I work in one of those brick and mortar bookstores and read pretty much all of my books in paper, so I’m not always in touch with all of the self-published e-books out there. Honestly, there is so much content being self published these days that it is hard to even begin to separate the wheat from the chaff. I’ve been trying to figure some of this out and I found Wool in my radar. I read a couple of posts from people who loved the book and it was making some waves in the publishing world, with movie rights and a print deal in the UK. I picked up a POD copy and gave it a read.

Wool is a post-apocalyptic tale by Hugh Howey set in a bunker. The 144 level ‘silo’ has housed generations and no one really knows how the people came to live there or how the outside world became a toxic death sentence. Citizens are stratified into different castes based on their jobs and those jobs also determine where they live among the levels and the uniform colors that they wear. Blue collar mechanics living deep within the earth and the administrators like the mayor living near the top, living with a constant reminder of the poisonous world outside.

The conflict comes as people start to question their world and it becomes apparent that secrets are being kept. Some of those who search for answers follow them to their deaths and others persevere. As tempers rise and stakes become even bloodier, the revelations become more shocking, eventually putting the silo’s entire history into doubt. Hugh builds a  great tension, drawing us into the increasing pressure of the silo in revolt.

The Wool omnibus that I bought is a collection of five books of a roughly novella length. They comprise a complete story arc, but it could be possible to read the first one or two on their own. The writing is really good, with solid characters and a setting that resonates and feels terribly possible. This is one of those books that really exemplifies the diamonds that can be found among the wilds of self-published books.

This one is definitely worth the read.

buy: [powell’s] [amazon]