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Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5) by Hugh…
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Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5) (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Hugh Howey

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2,2501802,850 (4.16)125
Member:jen.s
Title:Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5)
Authors:Hugh Howey
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Collections:Your library
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Wool by Hugh Howey (2012)

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Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
More reviews like this available on my blog

A note: This is actually the Wool omnibus, collecting Novellas 1-5 of the series originally self-published by Howey. I’m new to the wonderful world of Wool, which is shocking considering my status as one of the main reviewers at In Case of Survival. However, it has a lot of what I like in a series – a female protagonist, a post-apocalyptic world, an assault against oppressive regimes. These things are my catnip. So, how does it pan out for me?

Wool is quite slow-burning book, and the description doesn’t really give you a very good idea of what the book is actually about. This is a shame, but I can see how it happens as actually describing it would spoil some of the best and most shocking parts of the book.

The fact it was written as seperately published novellas is quite obvious. Each of the individual novellas has its own beginning, middle and end, before moving onto the next. The first novella has nothing to do with Jules at al, but sets up the whole story, and the second doesn’t include her as a viewpoint character, but sets up the mystery. There are some problems with this approach – it can mean that reading them as a whole book can feel a bit choppy and uneven – but there are also plus points in that the world-building can be done slowly through the eyes of different character. We can also get to know the characters well and really feel the impact of their decisions.

And of course, even the most clumsy of structures would pale next to Howey’s writing. He is quite simply a very good writer. There is no fake, pretentious attempts at being deep and poetic, but neither is the writing bland and workmanlike. Instead, Howey builds structures out of sentences that allow us to see clearly. His is the sort of writing that leaves you feel vague and disconnected after reading. He makes it look so simple, but each sentence must have been carefully chosen. This is a writer who really understands and loves the power of words.

The plotting is tight and effective. There seems to be no moments of nonsense, no episodes where I scream at the characters for making decisions that are ridiculous, or that don’t make sense according to their character. Howey does what a good writer should by letting his characters and their personalities drive what happens, not forcing them to do stupid things in order to create the plot.

I just can’t fangirl about this enough, I’m afraid. Wool is excellent. Read it. ( )
  Violetthedwarf | Oct 23, 2014 |
More reviews like this available on my blog

A note: This is actually the Wool omnibus, collecting Novellas 1-5 of the series originally self-published by Howey. I’m new to the wonderful world of Wool, which is shocking considering my status as one of the main reviewers at In Case of Survival. However, it has a lot of what I like in a series – a female protagonist, a post-apocalyptic world, an assault against oppressive regimes. These things are my catnip. So, how does it pan out for me?

Wool is quite slow-burning book, and the description doesn’t really give you a very good idea of what the book is actually about. This is a shame, but I can see how it happens as actually describing it would spoil some of the best and most shocking parts of the book.

The fact it was written as seperately published novellas is quite obvious. Each of the individual novellas has its own beginning, middle and end, before moving onto the next. The first novella has nothing to do with Jules at al, but sets up the whole story, and the second doesn’t include her as a viewpoint character, but sets up the mystery. There are some problems with this approach – it can mean that reading them as a whole book can feel a bit choppy and uneven – but there are also plus points in that the world-building can be done slowly through the eyes of different character. We can also get to know the characters well and really feel the impact of their decisions.

And of course, even the most clumsy of structures would pale next to Howey’s writing. He is quite simply a very good writer. There is no fake, pretentious attempts at being deep and poetic, but neither is the writing bland and workmanlike. Instead, Howey builds structures out of sentences that allow us to see clearly. His is the sort of writing that leaves you feel vague and disconnected after reading. He makes it look so simple, but each sentence must have been carefully chosen. This is a writer who really understands and loves the power of words.

The plotting is tight and effective. There seems to be no moments of nonsense, no episodes where I scream at the characters for making decisions that are ridiculous, or that don’t make sense according to their character. Howey does what a good writer should by letting his characters and their personalities drive what happens, not forcing them to do stupid things in order to create the plot.

I just can’t fangirl about this enough, I’m afraid. Wool is excellent. Read it. ( )
  Violetthedwarf | Oct 23, 2014 |
Solid sci fi. Main character has some similarities to the Aliens movies character Ripley. Original plot (well, in my estimation). Adult book that is definitely suitable for high school students (I teach in a high school, hence my interest in this). ( )
  TLkirsten | Oct 19, 2014 |
In the silo, everyone has an assigned duty, and going outside is deadly. In fact, even saying one wishes to go outside is deadly, because said wish will be granted, and one will be sent outside to clean the camera lenses that give the confined population its view of the wasteland above.

No one really knows how long they've been in the silo. No one knows how long it will be before the air outside is no longer poison. And truthfully, no one really cares. The people just keep doing their jobs, living their lives, and dreading the next "cleaning".

It's a "cleaning" that opens the book: when the sheriff of the silo decides enough is enough, out he goes while the people watch him on the viewscreen. Like everyone else who goes outside, he is at first hesitant, then jubilant; excitedly cleaning, then waving at the camera lenses and beckoning for others to follow him; then starting toward the distant towers of the ruined city; and ultimately, choking and dying at the edge of the ridge surrounding the silo as the poisoned atmosphere breaches the seals of his suit.

Juliette, an engineer from the lower levels, is asked by the mayor to take over as sheriff. She reluctantly agrees, and subsequently discovers (a) she's good at it; and (b) because she's good at it, she begins to notice discrepancies and inconsistencies; it appears some levels of the silo -- some people in the silo -- know more about forbidden things than others. She especially suspects all is not as it appears in the tech section. Before she can take any sort of real action on her suspicions, an upset in the leadership of the silo takes place, and Juliette herself is now in danger.

I found the whole premise of survivors of an as-yet unidentified (but probably nuclear) catastrophe living in underground confinement for generations fascinating. I mean, consider the social hierarchy of the silo itself: a literally stratified society! The not-quite-concealed disdain those who dwell in the levels closer to the forbidden surface feeel for those who labored in the bowels; the porters who see much and say little; the mysterious goings-on behind the doors of the tech sector; all of it combined make this an addictive, can't-put-it-down, omigosh-what's-going-to-happen-next thrill ride of a read. I loved it.

And in case you're wondering how the title relates to a barely-agrarian underground society, with only passing mention made of either livestock or knitting? I can say only this without being spoilerish: it has nothing to do with sheep.

I borrowed Wool from Amazon's Kindle Owner's Lending Library. Now I'm going to have to buy a hard copy because I know I'll read it again and again.
  avanta7 | Oct 5, 2014 |
Hugh Howie creates a rich and complex dystopian world in Wool. The distant descendants of humans - who survived a catastrophe hundreds of years earlier - live out their lives in a silo below ground, in the hopes that the toxicity of the land above will one day recede enough for them to return to it. But all is not as the residents of the silo conceive it, and huge secrets are being withheld from them.

Mechanical engineer Juliette is thrust into the role of sheriff of the silo, which soon takes her too close to discovering some of its secrets. This throws her up against the real power within the silo, and in a fight for both the truth and her life, which takes many unexpected turns.

The heavy introspection and descriptions at the start could have been placed further on to speed the pace. And we do meet the main character quite late in the novel (although she is mentioned by other characters earlier). But I urge readers to continue on past that first 20%, because by then I was eager to know what happened next, and found the book a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Even though the book is part of a series, I found the ending very satisfying, with an unexpected twist, and I am looking forward to reading the sequel. ( )
  George_Hamilton | Sep 28, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
This collected work is dedicated to anyone who dares dream of a better place.
To those who dare to hope.
First words
The children were playing while Holston climbed to his death; he could hear them squealing as only happy children do.
Quotations
He’d only ever seen a gun once, a smaller one on the hip of that old deputy, a gun he’d always figured was more for show. He stuffed a fistful of deadly rounds in his pocket, thinking how each one could end an individual life, and understanding why such things were forbidden. Killing a man should be harder than waving a length of pipe in their direction. It should take long enough for one’s conscience to get in the way.
He sounded flustered. Juliette watched him busy about the stove, his movements jerky and manic, and realized she was the one cloistered away and ignorant, not him. He had all these books, decades of reading history, the company of ancestors she could only imagine. What did she have as her experience? A life in a dark hole with thousands of fellow, ignorant savages? She tried to remember this as she watched him dig a finger in his ear and then inspect his fingernail
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This edition (often just titled "Wool") contains five short stories:
1) Holston
2) Proper Gauge
3) Casting Off
4) The Unraveling
5) The Stranded

Please do not combine it with the standalone short story titled "Wool".
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Book description
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.
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In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. In a society full of regulations meant to protect the community, Sheriff Holston, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: he asks to go outside. An unlikely candidate is appointed to replace him: Juliette, a mechanic with no training in law, whose special knack is fixing machines. Now Juliette is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and she will soon learn just how badly her world is broken....… (more)

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