My exams are finally over! I disappeared for a little while when the only thing that was going on in my life was revision and mindless procrastination-geared scrolling through Tumblr but thankfully I've made it through those few weeks and can get back to doing things I love, like reading and blogging!
I thought I'd come back with a review of Wool by Hugh Howey, given to me as part of a swap with the lovely Toni. This has been getting a lot of attention recently so I was excited to get stuck into it.
The first hundred or so pages had me hooked, it was full of twists and turns and I loved the feeling of under the surface menace. I also loved Juliette, the protagonist. She didn't have the dreaded 'feisty' syndrome. She was just a smart, kind, tough, slightly world weary young woman who gets thrown into something beyond what she should have to handle and I really enjoyed that.
Where this book let me down was in the writing. God it dragged at times. This pretty hefty tome could have easily been 200 pages shorter but everything was narrated in such precise detail. A character we cared about would be in a dangerous situation where short snippy sentences were needed to ramp up a sense of urgency, Howey for some reason felt the need to describe to us just HOW stuck someone's foot was or the exact details of the action of jamming a spanner into a piece of machinery. We spend paragraphs reading about someone just changing clothes or having introspective reflections at really inconvenient moments. The plot also feels rushed at times, with certain things happening just to push the story along. It's just not as well crafted as I would have liked.
It's worth pointing out that Wool was originally published in segments which might account for this (That's why a lot of Victorian fiction drags) but you'd have thought they could have edited it a little bit to make it suit a single volume format. The writing and slightly messy plot just smacks of 'not-quite-finished' and although I finished the book, I found myself skimming bits toward the end of it just to finish and find out what happens.
I did enjoy it overall and as I said large chunks of it were great and I really enjoyed the moral complexity of the situation the characters were in but I just wish a bit more time had been taken on refining the plot and making the writing flow better. It just feels quite a lot like someone rushed it through editing and processing to get it on the shelves while dystopian fiction was popular and I hate to sound cynical but that's just the feeling I get.
If you enjoy dystopian I would still recommend it, even if just for how much I enjoyed the first third or so, you may have more patience with the writing than I did.
Let me know if you've read Wool and what you thought of it, I'd love to hear other's views on this one!
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