Wool by Hugh Howey
Publisher: Century
Published: 2012
537 pages (US Hardcover)
Received: Bought at an independent bookstore

“In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo. Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.To live, you must follow the rules. But some don’t. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside. Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.”

“What would you do if the world outside was deadly and the air you breathed could kill? And you lived in a place where every birth required a death, and the choices you made could save lives or destroy them?

This is Jules story.

This is the world of Wool.”

I had seen this book in a few different stores, but had put it back on the shelf more than once. I regret doing that, because this book was amazing. It was thought-provoking and gripping and I loved every minute of it. I got this while I was on vacation and instead of swimming at the beach, I was completely absorbed in the story.

To start off, this is an adult dystopian novel. The setting is a massive underground silo, with over one hundred levels. The top is were the wealthy live, the middle is for the computers and middle class, and the bottom is for the Mechanics, where our main character comes from.

Juliette, Jules to everyone, is stubborn, strong willed, and creative. She works in the darkest, dirtiest place in the entire silo, and loves it there. She is the best girl for any job. I loved her take on problems that didn’t involve her and how her sense of right and wrong drove her to ask questions. I loved following her through the story and I was rooting for her the whole time.

For the record, the title has nothing to do with the book. There is no wool in the story, not even sheep. I don’t quite understand where the title came from. Perhaps he is referencing the saying, “removing the wool from someones eyes”, but it seems a bit far-fetched. It bugged me the whole book.

I found this book to be a more mature Hunger Games. An oppressive government keeping secrets from the people, a heroine fighting for the truth, and a world that is alien, but at the same time eerily similar to our own.

This story was originally five separate novellas, that have now been combined to make this great book. Each one is slightly different, whether in perspective or overall tone, but they all flow together.

This is the sort of book I would recommend to anyone. When I finished it, I begged members of my family to read it. No one has yet, but I will be suggesting this to everyone I know for a long time.

Overall opinion: I absolutely loved this book. Five stars, ten stars, the highest it can go. The title was annoying, but the book itself was spectacular. As I said, I suggest this to anyone and everyone.

If you liked this book, you may also like:

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

Update (9/5/13) : I just discovered that Wool is part of a trilogy. Woohoo, two more books!!! I’m so excited. The second is called Shift and the third is called Dust! I can’t believe I didn’t see them sooner. I want to read them so bad!

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