Wool

wool jacketWool by Hugh Howey

Wool is a science fiction novel about a time in the earth’s future when the planet’s surface has been rendered uninhabitable. The soil is dead and the atmosphere is lethally toxic  The remaining earth survivors live in a giant silo dug out of the earth by huge digging machines that were buried at the bottom of the silo when their mission was over.  he silo has 150 levels and is a self-sustaining entity unto itself. There are hydroponic gardens for food, energy for electricity, oxygen for breathing, everything to sustain life, kind of like living in a giant submarine. However, in order to maintain the silo’s functioning and ensure its long time survival, the inhabitants live in a brutal regime of onerous rules and regulations. For each birth there must also be a death. Talking about the past, or thinking about changing their current situation is forbidden. Breaking the rules can mean being sent to the surface and perishing in a deadly environment. 

The plot revolves around one character, Juliette, a worker in the mechanical section, who is seen by the current mayor, a woman named Jahns, as a good candidate to succeed her, someone who will let nothing stand in the way on knowing the truth, even if it means destroying their current way of life.  Bernard is the head of IT, and the chief keeper of the secrets. The characters are fully developed and the surprises keep coming.  Everything is not as it seems.

Juliette reminds me a lot of Ripley from the Alien series, which may be why the film rights have been acquired by Ridley Scott.

Wool started as a self-published serial work in five parts. I read the Omnibus, which was all five parts in one book.

Joel



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