Sunday, January 20, 2013

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

RATING 4/5

Wool Omnibus is a collection of the 5 stories in the Wool series. Each story gets longer, with Wool 5 at 60,000 words. To be honest, I preferred the shorter ones, books 1-3, because the last two seemed to gain their length from having so much technical action. That's probably not the best phrase to describe it, but what I mean is that there's SO much "then she stuck this in there and wrenched it around". Every movement Juliette makes is described in detail, which slows down the pace of the story and caused my mind to drift away. The first three parts were not like this, they were concentrated on character psychology and important plot events were described with just the right amount of detail.

Still, overall this series is excellent, and I find it bizarre Howey had to self-publish it. His writing us nearly flawless, and he knows how to create emotionally engaging characters. The dystopian vision is clear and plausible, though I suppose you could nit-pick a few details if you wanted (I won't). I will say that I started to notice most of the male characters had a sort of childlike quality to them. They were emotionally sensitive, sometimes immaturely, where the women seemed practical and less emotional. I don't know if this reversal of stereotyped gender roles was intentional, but it is interesting.

I very much enjoyed Wool Omnibus, and recommend it to fans of science fiction and dystopia. With so much garbage being put out by publishing companies, it's a real crime a great writer like Howey didn't get a book deal. But he did get a movie deal, and I'll definitely be watching that.

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