29 April 2014

Book Review: the Wool series

The Wool series (Wool, Shift, Dust) by Hugh Howey is one of the best series of books I’ve read in ages. I had been meaning to read Wool for ages. It took me a long time to get started, but when I did I couldn’t stop until I’d read the whole trilogy in a week.

The series starts off by introducing us to some of the residents of the silo, an underground structure, and shows what happens when someone goes outside to carry out the hazardous task of “cleaning”. The setting of the silo is so vividly described, I had dreams about it, and would recognise parts of it in my environment (like the spiral stairs in the photo).

The book evoked feelings of claustrophobia, isolation and loneliness for me. The closest thing I could compare it to in terms of feeling, is the movie Moon, although Wool had a much larger cast of characters. I found these characters really compelling because the majority of them acted from altruistic motives, even though some were misguided.

The thing I found difficult at first was that it would follow a particular character for a while, then move on to another. I found this a bit easier when I realised that the first book had originally been written as a series of short stories, and eventually it did settle down into following a few main characters. I was quite impressed that the author had started off by self-publishing the stories.

I really enjoyed the series, and I’ve been insisting that friends of mine read it!

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