Series: Wool #1-5
Publisher: Broad Reach Publishings
Date Published: January 25, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction
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.
Wool has been getting a lot of attention on the internet lately and I had to know what the fuss was all about. The first installment was really intriguing and left me with a lot of curiosity (I grabbed part 1 quickly since it was free, so I ended up buying the omnibus). This story is about a post-apocalyptic dystopian society where the people live inside an underground silo. When someone breaks the law, they get sent outside to clean, which is basically a death sentence. The air outside is toxic and no one can survive, so the “criminals” are forced outside in suits that keep them safe from the deadly air long enough to clean the silo’s outside sensors (with wool pads) before they walk toward the hill outside and die.
The cleaning suits, I guess I picture them as astronaut suits sort of, they can only withstand the poisonous air for a limited time, until they begin to deteriorate. But is that all? Is the outside really that dangerous? The cleaners don’t seem to think so at first, especially those who request to be let out. But there are secrets that only certain people are privvy to, and as more people unravel details and get sent to cleaning, we get glimpses into the sinister nature of some members of the silo who have all the control. Many questions are asked, including what happened and how did the silo system get started. Not all the answers are clearly presented, but what we do learn is quite disconcerting.
There are some aspects of this book that I did not like so much. I felt that it bogged down at times with details that took too much time to get past. Yes, I understand the silo is tall and apparently there is no elevator, so everyone has to walk up and down the 100+ flights of stairs from top to bottom. I got really tired of hearing how exhausted these characters are from climbing all those stairs. I also had a hard time with the timeline. Sometimes it seemed like we skipped forward weeks or months in time and it wasn’t easy to tell. There were a lot of “oh snap did that just happen” moments that got my heart pumping and then it slowed down with all the details that took away from that excitement. But overall, I enjoyed this read and it ended on an uplifting note that resolved the important issues and made me interested in reading future parts someday.
Here are some quotes I liked:
“We are not the people who made this world, Lukas, but it’s up to us to survive it. You need to understand that.”
“We can’t control where we are right now,” he mumbled, “just what we do going forward.”
“And now you see why some facts, some pieces of knowledge, have to be snuffed out as soon as they form. Curiosity would blow across such embers and burn this silo to the ground.”