From the Recovery Room

Well hello there. How is everyone?  We've missed you during our short hiatus.  Where did we go, you ask? We were under the knife.  That's right, the old major surgery excuse.  Suffice it to say that we are well on the road to our long recovery (six to eight months worth, yikes!).  

The last thing we remember seeing.

And while A Reader's Respite thought we had our initial recovery well-stocked with every book you can imagine, no one told us that all those pain medications make reading a book seem like climbing Mt. Everest.  
Reading became a tiring chore.  We lacked concentration.  We lacked interest.  Books were abandoned a mere ten pages in.  Worthy reads were callously discarded.  Blogging? Forget about it. 

It. Was. Horrible. 

We are pleased to report, however, that our ability to commit ourselves to a book is slowly (ever so slowly) returning.  Whew.  We've even read a few excellent novels which we'll tell you all about later this week. The one book, though, that stood out from the rest and took us by surprise was Hugh Howey's series of novellas, Wool.

Have you read them?  Wow.  We were riveted from the first page.  Author Hugh Howey originally published these novellas one at a time, starting in 2011, via Amazon's self publishing tool. Nowadays, they are available in an omnibus edition comprising Books 1-5 of this amazing dystopian story both in Kindle format and dead-tree version thanks to Simon & Schuster who knew a good novel when they saw one and promptly purchased the print rights to this gem.

Wool presents our world at some future point in time (exactly when remains unclear) when the Earth has become uninhabitable, at least as we experience living.  A toxic atmosphere has forced the remaining humans to live underground in a vast, ever-so-deep silo.  Don't feel too sorry for our characters, though.  They don't know how bad they have it because living in the silo is the only life anyone knows or remembers.  History, you see, didn't make it into the silos.

Howey constructs a fascinating world.  In true dystopian fashion we find a society that lives and governs itself under both the familiar and unfamiliar.  We found it riveting.  Of course, a novel needs a plot, right?  There is plenty of that, too.  Through a series of events we won't divulge here (no way are we spoiling this one for those who haven't had the pleasure yet), the inhabitants of our Silo 18 inadvertently discover they aren't alone.  There are other silos.  

While a goodly amount of action and adventure exist, Howey never once compromises character development.  Protagonists and antagonists abound and they are easy to care for (just don't get too attached to any of them).  The answers you long for - how did they get there?  what led to living in the silos?  why are the other silos kept secret? WHY? WHY? OH WHY? - are doled out in little tidbits that make the reader nearly beg for more.

We like this cover the best

Can you tell we loved this book?  Thank goodness there is more of Howey's world of silos, conveniently available in another omnibus called Shift, containing Books 6-8.  And we're not the only ones who loved this fictional world - 20th Century Fox snapped up the film rights and Ridley Scott has been rumored to direct.

Howey is a rare phenomenon - the self published author who is truly talented and deserving of a wide audience.  There is nothing amateur about this work.  A Reader's Respite is ashamed to think that this gem has been languishing on our Kindle for well over a year, unread because we have become so used to disappointment from the vast majority of self published novels.  Don't make our mistake:  read it.

Title: Wool (Omnibus Edition)
Author:  Hugh Howey
Publisher: Kindle Direct Publishing (ebook), Simon & Schuster (print)
Date:  2012
Pages: 550
Source:  Purchased

Rating:  5 Stars


  1. I've heard really great things about this, and what a success story! It is very reminiscent of a book I just read called Metro 2033 written by some young Russian guy in his basement and originally published online for free. It is about after the nuclear apocalypse where everyone (in Russia) lives in the underground Metro. It is CRAZY. And there are things up above that have been mutated. Anyway I digress. I'm going to have to get my hands on this book. And I'm glad you are recovering!

  2. I too have heard great things about this. And yes, it totally sucks to be sick because not only because of the sick thing but because of the not-feeling-like-reading thing! And so glad you are recovering! Now you need to compare the Wool series to The Fifth Wave so I can get some vicarious info on it.

  3. Feel better!! Reading after surgery or any kind of recovery can be so tiring! I've heard great buzz about WOOL -- should check it out now!

  4. Having just finished reading 'Dust' (the last in the 'Wool' series) I can confirm that it was a real page-turner from start to finish. I'm sad to have finished it - but delighted to hear that there is to be a film and ecstatic that Ridley Scott is to direct - he will do a brilliant job of conveying the darkness and claustrophobia of the Silos, I'm certain. Very interested to know who they will cast...

  5. Sorry to hear that you've been out of commission. I was going to say I hope it's wasn't too serious, but with that recovery time, it sounds like it was. Hope you're on a smooth road to recovery.

    I have seen that book around, but didn't realize what it's about. It sounds amazing so it's being promptly added to my wishlist. Thanks for sharing!

    Glad you're back!


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