Month: October 2013

A Post-Apocalyptic Classic for All to Enjoy

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Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1-5) by Hugh Howey

5 star

5 Stars

I purchased Hugh Howey’s Wool Omnibus 1-5 to see why the series had become so popular and launched Howey’s career from indie author to potential mega-stardom. My curiosity was rewarded with one of the best post-apocalyptic science fiction stories I’ve ever read. The book transcends the genre’s clichés to create a post-nuclear world far removed from contemporary reality but strangely near in its intimate dealing with human nature. Many are calling the Wool series “classic”…and I agree.

Wool Omnibus is a series of five novellas that follow the lives of multiple protagonists who inhabit Silo 18, a large underground bunker in what was once the State of Georgia burrowed in the ground as deep as a skyscraper. Designed centuries ago to protect a small remnant of mankind from a harsh environment on the earth’s surface rendered lethal by nuclear strikes, Silo 18 thrives on rules and order intended to keep its inhabitants as safe and secure as they can be in an underworld. The effect of this stark environment on the personalities and behaviors of the characters that appear in the series makes them all too human. The humanity of Howey’s story is what sets it apart from other action-driven books in the genre. The rich, multi-layered world he created lends itself to an expanding universe, perhaps even a multiverse.

Howey cleverly wraps up the plotlines at the end of each novella tightly enough to leave the reader satisfied that the story has ended, but he leaves unanswered questions that draw readers further into his world. The five-part series brings closure but whets one’s appetite for more Wool installments. Combining the novellas into a single novel addresses the one concern I had about the book – that each novella ends much too soon with too many cliffhangers, like a tantalizing bunch of grapes that we want to devour but can only pluck one by one. The Omnibus satiates this desire by offering the first five novellas in one book.

Wool Omnibus 1-5 earns my enthusiastic praise as one of the best stories I’ve read in the science fiction genre. I give it five stars and highly recommend it to any reader. Even those who do not like post-apocalyptic stories should find something to love.

Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1-5) is now available at: