Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wool Review II (Parts 2-5)

I've become a bit obsessed with Hugh Howey. Every time I say "Wool", my husband says "faster sheepies, faster," a line from the opening of Your Highness. He keeps pretending the book is about evil sheep. He's weird.

Anyway, after reviewing the first Wool novella, I tore through the rest of the series. This is the amazon description of the books:

"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."

I already covered the first part and the start of the second in my first post. The second part was just as gripping as the first. The mayor and the deputy journey through the Silo to interview a young woman named Juliette for a vital job. They visit her father to learn more about her and the readers get to see much of the rest of the Silo as only the up top section was focused on in the first part.

I really don't want to give anything away because there were a lot of twists and turns but the last three parts were absolutely fascinating. The story switches from having a single narrator to a few different points of view in parts 3-5, one of which is Juliette, who was introduced in the second part. There's an idea in the book that people who think are dangerous. They are an infection that could spread through the whole Silo, leading to a collapse of the tightly controlled system. What's fascinating to me is that as the reader, you get to see lots of different perspectives. You understand the motives for those who are in charge of the society, even as Juliette and another character, Lukas, do.

I'm don't really love sci fi in the sense of space travel and aliens, but I love dystopia (as I've mentioned many times before). One of my students told me that the book sounded like The Hunger Games. I told her it was more like The Giver. The series is more introspective than action based. It tackles really big ideas like morality, repression and what holds people together. It also reminded me a bit of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and her MaddAdam trilogy (although only two of the books are out now). I literally could not put it down. The ending was to the series was a satisfactory conclusion, which hinted that there was more to come. Yay!

I've read a lot about Hugh Howey recently as he's getting a lot of press, and I really admire his whole persona. He is a dedicated writer who, despite foreign book deals and having the rights to Wool bought by Ridley Scott, truly cares about producing excellent, well-crafted stories and continues to publish independently even though he has gotten a lot of buzz and could probably score an awesome book deal. He came to NYC a couple weeks ago and told fans to come hang out with him at a bar in my neighborhood. I so wish I'd been aware of him at that point. I would have loved to go!

I will definitely be checking out all of his books. I already bought The Plagiarist and plan to read everything he's done... even the Molly Fyde series, which is set in space and I think has aliens too.

I can't recommend this author or this book enough.

You can currently buy the Wool series in separate volumes, or in one omnibus. Here are links to the omnibus (it's under $6) at amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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