WOOL by Hugh Howey
We're happy to welcome back reviewer Ruth Arnell from retirement!
WOOL is the omnibus edition of Hugh Howey’s WOOL series. The first book in the series, Wool, is more of a short story. I don't even think it hits novella length. It would be just a good-sized chapter in some epic brick. And what do you do at the end of a particularly good chapter? You just turn the page and keep reading.
That's something to keep in mind for anyone who plans on reading the WOOL books. Just buy the omnibus edition, because you will want to keep reading when you get to the end of the first story. And then you will yell at the book and want to keep reading at the end of the third. And by the time you get to the fourth, you will just think, "I can ignore my family for a few more hours because I really need to keep reading this... Read More
Hugh Howey(1975- )
Hugh Howey spent 8 years working as a yacht captain. When he was pulled away from the sea by the love of his life, he turned to his childhood dream of becoming an author. His Molly Fyde series has won praise from reviewers, and now his Wool series has become a #1 bestseller, with Random House publishing in the UK and Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian securing the film rights. He lives in Jupiter, Florida with his wife Amber and their dog Bella. Learn more at Hugh Howey’s website.
Wool — (Began in 2011) This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.
Shift — (Began in 2012) A sequel to the Wool series. In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate. In the same year, the CBS network re-aired a program about the effects of propranolol on sufferers of extreme trauma. A simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event. At almost the same moment in humanity’s broad history, mankind had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall. And the ability to forget it ever happened.
Omnibus of Wool volumes 1-5:
WOOL by Hugh Howey
WOOL by Hugh Howey
I picked up the WOOL Omnibus, by Hugh Howey, some time ago, though I can’t recall why. Possibly something I saw somewhere, possibly it was a Kindle daily deal. But when I saw it on Ruth’s top ten list for this year (we’ll publish that post next week), I decided it was time to pull up the first story (it’s somewhat a serialized tale). So I did. And I read it. And then I read the second. And then the third. And when I got to the end of what I had on my Kindle, I checked to see if the story continued. The WOOL story doesn’t, but I’ll be getting to the prequels pretty soon, I can tell you that.
The setting is not all that original. It’s basically a “For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky” genre: a group of people are living in an artificial world and eventually learn that the world is larger than they imagined, as well as that their history is not what they thought it was. M... Read More
First Shift by Hugh Howey
First Shift is part six in the Wool series by Hugh Howey, and is actually a prequel. If you have read the Wool books — don’t worry, no spoilers if you haven’t (also, why have you not read Wool yet? I’ve foisted it off on at least a dozen people and they all loved it) — you know that humanity has retreated to a meticulously planned underground silo to escape the radiation and toxin ravaged outside world. Since this is set on Earth, one must ask oneself, how did this happen? I mean, underground silos with the technology to support life for hundreds of years don’t just happen, they have to be planned. So, how do you plan something like this? Well, you’re about to find out.
Set in the near future, First Shift tells two intertwined stories. The first is the story of a United Sta... Read More
Second Shift: Order by Hugh Howey
In Second Shift: Order, the seventh installment in the WOOL stories by Hugh Howey, we learn more of the details of how this society descended into its post-apocalyptic world. The story recounts the tale of an impending uprising in Silo 18. The action is recounted through two different characters. The first is Mission, a young porter in Silo 18, and the second is Donald, and IT supervisor in Silo 1, the main administrative silo. Between the two of them, you see both the personal and impersonal views of what a revolution means, how it starts, is maintained, and possibly succeeds or fails.
Howey is doing something that I think is fairly unusual in dystopian literature; he is taking time to fully explain how the apocalypse came about and how a society can be transitioned from an individualistic to a community-oriented one. There is a fairly s... Read More
I, Zombie by Hugh Howey
Imagine a zombie. An image springs instantly to mind. A rotting corpse, shuffling along, arms held out clumsily, grunting and groaning as it makes its way inexorably forward. Now imagine you, yourself, your ego, inside that zombie. You are that zombie, your consciousness trapped inside a brain that no longer has control over your body, your life, your insatiable hunger. You watch yourself feast on the flesh of those who are no longer survivors of the plague that has infested New York City, revolted by the feel and taste of human waste in your mouth as you gorge yourself on intestines and flesh. You pray for release from this un-life, but you are trapped, a passenger along for the ride on a body you no longer control.
In I, Zombie, Hugh Howey has created a top-notch horror novel and a metaphorically resonant examination of the human condition. I don’t normally rea... Read More
Molly Fyde — (Began in 2009) Growing up an orphan in the Milky Way hasn’t been easy, especially as a teenage girl in the Naval Academy. Unfortunately for Molly Fyde, things are about to get worse. Just as she’s finding her place amongst the boys, her unfair expulsion from the Academy takes away the only two things that truly matter: flying in space and her training partner, Cole. Sent off to a normal school, she feels destined for a dull, unspectacular future. Then, a marvelous discovery changes everything: Her father’s old starship, missing for a decade, turns up halfway across the galaxy. Its retrieval launches Molly and Cole on the adventure of a lifetime, one that will have lasting consequences for themselves and billions of others. What starts off as a simple quest to reconnect with her past, ends up forging a new future. And the forgotten family she hoped to uncover is replaced by a new one she never foresaw: a band of alien misfits and runaways… The crew of the starship Parsona.
Half Way Home — (2010) Less than sixty kids awaken on a distant planet. The colony ship they arrived on is aflame. The rest of their contingent is dead. They’ve only received half their training, and they are being asked to conquer an entire planet. Before they can, however, they must first survive each other. In this gritty tale of youths struggling to survive, Hugh Howey fuses the best of young adult fantasy with the piercing social commentary of speculative fiction. The result is a book that begs to be read in a single sitting. An adventurous romp that will leave readers exhausted and begging for more.
The Plagiarist — (2011) Adam Griffey is living two lives. By day, he teaches literature. At night, he steals it. Adam is a plagiarist, an expert reader with an eye for great works. He prowls simulated worlds perusing virtual texts, looking for the next big thing. And when he finds it, he memorizes it page by page, line by line, word for word. And then he brings it back to his world, the real world, and he sells it. But what happens when these virtual worlds begin to seem more real than his own? What happens when the people within them mean more to him than flesh and blood? What happens when a living thing falls in love with someone who does not actually exist?
The Walk Up Nameless Ridge — (2012) On planet Eno, there stands a mountain that has never been summited. Many have tried. All have failed. This climbing season finds three teams making their bid up this murderous peak. And one man among them will discover these ugly truths: There are fates worse than death. There are fates worse than obscurity. To be remembered forever can be its own curse.
Today we welcome Hugh Howey, author of the WOOL books, recent favorites of mine. If you haven't read them, you really must! Unless, that is, the world ends tomorrow... And if it doesn't, we'll send one commenter the Kindle version of the WOOL omnibus or a book from our stacks.
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