Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey
Read: May 1 – May 7, 2013
Goodreads Book Blurb: 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.
My Opinion: I don’t normally do omnibus editions. I don’t normally do short stories. Oh my, am I glad I broke those “rules”, because Wool is hands down the best dystopian I have read in a long time.
I toyed with how to do this review. I wanted to review the work as a whole, but also individually, because the short stories themselves are so intricate.
One thing that is consistent is that Hugh Howey is a fantastic writer. His style is so straightforward and clean. The story keeps moving, and the characters just jump off the page.
One note before I start. This isn’t really a series so much as it is a serial novel. Each section is a direct continuation.
Wool: This is the first volume, and I was completely hooked after I read it. If I had to pick one part to stand alone, this would be it. The suspense is fantastic, and I couldn’t put the book down.
Proper Gauge: The second book is much more introspective, but no less intense. It focuses on the sense of how to ensure things continue running smoothly after you’re gone.
Casting Off: The third book keeps this serial going strong. I love how we are now being shown the differences of community in the Silo, and how a few levels make all the difference.
The Unraveling: OK, the fourth volume is probably my least favorite. We move from a single viewpoint to a multiple viewpoint, and I just don’t feel as drawn into the story here. I especially felt that this part dragged during the Supply bits.
The Stranded: Everything comes to a head, and the pressure is almost too much to handle. Multiple POV continues, but is much more satisfying than the fourth installment.
The Bottom Line: If you get the Omnibus edition, the transition between books is pretty seamless, and it reads like one fantastic dystopian. If you like dystopian, if you think you might like dystopian, or if you hate all dystopian, I recommend you check this book out.