Hugh Howey “Wool”

A bit like the TV series “Lost” and a bit like the “Hunger Games” series, “Wool” by Hugh Howey is a dystopian science fiction novel that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the only remaining humans live in a massive underground silo. Or do they? Yes? Maybe? No?

Thankfully, there are a bunch of likeable and sympathetic characters asking the same questions, chief among them being Juliette, a skilled mechanic who becomes embroiled in a conspiracy to reveal the truth about the silo’s past and the reasons why they are trapped underground.

Howey builds an impressive world filled with a vivid and believable depiction of silo society, its hierarchical structure, and the complex relationships between its inhabitants – the porters who rush to deliver messages up and down the massive staircases to the men and women of the IT department whose aim seems to be steeped in mystery. The tension builds steadily as the characters begin to uncover the secrets, all while under the threat of being sent to do the ‘cleaning,’ which means exile and death. Or does it?

Mysteries aside, “Wool” is full of well-developed characters and the story is as twisty and tourney as the silo’s massive central staircase. Howey’s writing style is engaging and immersive, drawing the reader into this world and making them invested in the fate of its inhabitants. If you’re looking for a thrillerish science fiction novel that grapples with themes of power, control, and rebellion, look no further than “Wool.”

“Wool” has also recently been adapted for television under the name of “Silo.”

London : Arrow Books, 2013

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Mart-Matteus Kampus

Department of Literature in Foreign Languages

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