In Book Reviews on August 4, 2013 at 9:33 am


Arrow Books 2013

The children were playing as Holston climbed to his death…

I rarely ever read books when they come out. It’s not a fully intentional thing, although I do tend to avoid things that are surrounded by too much hype. I guess I just don’t like to be told what to read. Taste in books is a very personal thing and I guard it jealously. This means that I avoid any book I see advertised on billboards or on bestseller lists, almost defiantly. I may read one of these books once the hubub has died down, as long as it has an interesting premise. Does reading something after it’s cool make me some kind of literary anti-hipster? I don’t know. Let’s not start with the name-calling.

I’ve always liked doing my own thing independently from what the crowd is doing, but I will admit that sometimes I take it a bit far. I didn’t start watching the X-Files until the re-runs started playing because I couldn’t stand that everyone was making such a fuss over it. Turns out that it became one of my favourite shows. So yeah, I need to work on this little quirk of mine.

I’m telling you all of this because I hesitated when I found this book in the book store. I first saw it advertised on the underground during my daily commute and immediately dismissed it and moved on with my life. Then I saw a couple of threads about it on Goodreads which I didn’t read because I knew that they would be spoilerific. (It doesn’t matter if I don’t intend to read a book. I hate spoilers.) I did read the premise of the novel and I didn’t want to want to read this book. Given my intense love of dystopia, I decided to get over myself and give it a shot.

Thank goodness for my sudden onset of common sense!

Nutshell blurb: The atmosphere of Earth has become so toxic that people now live inside a silo that goes deep underground. Occasionally, people are sent outside to clean the cameras that transmit images of the outside to the people who live inside. The cleaning is a death sentence reserved for criminals although sometimes people volunteer. These are usually people who have gotten too close to the truth.

As awesome as I thought this book was, I almost put it down at one point. The first 40 or so pages gripped me completely. Was Holston really climbing to his death or would he be saved at the last minute? What’s this book about? OMG WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN???

And then we switch to a different PoV for nearly 100 pages and it sent me straight to Dullsville. Population: Me. Why are we following this person? Where is this story going? I found it to be incredibly tedious and I wondered if I could be bothered to finish it.

If this had been a library book, I might have put it back in the bag to go back. But, I bought it and I felt compelled to soldier on.

I’m so glad that I did.

Once we actually got to the main character’s PoV things improved drastically. The action picked up as did the suspense and I zipped through the rest of the 500+ pages in no time. (It helped that I was on holiday as well.)

The main character was interesting as were many of the secondary ones. The problems they faced were intense and left me desperate to know what was going to happen.

Once I got further into the book, I realised the relevance of the part which I thought was dull and when I read the book again (and I’m sure that I will at some point) I don’t think that I’ll find it as boring.

I’m definitely glad that I stuck with it and I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

  1. I keep seeing this one as well and I was umming and ahing over it too (oh, and you’re not the only one doing that stuff btw… you’re just contrary like I am). I keep reading good things about this though, so I might give it a go!

  2. I’m a contrary person too. I refuse to read the Song of Ice and Fire series until people stop telling me I should, dammit! But I actually hadn’t heard much hype about this one, just one thing a relative sent me about getting big due to developing an audience before going to publication. So I have nothing against this, and actually have a copy sitting on my desk, waiting to be read. Nice to have the heads-up about the second pov, because I also sometimes toss things for cutting away from the action at what seems an inopportune time.

    • It was everywhere on the underground for a while which turns me right off. Strangely, I never saw anyone reading it during my commute. (I always look at what people are reading.) You can always tell what’s popular just by watching what people are reading on the tube. GRR Martin has a huge presence right now and even though I’ve read a few of his books, I’m not inspired to read any more at the moment.

      I was actually interested in reading Wool because Howey started out self-publishing and he got picked up by a publisher that way. That intrigued me as I’ve waffled back an forth as to whether or not I should self-publish. I know that there are benefits, but I haven’t quite made up my mind.

      Let me know what you think if you do decide to read it.

      • Finally read Wool (since I’ve been sans computer for a little while and thus am catching up on a lot of reading) and I enjoyed it… I think I gave it a four. The characters got off a little light at the end, I think, but then I’m a big meanie. I expected it to be more actiony than it was — though that’s not a bad thing, because the investigative/thoughtful aspect of it was more interesting than the doomed-struggle part. I also liked that the technology level was high, as compared to some other post-apocalyptic underground stories I’ve read recently (Enclave, etc) that are practically back to the Stone Age. So overall, interesting, but no driving desire to read the follow-up books yet.

      • Interesting. I’m glad you read it even if you were underwhelmed. I know what you mean about the characters at the end. It almost felt a bit rushed. I actually bought the next one recently so I’ll let you know what I think about it. I’m interested to see what’s going to happen next. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. I adore your blog and have nominated you for some virtual blogging awards. Check out the page here:

  4. Hi nice review.
    I just reading this book about a month ago but am really struggling to get into it as it is very different to what I usually read however after reading you review I think I will be giving it another ago (plus like you I have already brought it so there is no sense in not reading)

    • Thanks! If you’re stuck in the part where it’s the mayor’s pov I suggest sticking with it until you get to Juliette’s pov. It did pick up drastically. If you decide to finish it I would love to know what you think. Thanks so much for reading!

      • I am at the mayor’s POV so I was losing interest but I will push through. I will let you know when I am done, but I am a slow reader so might be a while ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Yeah, that part was really dull. Is actually relevant to the book as you’ll read layer. I think that the author could have found a more interesting way to convey that info. Definitely let me know what you think! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. This book has really been advertised everywhere, so I just assumed that it was a book that needed help to sell. Good to know that it’s one I should put on my “to read” list. Thanks for the review!

    • It’s hard for me to wrap my head around, but sometimes advertising is right. I’m very stubborn when it comes to these things so I’m glad that I caved this time. I’m going to try to be a bit more open-minded in the future otherwise I might miss out on some good stuff.

      I would love to know what you think about it if you choose to read it. Please let me know!

      Thanks so much for reading!

  6. I’ve had this in my TBR pile for far too long – you make me want to bump it up!

  7. Fantastic read from a fantastic author. I strangely came across Wool by meeting Hugh Howey without even knowing who he was or what he had done. I brought the book after hearing him give an hour long talk on the Wool series and his career in general. He sold me on the concept instantly and left me wanting more. I’m currently half way into the final book in the series, Dust. I can’t wait to see how it ends. .

  8. […] This is the second book of this trilogy by Hugh Howey. I read the first book back in August so if you want to readย that post first, click here. […]

Have something to say? Please get in touch!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: