I had heard of Wool before but never knew it was a sci-fi book until I picked it up for this book club. One word of advice for anyone who’s going to read this book: definitely read book 2: shift, and book 3: dust, as well if you want to understand the world more completely and have all the questions answered.
I must say, when I first completed this book, I was highly disappointed by the lack of answers. At the time I wasn’t aware that it was part of a trilogy and my disappointment was only alleviated after I found out there was more to the story, which thoroughly delighted me.
For a first book it was decently written. Good world building that sucked me in and had me questioning why the dystopian world was the way it was (which was the same mindset as some of the characters living in it). The little teasers as to the backstory of this world had me very interested and very frustrated when they weren’t answered in this book. Book 2: Shift, is a prequel and answers a lot of the questions raised in book one and really questions the morality of “means justifying ends”. I wasn’t even sure if the bad guy really was the bad guy even though he did very many questionable things, purely for the fact that his end goal had some understandable reasoning behind it. However, I did also see how he was rationalizing his need to stay in power (I’m drawing parallels to a manga I’m currently reading called Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, where the seemingly bad guy has some good intentions at heart).
Book 3 completed the trilogy and tied up all the loose ends very neatly – in a good way. I wasn’t left disappointed and I felt like the author took the story as far as he could without destroying its integrity. Book 3 is very bittersweet though: be prepared to shed a few buckets if you’re the emotional sort.
Overall, I’d rate the series as a very good series, book 2 as the best of the series, and book 1 as possibly the weakest – but that’s only because it’s his first attempt at writing. Some of the parts of book 1 had some pacing issues – like the diving scene in the last third of the book had me wanting to skip whole pages with the whole scenario of breathing bubbles breaking immersion. But the rest of the story was tightly written and intriguing enough to keep me going. The first book also did not have as much character development but I feel like the author more than made up for it in book 2 and 3, and we some deep characterizations of major characters in both books.
Highly recommend the series to anyone interested in science fiction.