Review of "Wool" of the Silo Series by Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey
Let me start by saying that it has been a long time since I picked up a book from a writer I've never heard of, that no one suggested to me, and wound up loving it. A few weeks ago, I was trying out Kindle Unlimited in an attempt to get more use out of my Paperwhite. I sorted by the genres I like and then looked for the most reviewed among them. I saw that "Wool" by Hugh Howey was getting a lot of praise. I wasn't sure if it was in itself a series or part of a series, having read that it is made up of five very short "books" itself. I dove in confused, but excited. After a few pages, there wasn't a chance I was putting it down any time soon.

The first few chapters of "Wool" offer the reader mystery, conflict, relatable characters, tragedy–it's just packed with subplots. Interestingly, Howey is able twist the first threads of his story in such a way that you're not sure what's going to happen, and as soon as you are sure, you're dead wrong. If you haven't got a lot of time to devote to a relatively short set of books, don't pick this up yet. Wait until a vacation, so you can give it the time it deserves.

Because Hugh Howley is (or was) self-published and even I have been brainwashed into thinking that means sub-par, I have the urge to say something along the lines of "It's pretty good for self-published," but I can't say that. This is pretty good for science fiction in general. It could hold its own on a bookshelf next to Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny. In fact, if I had the paperback version, I would put it next to these greats on my own bookshelf. This is a very accomplished novel with great dialogue, a well-paced plot and a detailed world, especially considering it all takes place in what is essentially an underground skyscraper. Half the time, the characters are walking up and down stairs. Somehow, that's not as dull as it sounds.

I have two more sets of "books" to read in this series before I'm done, so I'm going to end this here and get back to my Kindle. If you have Unlimited/Prime, you can get them all free for your Kindle. If not, you can still buy them pretty cheap. If this series doesn't sound that great to you, go ahead and check out all of his other books, of which there are shockingly many. How did I not hear about this guy before now?

Shelly Barclay

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