Jen K’s #CBR5 Review #52: Wool by Hugh Howey

I saw this at Barnes and Noble shortly after reading a very enthusiastic review for it over at the Cannonball Read site, and of course had to pick it up. I wasn’t disappointed, either. It was nice to see a good piece of dystopian fiction in the adult section for once (I love all the YA ones, I just wonder sometimes why they seem to be primarily marketed for that group). Wool originally started as a short story, which comprises the first section of this compendium entitled “Holston.” Due to the fan response, Howey followed this up with four novellas which all expanded on the world he built.
There is a lot of rich detail that adds to the story but I don’t want to give too much away. One thing I quite enjoyed is that Howey played with the readers’ expectations, and subverted them. I think many people that read this will have read other dystopian pieces, such as The Hunger Games trilogy. As a result, we expect secrets and lies from top officials, but Howey plays with this and turns it on its head. For example, I thought I knew where the short story was going with one or two of the comments or hints dropped but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong.
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13 thoughts on “Jen K’s #CBR5 Review #52: Wool by Hugh Howey

  1. Congratulations! Your victory is well deserved, I still have no idea how you manage to read and blog as fast as you do. I still think the only reason I’ve almost been able to keep up with you is because I read so much romance, which is very easily digestible literature. Now I’ll just have to see if I can beat you to a 104. 😉

    • Thank you! Now that I’ve made it to 52, I might finally get around to some of those huge nonfiction books I’ve been wanting to read yet keep putting off because I knew you would have caught up if I had read one of them. I also have a very slow social life and no Netflix account so it definitely gives me plenty of time to read :p – I’ve never been interested in romance that much but some of your reviews have definitely made me want to check out some of the better written novels of the genre.

  2. Congratulations on getting to 52 so fast!
    I really enjoyed Wool and hope I get around to reviewing it one of these days. Haven’t read the prequels yet, but I hear there are more “sequel” stories coming out, which should be fun.

    • Thanks! There are a lot if ways he could go with sequels so I am curious to see those. I just may agree with one of the characters when it comes to prequels (I want to know but half the time it’s not as satisfying as the after math).

  3. Bam – FIFTY TWO! I tip my hat to you 🙂

    I just finished Wool but won’t be reviewing it as I have nothing really to add beyond what you shared. I did find the fourth (mine was in 5 sections?) a bit of a drag but not so much that I wouldn’t recommend it. Would definitely pick up prequels/sequels or what have you. I also felt this was a pretty fresh take on the dystopian future genre. Instead of arbitrary factions a la Insurgent or a world filled with mutants a la Pure, it’s simply normal people living in silos with social strata based on geography and skills. Which actually makes sense. Really the whole thing felt so plausible and almost tangible. Hopefully this self-published gem will get the love it deserves.

    • You’re goth, it was five sections; I just thought of it as one short story and four novellas in my head so it may have sounded confusing. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Thanks for linking my review 🙂 So glad you liked it as well. I’m going to try and read the next part of the series and review it soon. I hope it’s as good.

    And congrats on finishing already! I was way ahead this year until I started the first Game of Thrones book…took me a while to wade through that one and it kinda knocked be back a little with my books.

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