Lady Cordelia #CBR5 Review #07: Wool by Hugh Howey

UnknownWool is one of those rare books where I really couldn’t predict where the story was going.  In a post-apocalyptic world, survivors live in a subterranean silo, over 100 levels deep.  Their world is entirely self-contained, with all functions necessary for life and the continued operation of the silo managed from within.  People are defined through the function they perform within the silo, with the levels forming literal and allegorical strata to the world.

It is possible for silo inhabitants to glimpse the ruined world outside through cameras that are placed on the top of the structure, where the desolation of a ruined city can be seen in the distance.  The main rule of the silo is to never talk of the outside or express any interest in leaving.  To do so is punishable by death from being sent to clean the outside cameras. The mystery of why all those sent outside actually perform the cleaning instead of simply refusing, is one of the main mysteries that sets the plot in motion.

I rarely research novels after having read them, but I simply had to discover the real significance of the title – somewhat disappointingly, it simply refers to the subterfuge at the centre of the story, i.e. the “wool” being pulled over their eyes.  I discovered that the novel Wool was first self-published as five novellas through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, and that there are a prequel and a final act still to be published.  It also may be adapted to film, with 20th Century Fox having bought the rights.

I enjoyed this book and appreciated the tale that, while futuristic, used current technologies to populate the world.  This is not a future of flying cars and cyborgs.  It will appeal to those who tend to shy away from sci-fi, as the story is very much a human one, though set in a futuristic, dystopian world.

Yours truly, Lady Cordelia

6 thoughts on “Lady Cordelia #CBR5 Review #07: Wool by Hugh Howey

  1. So should I buy this or not? I ask because generally I see a 3 star review as an indicator that I should give it a pass, but your review seems pretty positive so I’m a little confused? I’ve had Wool on my watch list for a while. Only I’ve been burned by self-published books that get great Amazon reviews but are actually unreadable (honestly UNreadable) so I’ve been hesitant to pull the trigger on this one 😛

    • Maybe I’m a little harsh on my marking scheme. Yes, I have been recommending this book to friends. I must confess that I think it lost a little steam after reveal happens, so the last 20% wasn’t as engaging as the rest. Not sure if I’ll bother with the prequel when it comes out. BUT! If this sounds like it’s your cup of tea, definitely read it before someone spoils the story for you.

      And no, this does not read like one of “those” self-published books.

  2. I didn’t particularly care for this novella. It really felt it should be novel length, but then just ended abruptly. I found it all so vague and I was confused for the majority of it. I didn’t “get it” and that’s fine, but I was surprised at all the positive reviews online!

    • The version I read was the first 5 novellas compiled into one novel. This worked really well – I wasn’t aware of the divisions as I was reading. I think this is what has been garnering all the positive reviews – I don’t think you start to get the reveal until what would be novella 3 or 4.

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