Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Wool (Silo Saga 1) by Hugh Howey

Book: Wool
Author: Hugh Howey
Published: Arrow, April 2013
Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopia
My rating: 4.5/5

Amazon says: "In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.
Inside, men and women live in an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.
To live, you must follow rules. But some don't. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism.
Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside.
Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last."


This was by far the best book I read all summer (I started writing this post a long time ago as you can see).
Confusingly, this book has been billed as the "science fiction version of Fifty Shades of Grey". This is not at all down the to content. The book was originally self-published as a short story, only expanded on after great interest from readers. That, I promise, is where the similarities end.
It seems Wool has a penchant for being wrongly compared to other books. My copy had a review by the Sunday Times on the front claiming that this was "The next Hunger Games" but that really doesn't do it justice and I feel is a misleading statement in terms of the target audience. Much as I loved The Hunger Games this book is similar in the same way that it is similar to every dystopian novel: it depicts a really rather morbid and morose dystopian future. THG is a YA book and no offence to Suzanne Collins (I've read the series numerous times) but it is written in that way. From the first page I knew I was going to love Wool; the first line hooked me but it also told me the audience was going to be somewhat different to THG: "The children were playing while Holston climbed to his death; he could hear them squealing as only happy children do.". It was just dark enough, just intriguing enough for me to really want to read on. It was, in no way, aimed at the same audience as THG
The book is so well written, I read it in just 2 days I was so gripped by Jules' story and the history behind the silos. As with most dystopian novels the question lies: how did they get to this point? We know what it used to be like but what happened to send everyone underground? The question remains through most of the book and it keeps you reading, keeps you wanting more. The beginning is perhaps a little slow but there's a story building and you know it's worth sticking around for. Jules' arrival and the subsequent collapse of Silo Eighteen turn it around and the pace of the book quickens.
The characters are engaging. Jahns and Marnes are older characters for this sort of genre but it works well, they are well-rounded and well-built characters. Jules injects a little youth and pace to the story. She is a headstrong but likeable female protagonist for a change and I quite liked the fact that she didn't have a love interest for a lot of the book (Lukas wasn't an entirely necessary character addition and wasn't as developed as a character as many of the others but I understand that perhaps it would help Jules from going insane with only Solo for company).

Overall I thought this was a fantastic read. Wonderfully crafted, it is a well-written, gripping novel with a unique and yet familiar concept. I would highly recommend it, it is definitely well worth a read. I look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy!

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment :) 

Naomi Joy xx

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