Wool by Hugh Howey

One day, I went into Waterstone’s. Having missed my bus and needing to pass an hour until the next one turned up (as well as needing to take my mind off a seminar I had to give the next day), I wandered innocently into the store anticipating the usual glance over.

I found my way to my usual hangout, the science fiction/fantasy shelves (I fail to see why they’re mixed together, they’re completely different genres) and the orange and black book cover instantly caught my attention. It seemed so enigmatic, there was no clue as to what it was about except the title Wool, and judging by the blurb there were no sheep in it.

I held it in my hands, refrained from sniffing the pages and my mind raced with questions, the foremost being ‘what the hell is this about?’ But then sense came back to my world and I put it back on the shelf. I had too much work to do, not enough time to read and so many other books in my bookcase that needed reading. I turned and I left. Part of my mind remained there though, just wondering.

A week later I marched into the store, grabbed the book and bought it.

I had work to do, screw it I want to read. I had other books to read, screw them I wanted to read this one.  

All I can say is wow. I am glad I disregarded everything to read this book because it was completely worth it. Wool started off slowly, things were confusing because Howey didn’t talk down to his reader and expected them to work it out along the way, which I did.

Wool is set in a dystopian future where all that is left of humanity is living in an underground silo. In order for people to become pregnant, others must die. The blue sky we enjoy today is just a myth to its citizens, along with animals such as elephants and butterflies. As long as no one asks questions about the outside world they are left in peace. When Juliette takes up the recently vacated position of Sheriff she starts to uncover the truth of their predicament. Overall its and intriguing and satisfying book.

I soon came to realise what cleaners were and the dangers of being one, I mistrusted mayor Jahns but soon came to realise she wasn’t at all bad and I realised the importance of IT. It is an incredibly well thought out and well structured story, and Jules, the main character, is very likeable.

She was in her element when she worked in the down deep and she seemed out-of-place in the up top, the author made no effort to hide that, giving the tale a more natural feel. He also unraveled the mystery of the past at a steady and suitable pace, enough to keep any curious mind eagerly reading on.

It’s a book full of twists and when you expect it to follow the typical formula stories have, it goes against the grain. The good guys didn’t stand a chance and if it wasn’t for one unassuming and unexpected character things could have turned out very differently.

It jumps from character to character, and I know this can dissuade some readers but it is done very well. None of it is needless and it progresses the plot further. In fact my only gripe was that it started too slowly, but in hindsight it was necessary as it picked up speed the further it went, much like a train.

There’s another instalment out called Shift, so you can expect a review of that popping up on here at some point, maybe in the next couple of weeks as I’m planning on search Waterstone’s for it tomorrow.

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3 responses to “Wool by Hugh Howey

  • beckyday6

    Sounds like an intriguing premise! I’ve heard a lot of talk about this book, mostly because the author managed to become so successful with just eBooks and was reluctant to even let a company have the right to a paperback version…or something along those lines. There was also a load of controversy recently when he wrote a rant-ish blog post about a woman at a writing conference that sent Twitter crazy. Yet for some reason I’ve never really had the urge to pick it up..I’m not sure why, but it’s probably a good thing I already have too many books! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it though. 🙂

    Eugh, public speaking, how did it go?

    P.S. How did you get the awesome little buttons for social media on the side under your about section? They’re so cute!

    • Summer Grant

      Yeah, I heard about the success he had online with it which led to him publishing it, I don’t know too much about the circumstances though. I haven’t heard about the twitter thin either!

      It’s such a great book, I you ever get the the for a good sci fi, then this is the one.

      Haha, I think they’re part of my about.me page, it’s like a social media landing page so if people search for you they can find everything you have in one place.

    • Summer Grant

      Also, the public speaking went well! I would say ‘phew I don’t have to do it again’ but I have a few presentations coming up 😦

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