Friday, January 25, 2013

13:120 Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey

A combination of the first 5 Wool books.  I'm not going to try and remember what happened in each one as they really make for a cohesive whole and I can't remember where one left off and the next began.  We come upon this place, a huge underground silo that houses thousands of people.  There is rationing of supplies, materials, food, and children.  Life is hard and the only way to see the outside is through cameras whose lenses get dirty.  This leads to the greatest punishment, "Cleaning", for the greatest crime, talking about going outside.   The story starts with the Sheriff voluntarily going outside to clean after his wife was sent out 3yrs prior.  He is strapped into a suit, given some air to complete the task tho not much more, and sent outside.  The view he sees is magnificent, so much different than what they are shown inside, so he cleans and goes to find his wife.

Now the Mayor and Deputy must find a new Sheriff and they settle on someone from Mechanical.  Bernard, Head of IT, is in disagreement and now things start going downhill quickly.  The Mayor instates Juliette over Bernard's wishes and on her way back up to her office from talking to Juliette (150 or so floors away), she lets Bernard know her decision.  She doesn't make it back to her office.  Juliette's first task as Sheriff is figuring out who poisoned the Deputy's water canteen which led to the Mayor's death and she must do this under Bernard's watchful eye as The Order, the rules they live under, promote the Head of IT to acting Mayor until an election can be held.  Bernard has his own secrets tho...about what lies outside.

I don't want to delve further into the plot here as I don't wish to give away too much.  This was a book club read and at first I couldn't figure out where it was going but it soon became apparent and the question was how would it all end.  Several things have to all weave together just so and Mr. Howey does a credible job of putting all the pieces in the right places.  Very dystopian and has many aspects that remind me of 1984.  I'm not sure if I will continue reading (there are two more novels after this) mostly because I liked where this ended and I'm almost afraid of where it would go from there.  They are on my wishlist for now so I don't forget as I debate it.

I will say tho, that it is not worth buying these individually.  The first couple were very short, novellas length, so just buy the omnibus edition if you are interested.  Definitely recommended for those who like Orwell's 1984 and even Huxley's Brave New World.  I felt this slotted in nicely with those.

Page count: 464p/2,930p ytd/147,350p lifetime

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