters.
The characters in Wool
are fascinating
and due to the storytelling, I felt part of their world and
connected well with them. There is a perfect balance of goodies and baddies to
keep the story ticking along at an exciting pace to find out what they do next.
 It is told from different perspectives
which really helped to explain how different roles fit into the matrix of the
silo as well as giving an insight into their state of mind which is a huge
developing theme across the trilogy.
Having fallen in love with Wool and the world of the silo I quickly moved on to the next book
in the series Shift which I am now
coming to the end of and I have to say, I think I am obsessed with this trilogy,
so I highly recommend it if you are looking for your next big read.

What are you reading at the moment? Can you recommend any good
dystopian novels?
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15932357506543822519 Helen Snowdon

    This sounds really good. I'm also a big fan of dystopia books so will be adding this to my Goodreads list.

    Helen
    http://www.teainthetub.blogspot.com

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10306683972572495762 musthavegirl

      I've read the whole trilogy now – so worth a read if you are a fan of dystopian literature!

      Thanks for reading!
      Laura x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15932357506543822519 Helen Snowdon

    This sounds really good. I'm also a big fan of dystopia books so will be adding this to my Goodreads list.

    Helen
    http://www.teainthetub.blogspot.com