Hey guys! Just Sarah-Elizabeth here quickly. Sorry for the radio silence and lack of posts lately. Things have been pretty busy around here! I’m currently in Dunedin celebrating my 20th birthday with my cousin but will definitely be posting about it when I’m home. So for now I have an awesome guest book review by the lovely Louisa from Intrepid Forays. Take care! xoxo
I write over at Intrepid Forays where I review books and subscription boxes, and have a lot of fun playing with beauty products. Links are at the end of this post for anyone interested in seeing more from me.
Wool by Hugh Howey is the most recent piece of dystopic fiction I’ve read. There’s been a bit of an obsession with dystopic novels in the young adult world over the last 5-10 years, and I’ve been enjoying all the modern series that have been published. After devouring some wonderful series by Mandy Hagar, Suzanne Collins, Lois Lowry, and Veronica Roth, I have discovered Hugh Howey’s powerful trilogy which is a great mix of post-apocalyptic and dystopic fiction, and is more adult than young adult.
The blurb on the back of the book says:
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. But some people choose not to conform. These are the people who dare to hope and dream. These are the dangerous ones. Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.
It sounds rather dire from the back of the book, but once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I loved it so much I promptly bought the second and third in the trilogy and devoured them with just as much pleasure. The population of Earth was decimated by nuclear war, several generations before the setting of Wool. The descendants have learned to survive in an enclosed silo, with more than 100 underground levels. There are farms, gardens, apartments, a Sheriff, and the ever-present, all-knowing, and rather sinister IT department. The characters exist in a world governed by rules (presented as being for their survival within the silo until the air outside becomes less toxic and fit for human life again). Jules, the main character, comes from a mechanical/engineering background on one of the bottom levels, and is promoted to Sheriff unexpectedly. Wool tells her story as she discovers hidden truths about the silo, and the world in which she exists.
This series makes you think deeply about the status quo, the many varying sides to every story, and weaves a consuming narrative. Even now, a few months after finishing these books, I continue to ruminate about various themes presented by Howey, or consider exactly what it would be like to live a life trapped inside a silo. I particularly enjoyed the way certain characters and situations were presented in one black or white way but shades of grey penetrate as the reader continues through the narrative and discovers hidden motivations of characters. This changes the perception of their actions by understanding the varying depths of knowledge possessed by individuals, and how this affects their actions and decisions. I know I sound a bit wishy-washy, but without spoiling anything it’s difficult to describe exact situations (and nobody likes spoilers).
I can honestly highly recommend this book to everyone. I enjoyed it immensely. Beware shifting viewpoints, and treacherous situations that are not all that they appear! The second book in this trilogy, Shift, will make you rethink everything you are told in Wool, so beware spoilers in that way.