Books make the best gifts 🙂 We did a white elephant gift exchange this year at our friendly Christmas gathering and this was the book I “stole” during the exchange. It came highly recommended from a fellow lover of science fiction, so I figured I’d give it a shot.
This Omnibus Edition collects the five Wool books into a single volume. It is for those who arrived late to the party and who wish to save a dollar or two while picking up the same stories in a single package.
The first Wool story was released as a standalone short in July of 2011. Due to reviewer demand, the rest of the story was released over the next six months. My thanks go out to those reviewers who clamored for more. Without you, none of this would exist. Your demand created this as much as I did.
This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.
I was hooked right from the beginning. In the world of Wool, the outside world has been decimated, poisoned in some mysterious past event, the details lost to history. Humanity survives only inside the underground silo, a place where people live on separated levels, only able to travel and communicate between these levels via the single central staircase. Everything necessary for life is created inside the silo and talk of the outside world is forbidden and punishable by death. The novel begins with the sad story of the silo’s heartbroken sheriff, a man who’s just lost his wife. His wife, who was curious enough to leave the silo and brave the dangers of the outside world, leaving everything she’s ever known behind to face certain death.
But that’s only the beginning. The rest of the book follows the story of Juliette, who has been chosen as the new sheriff of the silo despite her limited knowledge of the law (she was previously a genius mechanic). After multiple mysterious deaths, Juliette begins to suspect that something sinister is at work within the silo. She meets an interesting young IT engineer who loves nothing more than staring out into the roiling clouds of poison, looking for stars. And he begins to love Juliette. But Juliette isn’t the type of girl that needs a man’s help. Instead, she manages to unearth a long-running conspiracy, knowingly writing her own death warrant in the process for the sake of truth and justice.
This book is an interesting take on a post-apocalyptic and dystopian future world where human society has essentially destroyed itself. It encompasses many intriguing concepts including the place of strong government in society, stratification of classes, population control, capital punishment, and genocide. It was kind of scary how applicable some of the ideas in this book were to our current day news stories.
The writing style was minimalistic and easy to read, avoiding flowery language. Despite this, the reader has a very clear picture of the grim world in which the characters of Wool live out their daily existance. The point of view switches among many characters, allowing the reader to follow the story as it happens, piecing together the insidious plot within the heart of silo society. I loved the urgency and suspense of Juliette’s story. It was definitly hard to put down.
I give this story Five out of Five Stars and recommend it for anyone looking for a great post-apocalyptic story not written specifically for young adults.