The morning after I finished reading Wool by Hugh Howey, I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters from his post-apocalyptic world. Never mind that I had only read the last few pages a mere 6 hours ago, staying up well past my usual bed time. Sure enough, I had a book hangover. I have no idea what the remedy for a book hangover is, but it must involve purchasing the second book of the trilogy: Shift.
Let me backtrack a bit. Wool takes place in the “silo,” a self-sufficient city-state filled with citizens who have never been outside it. In fact, they are raised to be afraid of the outside. The ultimate punishment for its people is to be sent outdoors as a “cleaner.” The cleaner only survives long enough to clean the outdoor cameras. Throughout the novel, our main characters sense that something is wrong in their way of life. Humans aren’t supposed to live completely indoors. Why aren’t they allowed to send electronic messages but written ones are ok? Why do the cleaners look so happy to be outside even if they are being sent to their death?
The novel unwinds slowly, offering its readers little breadcrumbs. We eagerly peck at each word and rush for more. This can be good or bad, depending on your level of patience. Howey takes the time to build the silo-world for his readers. Just enough for me to feel like I’m living among the sheriff or a mechanic, but leaving out clues that keep me turning its (virtual) pages.
While it’s obvious that the book was written and published in parts, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. Howey’s writing improves with each installment. His characters become more complex and the story becomes more engrossing.
It’s been several days since I finished reading Wool and I’m still wondering what happens next to Juliette and her friends. Guess I better pick up a copy of the next book in the series.
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