Book Review of Wool Hugh Howey

Everybody seems to love this book – it’s got five stars ago-go. I wanted to read it because it’s one of the few self-publishing success stories. I enjoyed it but I didn’t love it. As usual, I feel the fault must lie within me. Science fiction isn’t my favourite genre but when I find a good one I really adore it. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is one of my favourite books of all time. Howey describes a futuristic world where people live in a silo and never venture outside because the atmosphere is poisoned from some unspecified disaster in the past. The silo appears to be modelled on a huge grain silo except much bigger with many levels going deep into the earth. The “down deep” is where the engineers toil to keep the machines turning. There is also an agricultural level where hydroponic farms grow food. Higher up there is an IT level and an admin level. The society is strictly socially stratified like Brave New World. The world is authoritarian and controlled so there are shades of Orwell’s 1984. Transgressing individuals are put to death by cleaning. They are sent outside in space suits with just enough air to clean the windows/ monitors/ cameras which give a view of the outside. The world is evoked in detail and the writing style is simple and elegant. Perhaps for me the scenarios were too similar to other books in the genre. The hero, standard modern issue strong feisty female, Juliette, embarks on a series of actions which change the world forever. The plot is exciting and fast-paced at times and at other times it is slow. The book is quite a door stopper so you need patience and time to finish it. I am sure sci-fi fans will lap this up but it doesn’t quite make the cut to classic status

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