Such a good rating, so many good reviews. And yet Wool by Hugh Howey (Omnibus; Silo 1; ASIN B00873GRU4; 509p.; Goodreads) didn’t make a fan out of me. While a good story, and thus not a bad book, it felt dull, at times – forced, and very repetitive.
Whole of the humanity is contained in a hundred story silo like tower underground. World above is devastated and deadly, watched via screens transmitting the image from sensors above. In the dusty dark brown world that eats everything which doesn’t belong these sensor lenses get dirty with time, making the oppressing view skewed. No one has memory or knowledge of how it happened to be so, but no one is ready to abandon the little glimpses of sun in dirty clouds either. Enter the cleaners.
A cleaner is someone on death row, or a volunteer, either way – a dead man walking, who gets an isolated suit, oxygen, and a piece of wool to go up, out, and clean the sensors. The rest of the silo treats this almost as a celebration, gathering by the screens as soon as the person, oddly euphoric, runs off into the distance, just to collapse in a similar distance to everyone else who ever did the same cleaning duty. For the atmosphere eats their suit, and then eats them too. Juliette’s friend just took this duty, just a few years after his wife went raving mad, begging to be let outside. After all, screens are not exactly windows…
I usually like this kind of books, but this one didn’t feel right. Constant repeating of events soon got to me: he found a grain, he committed a suicide, she didn’t believe it was a suicide, so she started searching, and found the grain, and… died? I hoped to get another Metro 2033, I guess, and instead received Ember City in a Silo. 3 out of 5, no more. But I will read the next one anyway.