I feel like I'm committing a grave sin after reading all of the excellent reviews this has gotten, but I have to do this. While Wool
has some solid writing, the plot itself is formulaic and predictable. I enjoyed the premise immensely and think the world and characters Howey created were likable and have tremendous potential, but he never went anywhere different with it than we've seen in the genre thus far. I knew what he was doing and where he was going as soon as he thought of it and I kept hoping to be surprised - I wanted to be surprised, but never was.
I enjoyed the first volume tremendously and was really eager to unravel the mysteries hinted at through its narrative, but the answers were honestly stale and felt like a mishmash of 80s end-of-the-world tropes. The narrative structure and introduction to the world of Silo 18 are enticing, subtle and engaging and Howey was right to leave it where he did - it's the shortest and best in the series. I think the omnibus presentation would be fantastic for a young adult audience and I'm thinking of highly recommending it to students who are bored or struggling readers. This kind of story is in-fashion now and I do think that Howey writes excellent dialogue and narration that don't make me cringe the way most YA writing does. There was nothing really cheesy or corny about the packaging and presentation (besides the title!), my gripes are with direction.
Recommended for the 13-18 year old bracket.