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.