Friday, 1 July 2016

Wool by Hugh Howey

Title: Wool
Series: Silo (#1)
Author: Hugh Howey
From: My Bookshelf
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: 25th January 2012
Challenges: 2016 Reading Assignment, Summer COYER 2016
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): This Omnibus Edition collects the five Wool books into a single volume. It is for those who arrived late to the party and who wish to save a dollar or two while picking up the same stories in a single package. 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.

Wool was quite a hard going read, not because it wasn't good, but because there was quite a lot going on. It's like a step up from Young Adult dystopias like The Hunger Games or Divergent, but not quite as bleak as things like 1984. Personally I think its a good middle ground for a mature dystopia. Saying that, it can be read by young readers, there's a bit of swearing and violence, but no sex (though there are one or two references). 

The politics of the Silo in Wool took on a large role and some aspects of it were kept completely in the dark until they were needed. It did add a suspense like quality to some of the book, which really kept me turning the pages, especially when you consider I read it in paperback form which normally takes me longer. 

I was worried at first that Wool would skip between characters too much (think A Song of Ice and Fire style, which worked for me but I didn't think I had the mental capacity to deal with when I started Wool!) and that I might find it difficult to keep up with them all. However, after the first section I found it really easy, and found myself starting to care for several of the characters (mostly Jules and Lukas). 

The main difference between Wool and the YA dystopias is the absense of the love story being central to the plot. There is a love story, but it is incrediably subtle, and though as a reader you can pick up on it quite early on, the characters themselves seem to be somewhat unaware. This could be due to the characters being more mature (Jules is in her 30s, the counterpart is in his 20s) and so it being less of a physical connection and more of an intellectual one. 

This was a good read, an interesting dystopia and a well built world, I'm looking forward to continueing on with the series!