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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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Wool - Omnibus Edition

Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) (Wool, #1-5) - Hugh Howey

I'm not a trendsetter, and I could be wrong, but I strongly believe Wool is the next big thing in books.

Don't take my word for it? Ask the 5000 other Goodreads' reviewers who have praised this series, many since its infancy as a self-published stand-alone story. Wool will be big, but how big are we talking? We're talking multi-million dollar franchise, with films staring the likes of Charlize Theron, Viggo Mortensen, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Morgan Freeman (or at least those are a few I had in mind). Big as The Hunger Games? Probably not. Wool is a more mature series and that will hinder its success some, plus it lacks much of the seemingly necessary romance other popular series have.

So how was the Wool Omnibus, the first five stories of the saga? Good. Really good. The first story is quite an attention-getter. Of the entire collection, this was the one I will likely never forget. It's fast paced and intriguing. It left me with a sick feeling in my stomach, but I wanted more. And I got more, which was good, because the other stories really built this world up. No, I personally didn't feel any of them matched what that first story did, but they certainly added to it and created a thrilling, action-packed story.

Since I've already made the comparison, let me express my view that Wool is a better-written, more mature version of The Hunger Games. The premise is much more original and interesting, but the basic idea of one woman rising up against an impossible situation in a post-apocalyptic world where the masses are being lied to and on the brink of revolt is the same. Wool has that similar pace and style of The Hunger Games and I highly recommend it to fans of that series. That being said, those who didn't like that series may still wish to give Wool a try. It's different enough that it may draw you in. And though Juliette is not perfect, she is certainly more stable and intelligent than the portrayal of Katniss.

I expected something a little more, perhaps a little different from Wool, and because of this I was slightly disappointed. Though it goes a little deeper than HG (I mean figuratively since it goes much deeper in a literal sense), Wool is largely an action story. Once I realized this, I was cool with it and enjoyed the rest of the ride, but I really wish it would've taken its time, unraveled a little slower and allowed rumination of this dark, deep world.

I teetered on giving Wool five stars. For an action story, it was quite brilliant. What didn't work for me was the pacing. I would venture to guess this has something to do with the way Howey crafted this work, starting with a short story that I don't believe he intended to do anything further with. The first “book” is really the only one where the pacing worked for me. The second story slows way down, which could have been successful had it set the tone for the rest of the collection, but it's constantly up and down from then on out: fast and slow, characters pondering for pages, characters making rash decisions in a single sentence with no insight as to why. I could say more on this, but it would be difficult to discuss issues such as shifting loyalties and the like without being overly spoilerific.

So, yes, I enjoyed Wool. More than likely I enjoyed it before you. And that makes me a leader. A trendsetter. The wave the future. I'm one of the cool kids now, but I promise if you hurry and read this book, I'll let you join the club.