Books read in September
Or book actually. But at 550 pages, Wool by Hugh Howey quite fills up the noun “book”.
I’ve had this book on my shelves for ages. Like 18 months or something. My mum bought it for me back when she still bought me books that are not birthday presents. I never read it, though I’m not sure why. I think the length always put me off. I always thought I was too busy. Now, as part of my mission to finish all the unread books on my shelves, I finally picked it up.
It has an orange sticker on the front that says “Spoken about in the same breath as The Hunger Games.” I suppose I can see why; the two books share a genre. Both are set in a dystopian future. But that is just about where the similarities end. Wool does not have a teenaged female protagonist. One of the protagonists is female, but she is 34. In fact there are no prominent teenage characters at all. Every prominent character is 25 and up (sometimes way up).
You see, this is not a YA novel. This is something I was thankful for. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m kind of tired of YA for the moment. And speaking of non-YA, I should probably point out that one of the supporting characters does swear like a sailor. I thought it was appropriate to his psychotic outbursts, but if you don’t agree maybe you’d like to know that now.
Wool is set in a future where humanity has been reduced to living in a giant underground silo because one breath of the not-so-fresh air outside would mean death. Earth’s environment has been destroyed to such an extent that the air has become highly toxic. These are people who have never ever been outside. They cannot imagine an outside. Those who have seen the outside never live to tell the tale (it’s their form of corporal punishment). The people of the silo live in a world of strict rules and routine, extreme birth control to keep population numbers under control and a web of lies.
The story mainly follows the trials and tribulations of Juliet, usually called Jules, a brilliant mechanic and individualistic thinker – clearly not a desirable way of thinking in such a strictly controlled bubble-world. (Sidenote: this is the second book I’ve read this year that features a brilliant female mechanic as main character. Coincidence?) And yes, she is named for Romeo and Juliet and the play does come up in the book and thankfully the author seemed to have actually read the play before incorporating it in his novel.
This book leads to so many questions: who really controls this world? Is it someone who like white cats and laughing maniacally, or is it more complicated than that? That remains to be seen. (I think it’s more complicated than that.) Would I read Wool‘s sequels? Probably yes, if I got the opportunity, but not right now. I need to read something more cheerful now.
Sometimes Wool does fall into clichés of the genre, but it has enough twists to make up for that and keep me interested. Going on a gut feeling rather than some reason I can pinpoint:
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
More funny stuff coming soon,