Wool – a Book Review
Wool is a dystopian novel written by author Hugh Howey. It takes place in a silo, an underground community where the last remaining humans live and work. There are hundreds of levels in the silo that go down deep into the earth but there is only one level, the top, that allows the only glimpse into the outside world; a world that is toxic and uninhabitable.
As you read Wool you are introduced to a complacent society that follows many rules. Breaking these rules leads to a person being sent out to ‘clean’, another concept within the story that is interesting and intriguing for it seems so harmless but brings death. Of course, there will always be one or two individuals who manage to remove the ‘wool’ from their eyes, and in this case it is the female character of Jules.
Jules is brought up to the top-level where she begins to unravel all the well-built lies that propped the silo, and it’s ruling elite, up for so long. You journey with Jules through this discovery of truth, urging her along to find out all the answers to the questions; are they the only ones? Why is the earth toxic? Who is really running the show? And while I got answers….I was left wanting.
The silo that Wool takes place in was one of two things that kept me engaged and kept me reading – it is a fascinating concept that gave me clear, mental pictures. I felt suffocated at times reading the descriptions of the levels in the silo. I felt the ache and pains in my legs as each character travelled up the stairs, floor after floor. This concept became especially fascinating as some levels engaged in battle, chasing each other down stairs, stairs and more stairs. The other thing that kept me reading was the character of Jules. She’s likeable, she’s competent and strong. A solid female character that had guts. Aside from those two things there never seemed a moment that blew me away in its commentary about the world we live in or in any of the discoveries Jules makes along the way. We are told the earth is toxic. But why? Who did it? When those questions finally get answered, well to me, the answer wasn’t satisfying enough. And really, that’s what my base feeling about this book was – just not satisfying enough. I want to write an amazing review because it feels like this story has so much potential – but I have nothing amazing to talk about. It was a good story. It entertained me in moments, bored me in others. The characters are fine, though not spectacular. The relationships within are okay. I don’t even have anything particular I want to write about outside of Jules and the concept. It was just an okay story. Had this story taken place in any other type of environment or imagined world, I may not have finished it.
So what you are saying is that the concept alone is worth the read? Yes. That is what I am saying. It is this concept that will propel me forward and read the other two books in the trilogy. (On a side note, there is a pretty cool book trailer for Wool – see below).