First published back in January of 2012, US author Hugh Howey’s fifth instalment into his impressive dystopian saga ‘Wool’ was entitled ‘Wool 5: The Stranded’.

DLS Synopsis:
The uprising was upon them.  But IT had been prepared for the attack that Mechanical and Supply had risen up the silo levels to bring to them.  And it was a fight that Mechanical and Supply were always going to lose.  Outgunned and out positioned, the already tired fighters from down deep fall one by one.  Their leaders in the uprising, Knox and McLain, are torn down in the very thick of the fighting.  The losses and confusion are too great for the attack to continue.

And so back down the silo’s spiral staircase the would-be fighters retreat, with IT hot on their tails to reap vengeance for such action.  However, those left behind in Mechanical have prepared for war.  A floor to ceiling barricade has been erected out of welded steel sheets, boxing them in, but at the same time, offering protection for a final resistance.

Meanwhile, Juliette Nichols has spent the past three weeks with Solo in Silo 17, getting to grips with her empty new home.  Sleeping in the warmth provided by the still active servers on the IT floors, Juliette has found solace in the most unlikely of communications.  Lukas Kyle, who has been hidden away beneath the servers in Silo 18, is in regular contact via the silo’s radio systems.  And in his new position shadowing Bernard Holland, Lukas has been given access to the books that govern life across the silos.  Bernard has left Kyle to read the great texts that will see them through this uprising as it has seen the silo’s inhabitants through the last.  A thick and detailed tome named ‘The Order’ that Lukas must read through.  And one that is opening the IT engineer’s eyes to a worrying and conflicting reality.

However, whilst Mechanical and Supply make their last stance in Silo 18, Juliette is contemplating a similarly dangerous project in the deserted Silo 17.  Finding out that vast mechanical diggers are buried at the very bottom of the silo, immersed in level upon level of flood water; Juliette knows that if she could get her hands on such powerful digging machinery, there is a chance that she could make it through the earth and reach those fighting for their lives in Silo 18.  A mission that’s worth the risks.  A project that she thinks her and Solo might just be able to do.

But all is not as it appears in Silo 17.  And time is ticking away for those holed-up in the depths of Mechanical in Silo 18.  And the fallout from the uprising could well bring the same fate to Silo 18 as it did to Silo 17.  The fighting could end it all for them...


DLS Review:
The action and drama immediately greets the reader in this fifth instalment in the dystopian ‘Wool’ series.  And from the bombarding and utterly desperate first few chapters, Howey sets down some completely unpredictable and plot-altering twists that set in motion an entirely different course for the book.

Strong characters are suddenly dropping like flies, with just a small handful left to see out the course of the book.  Juliette is separated from the action of Silo 18, resulting in a completely split storyline that switches between the events taking place in the two silos, in (predominantly) alternating chapters.  Alongside these heart-in-mouth chapters, the novel squeezes in Lukas Kyle’s secluded place in the whole unfolding scenario.  Although much less tense and immediate than what it’s constantly sandwiched in between, the Lukas Kyle thread unveils the intriguing dissection of The Order and other such texts, allowing Howey to explore the greater picture of the dystopian setting for the books.  And the end result is as frightening and real as the messages from George Orwell’s classic ‘Nineteen-Eighty-Four’ (1949).

Outside of the intense action and desperate fighting from within Silo 18, Howey brings in a breathtakingly suspenseful and nerve-jarringly tense thread surrounding Juliette’s mission to drain away the vast amounts of flood water immersing the lower levels of the deserted silo.  And within this unbelievably compelling storyline, Howey throws in all manner of unforeseeable and plot-altering twists.

The book never lets up for one second as it hurtles towards its dramatic and emotionally intense finale.  The book, and indeed the entire series thus far, seem to have all been geared towards this one dramatic moment.  And Howey plays his final hand of cards masterfully, bringing together a truly spectacular and utterly fitting ending to the book as well as the series’ progression so far.

The novel runs for a total of 233 pages.

© DLS Reviews

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