WOOL: Omnibus by Hugh Howey

WOOL: Omnibus

5/5 and sticks the landing

550 pages

Published January 25, 2012


I should have posted this review months ago but I was intimidated by all the hubbub:

Publishers Weekly, anyone?

On December 19, 2011, I downloaded a short story that would change my life.

Okay, well. My life is still pretty much the same but fundamental, groundbreaking, eye-opening, brain-blasting change like this takes time to process.

As a reader, I was thrilled to be carried away by the story.

As a writer, I dissected every sentence, like an assigned work.

The children were playing while Holston climbed to his death…” that’s as close to a spoiler as I want to get in this review.

WOOL scattered great handfuls of wild and luscious heirloom seeds across my creative garden.

Where once I had dutifully planted the traditional, genetically modified-to-be-resistant-to-drought variety that allowed me to muddle along with just enough sustenance to get through the day but remain within in my assigned designation, I now had the promise of magnificent melons bursting with glistening flesh, meaty tomatoes – the crazy weird multi-colored ones that make the uniform rows of tame Romaines in Sav-Rite look like clones manufactured for organ harvest – and cucumbers long and thick enough to satisfy the most voracious nymph.

I hope you got through that last sentence. If you did, congratulations! Here’s the link to the whole book (includes the original short WOOL).

WOOL: Omnibus (Kindle)

or perhaps, signed by the author:


No need to read further. You’ve already got the important bits.

There aren’t any new ideas under the sun, especially when shaded by the boiling clouds of an apocalypse, but take heart. There are some writers who sift through what’s been done and breathe life into trope, turning a genre on its head and offering up the soft, delectable belly.

Writers like Hugh Howey.

The short story WOOL was written to stand alone, grazing on the electronic fields of the internet, far from the herd.

The fans –wolves, the lot of us- demanded more. We devoured the poor stray and sucked the marrow from its bones and wrote 5-star reviews begging the author for the main course.

Graciously, Hugh obliged. Yeah, he realized this lamb had breeding potential.

Five installments, released quickly enough to keep the hordes distracted while the author made a clean get-away, make up the Omnibus.

Never one to leave us hanging, Howey then presented First Shift: Legacy and promises more.

Save the above-mentioned for after the Omnibus.

I may review every book this author has authed because he’s that good. This is an author who can take a very simple story and fuck you up with it.

My brain reads these stories and thinks I remember this. I feel the vibration of the metal stairs through my arthritic knees. I hear the children laughing in the cafeteria. I close the door of the cell and feel the snick of the lock. I long to find my wife in the rolling green fields of the outside world.

The worlds he writes about are real. Seriously. They exist. For better or worse, Howey is stuck trolling the multi-verse and bringing back the goods.

The author’s style is simple. Straight-forward. You won’t have to plow through passages like the fruitful one near the top of this review. You may find yourself doing that foot-jerk thing because you forgot you were reading a book and only literarily traveling to the Down Deep.

If I were a lesser sort, a jealous type,  or  bored troll – someone who should be sent to clean based on just being an asshole – I would write a half-dozen one star reviews under an assumed name in the futile effort to negate the over FOURTEEN HUNDRED FIVE STARS REVIEWS this tome has received.

I admit: I am a fanngrrrl.

I hope this book finds a place in your heart. Yay or nay, the author has recently released a zombie novel you might enjoy.

I, Zombie.

About Violet Graves

Writer of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Sex with a Vengeance www.violetgraves.com
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