A community lives in an underground silo for generations and its origins are lost in time. People are told the silo protects them from a toxic outside world, a world they can only see through a single TV screen. The air outside is unbreathable and far away the skyline of a destroyed city is visible.
This is the premise of Wool, the first of the Silo series. It’s marketed as an adult dystopia, but apart from the characters’ age, it’s not much different from the Divergents and Maze Runners of this world: an unexplained post-apocalyptic world, human curiosity disrupting the system, an elite struggling to preserve the status quo.
In general I enjoyed the book. The first chapters triggered my need-to-know obsession and the ending was full of the promise of revelations to come. Jules was a strong and realistic female character and I cared for her right from the start. I understand the commercial success formula requires a romance (this was a self-published book, so likely Howey was more attuned to it), but Jules’ interest, Lucas, was far less interesting and I could have done without that relationship altogether.
Howey clearly put a lot of thought into the world-building and that was the most interesting part of the whole story: the silo’s different levels, nativity control, food production, disposal of human cadavers, electricity production – fascinating stuff.
If you’ve read the book, I’d be really curious to know your thoughts on (still no spoilers):
- Why it’s considered an adult book and not YA? Is it just the hero/heroine’s age? There’s no sexual content, and definitely less violence or social commentary than, for instance, The Hunger Games. Is it because it focuses less on romance?
- Considering the need to preserve the situation in the silo, and that there’s a mention of an organized religion, shouldn’t religion play a much bigger role in the story? Wouldn’t it be an obvious ally of IT?
- I listened to it in audiobook and the narrator gave the villain a nasal voice that was the embodiment of the Evil Doer. (Seriously, I expected an evil laughter – MUAHAHAHAH! – at several moments). However, when I finished the book I wondered if this caricature was just due to the voice or if he could’ve been better developed. What say you?
So in summary, I had fun and at moments was completely engrossed in the story. I’m also looking forward to the future movie adaptation. On the other hand, I wished it pushed the boundaries of the genre, to become something I’d never read before. But the strongest feeling of all was the need to talk about it, and that’s always a good sign!
Other thoughts: Rhapsody in Books, SF and Fantasy Book Reviews, Leeswammes, The Guilded Earlobe, Book Den, Collateral Bloggage, Stainless Steal Droppings, Speculative Book Review, Book Monkey, Don’t be Afraid of the Dork, a book a week, A Garden Carried in the Pocket (yours?)