Wool Part 1
I have to admit, I picked up this book without knowing anything about Hugh Howey, or the hype surrounding this series. I guess I was living in my own personal indie book Silo, sheltered from the realities of the outside world (e.g. the intense fanfare Wool has received since its release in 2011). Now that I’ve finally mustered up the courage to put on my cleaning suit and go outside, I can say that I am in LOVE with the world Howey created.
When it comes to creating a really detailed and believable dystopian universe, the author usually has to force the reader through some fairly thick description and a lengthy setup before being able to really dig into the characters and the story. Wool (Silo #1A) is extraordinary in this respect, because Howey manages to set up the universe, characters, and execute a plot in an incredibly short amount of time (it took me only a few hours to read it). For those of you who are impatient for action and a story line, this is the series for you. Howey’s writing is simple and transparent, yet somehow creates an incredibly rich world right from the very beginning.
Now for some SPOILERS….
READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK
I love this book because Howey tricked me. He messed with my mind and he made me go a little bit looney like Sheriff Holston did over the three years since his wife’s death. By the time he was in the airlock, about to go out for a little bit of scrubbing and a lot a bit of truth, Holston and I were both fully convinced that something wonderful existed outside of the silo. Our expectations were of course confirmed once he stepped outside, but a few pages later, Howey took it all away. I almost wonder if he was laughing at his future readers as he wrote the final chapter. I got duped and I absolutely love it.
The only critique I need to mention, an issue that is far too common in dystopian stories, is how unrealistically orderly people are in complying to the Silo’s strict laws. Sure, people do occasionally break the rules and are sent out for a cleaning, and the records indicate that there have been some rebellions throughout history, but humans are just not that organized. I’m not convinced that some punk teenager, or even an adult in fit of rage, would not make the mistake of saying they want to go outside, no matter what the consequences may be.
After finishing the book, I am left with nothing but an intense curiosity to know more about what does, and does not, exist beyond the screens of the Silo. Are there other Silos? What happened to the outside world so long ago? I must know the answer to these questions.