Ever since I finished the fantastic Wool a few years back I've had the other volumes on my TBR list. It was only when the other half of the two-person sci-fi reading group I'm in selected this that it became a priority though, and even then I'm about three months late getting to it. Part of it was the size, which suggested a commitment of time that I couldn't make until I took care of other reading requirements. Fortunately reading it proved quicker than I thought -- but only because I ended up skimming so much of it.
Hence the title of my post. I can't recall the last time I was so divided in my feelings towards a book. At the core of it is the backstory explaining how the Silos came to be. Overall, I was impressed by Hugh Howey's story, which explained nicely how so many people ended up in constructions that would take an enormous amount of preparation to realize. It also filled in the margins of Wool by providing prequels to the events in Silo 18 and one of the characters in Silo 17, though this felt like padding. And there we have the source of my conflicted feelings about the book.
Perhaps I'm ungrateful to complain about what amounted to unnecessary backstory, when the part of the book that I liked was really little more than unnecessary backstory itself. The difference, though, is that the backstory I liked introduced new characters and illuminated previously unexplored parts of the world of Wool. With the other half of the book, however, I already knew where I was going to end up. Had Howey's characterization been better I might have been more interested, but his strengths have always been with plot rather than character development. Fortunately once I figured this out I was able to skim through big chunks of it, which helped me to finish it a lot more quickly than I expected. So at least there's that.
Published by: Arrow (25 April 2013)
In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.
Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.
To live, you must follow the rules. But some don't. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism.
Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside.
Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.
This first book in the Wool trilogy has very good reviews and a little quote on the front cover proclaiming it to be "the next Hunger Games", so my expectations were high as I delved into this gift from my hubby (on our wool anniversary!).
Initially I found it quite tough to get into and ended up abandoning it and restarting a few times before persevering and getting past the first few chapters. After that, I found it hard to put down! Once Jules appeared on the scene it became much more appealing, more interesting somehow and seemed much more animated.
Some of the points in the book didn't quite add up. It seemed to take an awfully long time to get between the lower and upper floors. I realise everyone would've needed to walk as there was no lift facility, but it seems excessive.
Having said that, I really liked most of the characters, especially Lukas, Jules and Solo. For me, these guys really made the book. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Shift.
You know, everyone sings songs about Old MacDonald and his farm...and the farmer with a dog whose name was Bingo...but no one really sings a lot of songs about how Old MacDonald got his farm, or the farmer got Bingo.
Shift is the story of what happened before "E-I-E-I-O" and "B-I-N-G-O" and all of that jazz. Shift is the story of how Old MacDonald got his farm (silo included; construction required) and the farmer got Bingo.
Unfortunately for us, neither of those things came from Rural King or Oshkosh or Farm&Fleet.