I remember downloading Wool ages ago. I saw Joel McHale tweet something out about how it was his new favorite sci-fi book and author. And the Kindle download was super cheap (or free? that’s super cheap), so I went for it. And then I left it there in my little Kindle cloud for a while and kind of forgot about it.
When I finally read Part One, I was hooked. I immediately downloaded the rest of Wool and tore through it. I loved the imagery of this futuristic world that we didn’t know too much about. I thought the ideas of baby lotteries and cleanings and different color overalls was brilliant. The story of the Mayor and her Deputy’s love from afar? Amazing. Beautiful.
What I liked best was that FINALLY I was reading a self-published Kindle book that wasn’t rubbish. It wasn’t a cutesy detective Evanovich knock-off or a creepy Dean Koontz wannabe. It was totally original and well done, and that in itself is worth 5 stars.
And then I read Shift. And while the writing is still great, and the ideas are still original, I just didn’t love it as much as Wool. In fact, I had a pretty hard time getting through it. It took me months. I would pick it up, read a chapter or two, and then move on to something else that I enjoyed reading instead. The secrets that are revealed via Donald and Anna and Senator Thurman were just too much for me. I mean, I love a good dystopian story as much as the next person, but this vision of the future was tough for me to read. I simply didn’t enjoy it, and for me, that’s a big issue.
But still. I’m still a huge fan of Hugh Howey. I’ll still be participating in the Pajiba book club discussion next week. And I’ll most definitely read Dust when it comes out later this month. But I don’t have a good feeling about the ending for our Silo residents. While I feel good about what Juliette and Lukas could potentially accomplish in their little world, I’m more concerned about how quickly Donald is becoming completely unhinged in Silo 1 and what he might be capable of as his time runs out.
4 stars for Wool. 3 stars for Shift.