Thursday, 13 March 2014

Wool by Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey’s dystopian story, Wool, was a self-publishing hit, first appearing as a sixty-page instalment through Amazon Kindle. It became so popular it quickly grew into a novel and before long a trilogy.

The setting is a world destroyed, so toxic that successive generations have lived in an underground silo consisting of over a hundred storeys and which caters for people’s every need. The silo is strictly regulated with everyone understanding their role. Engineers work in the ‘down deep’, ensuring power generation, drainage and water supply; there’s the hospital level, schools and even farms, while mysterious IT have their own agenda.

Thrown into this are the characters of Houlston - the sheriff who misses his wife and wants to ‘go outside’- and Juliette, the can-do engineer who is asked to take his place. When Juliette asks too many questions, she is ‘sent to cleaning’ which is a form of capital punishment. Her old engineering colleagues start a rebellion, while Juliette’s new love interest, also from IT, makes some astonishing discoveries.

The story is full of nail-biting action, as Juliette battles for survival, and the revolt throws the silo into turmoil. Juliette is a brilliant character - she’s sensitive but with all that engineering know-how, she’s also a fixer. The world Howey has created is a masterpiece of invention, so well detailed it creates a vivid picture in the reader’s imagination.

The good news is we don’t have to wait for the rest of the trilogy – Shift and Dust were also published in 2013 and you can find them all in the library.

Posted by JAM

Catalogue Link: Wool

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