Author: Hugh Howey
Book: Wool Omnibus (Wool 1-5)
Published: April 2013
Publisher: Arrow Books
Genre: Science Fiction
The world is a hostile and ruined landscape. The air is poisonous. Life is gone from the world, except for the Silo. Inside the Silo is life. People work in a closed world, full of rules, regulations, and lies. Their highest rules are not to hope or dream, or contaminate others with optimism. The punishment for these is death. If the criminals aren’t murdered, they are sent outside to clean the lenses on the cameras that monitor the outside, then die.
Juliette has done far worse than hope, dream, or show optimism. She has begun to learn the truth, to pierce the lies the keep the Silo running. Now she has to keep it from crashing down around them and destroying those she loves.
Wool Omnibus is a collection of five novellas set in a dystopian world. To be honest, I don’t normally reach for dystopian science fiction. I like works to be a bit more uplifting. Juliette, Jules to her friends, is a strong protagonist, trained as a mechanic who never hesitates to fix that which needs fixing. This makes her a threat to the powerful in the Silo. When the Silo’s sherif volunteers to clean, unable to live without his wife, Jules is tapped as the next Sheriff. Her appointment immediately faces opposition from the powerful IT department. What follows is murder and treachery. Each part of the tale reveals more of the lies and treachery of IT.
The tale is engaging, drawing the reader deeper as one goes along. The pace is slower than I would like, with a great deal of world building. I can’t call it a page turner, but I can say that it is well worth the read.