Wool by Hugh Howey

Wow.   I mean, really, WOW.  I just finished reading Wool by Hugh Howey and it was (and cover your eyes and ears now if you don’t like profanity) abso-fucking-lutely amazing.  Hell yes.  There.  I got it out of my system.  I don’t normally swear on here but it just had to be said.

Really.  I love this book.  I’m not going to go too much into the plot because frankly I didn’t have the first notion what to expect when I picked it up so I think that’s the way everyone should go into it and I can keep a secret as well as the next person.

Basically this is post-apocaylptic – and don’t go getting all ‘oh I don’t read those types of books’.  I’m serious I really want you to read this book – in fact I’m just going to have to insist.  It’s gripping.  It’s compelling.  You won’t be able to put it down.  It’s thought provoking.  The writing is excellent.  There’s tension.  There’s fear.  The characters are great – even the baddies are good baddies!  Just get a copy right now and read it.  I defy anyone not to be drawn in within a few pages.

The strange thing is that it’s not like I’ve never read things along a similar vein and yet it feels completely original.  It’s destined to be a classic for sure.

Basically we have people living in a silo under ground – a high storey building in reverse.  At the centre a spiral staircase with different levels as you descend.    Starting at the top – the penthouse if you will – live the top bods – the Mayor the sheriff and probably other such officials.  We go through the layers going down to medical, tech, farming and eventually mechanical (but don’t quote me on the ordering).  Each level is distinct in that the colours they wear reflect their trade  There are nurseries and schools and close knit communities amongst certain areas.  But there are secrets too and as we all know secrets have a way of revealing themselves.  Now don’t be thinking that this is boring just because I’ve given you a bit of description there.  I’m just trying to give some information without actually giving any information!  I mean, there’s not like some sort of epic battle or something and yet there’s such a lot going on.  No info dumps and yet you feel like you completely know this world that Howey has created.  You are living and breathing with these characters.  You really like some of them and you really dislike others.

The outside is a hostile environment.  The sky is grey, the landscape colourless, the air unbreathable.  Occasionally at night as the clouds swirl and race across the sky a glimpse of a star can be seen.  But there is no life outside.  Nothing beyond the silo.  Just the remains of a past civilisation standing eerily on the horizon.  Or is there more?   Is there something out beyond the confines?  It’s difficult to say and it’s certainly deadly to try and find out.

The only way for the inhabitants to see outside are through cameras placed above ground – cameras that have to be cleaned – and there aren’t really many volunteers to undertake the task as it’s pretty much a one way ticket to becoming a permanent blot on the landscape.

This is such a difficult book to write a review for because I really loved it but I don’t want to spoil it for you.

It’s all about truth and untruth.  What do you tell people.  How much can they handle.  Are you protecting them or keeping them in the dark.  It’s a fine balance and one that when uncovered causes great anger.

So we have a tightrope being walked here.  Survival is the main aim and as the book cover states ‘if the lies don’t kill you the truth will’.

I can only say, again, and I realise I’m being boring now – this book is awesome.  I loved it and I want everyone to read it and tell me what you think.  Please.  And, if you don’t like it tell me why so that I can argue discuss the pros and cons with you all night.  You know you want to.

I don’t have any criticisms.  Yes, I had a few queries but they’re not even making the page.

Go away and get this book now.

Stop looking at this and get out of here!

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21 Responses to “Wool by Hugh Howey”

  1. brideofthebookgod

    I’ve heard such good things about this so have downloaded onto my Kindle app. May need to bring it to the top of my tbr pile now that I’ve seen how enthusiastic you are!

    • lynnsbooks

      Oh, I can’t even begin to express how much I loved this book. Move it up to the top of the list – I’m dying to know what you think. I can’t even really put my finger on what I found so captivating. Perhaps you’ll find the secret and let me know.
      Lynn 😀

  2. theguildedearlobe

    I listened to the Audiobook version of this and really enjoyed it. Of course, I’m a huge fan of Post Apocalyptic books. I mean, really, are there people who won’t read “those kind of books?” Shocking!

    • lynnsbooks

      Ha ha, I know – what is up with these people! I love this type of book personally.
      Lynn 😀

  3. TBM

    I love this line: Go away and get this book now. Okay!

    • lynnsbooks

      And I don’t suppose you’ll be wanting to break your resolve. I wonder if your library will have a copy. I think you’ll really like it.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Gavin

    I downloaded a sample to my Kindle but haven’t read it yet. Your’s is the third or so review that raves about it so I will get to it SOON.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yes, yes *jumps up and down* move it up your tbr!
      Lynn 😀

  5. Hilcia

    Lynn, I see you were also totally hooked by the Wool. Have you picked up the other ones yet? Your reaction was exactly the same as mine. I had to read Book 2 and 3 and 4… and didn’t stop reading until the 5th! I love the world-building and the wonderful characters we meet in that world, plus hmm… the plot and mystery just gets better as the overall storyarc develops. Great post-apocalyptic series.

    Last year I read and really enjoyed Immobility by Brian Evenson which had a similar post-apocalyptic atmosphere (it was also a B+ read for me), but frankly this series really, really grabbed me.

    • lynnsbooks

      I’m hooked. Totally. Whatever else is out there, I’ll be buying it! I think the book I read was an omnibus so I think it was complete? There was a short extract from the next story which is out in the Uk around April time – I can’t wait. Actually, I really cant wait!! I want it now. NOW I TELL YOU! (Okay, calm down!)
      Lynn:D

      • Hilcia

        LOL! I downloaded Shift 1 and Shift 2, the prequel novels, and I believe Shift 3 is due to release sometime soon? I don’t know if I can wait for the third one to release to read the three of them together. I want to know what happened before! But truthfully, what I really want is the continuation of the Wool stories, the future. I absolutely know how you feel. 😀

      • lynnsbooks

        AAArrrgghhh! I’m just going to go insane. It’s not going to be pretty – and I’m going to take others with me. Mwahahahah!
        Lynn 😀

  6. Carl V.

    So wonderful to see that you enjoyed Wool so much. It is an amazing story. I am assuming, referencing Hilcia’s question above, that you read the whole Omnibus. I just downloaded First Shift the other day and hope to get started on the Shift books too. I’ve had a friend who got hooked on Wool because of my love of it and went on to read the Shift prequels and enjoyed them even more.

    It really is a special story. Like you said, it isn’t a new idea but it feels like a unique take on it. There is something intangible, or hard to describe at any rate, about the story.

    • lynnsbooks

      I don’t think Shift is out here for a couple of more months – there was an extract at the back of Wool – teaser!
      I really loved it – so major thanks to you for that. I wouldn’t have picked this up without your review!
      Lynn 😀

      • Carl V.

        Always happy to share about good books.

      • lynnsbooks

        I know! And I’m always happy to show my gratitude! I think between you and Andrea your recommendations must make up a good portion of my read books over the last 12 months. Much appreciated 😀
        Lynn

  7. nrlymrtl

    I just bought the Wool Omnibus 2 days ago. I am still trying to download it to my kindle, which apparently needed a reset. Sigh…. I live in the sticks with no cell phone or G3, so I have to take my little kindle for a drive for it to talk to the mothership. I hope the reset worked! I’ll find out tomorrow when I drive to a major city… well, major for New Mexico. I really want to read this book. So many folks are saying great things about.

    • lynnsbooks

      I hope your little trip out with the kindle works. You spoil that Kindle you really do!
      I just loved this book and it’s difficult to really pinpoint exactly why. I mean, I liked the peoople, there are some really strong characters. The author isn’t afraid to be totally ruthless either. It’s a harsh world after all.
      Anyway, I couldn’t put it down and I look forward to hearing your review. I hope you like it.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Carl V. Anderson

    Can you imagine what it was like for the first group that got on board with Wool when only the initial short story was available? Getting to the end of that first story I wanted so much more, which is why I turned around and bought the Omnibus. I can see why fans clamored for him to keep writing tales about the silo.

    • lynnsbooks

      I understand that the next book will focus on a different silo? Not out in the UK until April I think, not sure about US? Part of me wants to stay with Juliette, part of me wants to check out what’s happening with Solo and part of me wants to see more!
      It’s so exciting to be this positive about a book. I can’t wait for April!
      Lynn 😀

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