First published back in November of 2011, US author Hugh Howey’s second instalment into his impressive dystopian saga ‘Silo’ was entitled ‘Wool 2: Proper Gauge’.

DLS Synopsis:
With the silo now without a Sheriff, the silo’s Mayor Marie Jahns needs to decide upon a suitable candidate to take over the role.  Deputy Marnes brings the Mayor a list of three such candidates, with one particular candidate for the position in mind – Juliette Nichols from Mechanical.  However, after looking into Juliette’s personnel file, it is slightly worrying that she has made no attempt to see her father since relocating to the Mechanical floors down deep.

Mayor Jahns and Deputy Marnes decide to take a trip down to level 140 where the Mechanical floors are located.  Descending down the great spiral staircase, through the three sections of the silo, the two old friends decide it would be worthwhile to stop by Juliette’s father, Dr Peter Nichols, on their way downwards.  A talk with the doctor might well shed some light on the person behind their potential new Sheriff.  After all, their preferential choice for the position is a hardworking laborer from down deep.  Someone quite far removed from the political make up that goes with the role of the silo’s Sheriff.

And after finally making their way down all the 140 levels to meet with Juliette, they find that their eyes are being opened to a greater understanding of the pumping heart of the silo.  They find problems that have been stifled by the great distance between the levels of the silo, and with these problems, someone willing to push forwards with longer term solutions.  And in Juliette, Mayor Jahns finds that someone who reminds her of her own younger self.

But all are not happy with the Mayor’s desire to have Juliette Nichols take up the position of the silo’s Sheriff.  The silo’s IT division, who use up far more than their fair share of the silo’s power, are firmly against the new proposal.  The Mayor is treading on toes with her plan for their new Sheriff.  But at this stage in her life, she couldn’t care less...

DLS Review:
Following the success and growing popularity of the first instalment, ‘Wool 1: Holston’ (2011), author Hugh Howey found himself encouraged to continue with the ‘Wool’ story, and as such, this second instalment was duly penned.  And the story, although notably longer than the first book, feels much more like a second instalment.  Gears are being set in motion.  A much larger picture of the dystopian existence is being established.  The silo itself is opening out to the reader; its vast size and colossal depth becoming more apparent.

With Holston now gone, the storyline has instead redirected to follow Mayor Jahns and her close friend and colleague, Deputy Marnes.  Without the drama from the first book looming over the storyline, the tale is much less anxious and immediately emotive.  Instead we see a slower paced and far more reserved storyline, with much of the narrative geared towards a larger plot that the author is clearly beginning to see in his mind.  

‘Wool 2: Proper Gauge’ is much more of a building block for a larger story than the first book was.  It is less of a self-contained tale and more the fabrication of a far more complex dystopian society.  Its importance in the bigger picture is undoubted.  Furthermore, the storyline introduces some key characters, most notably Juliette Nichols, who will go on to become a crucial character in the much larger storyline.  The foundations for a much bigger plot are being set deep down in the toxic earth.

Interestingly, in hardcopy format (as opposed to the digital ebook format) the tale continues on with the page numbering and chapter numbering from the first book.  As such, this second instalment starts with Chapter 8 beginning on page 59.  This certainly helps in making the stories feel like more of a continuous thread-line, divided up into separate books, but still very much a part of each other.

The novel runs for a total of 96 pages.

© DLS Reviews

Other ‘Silo’ instalments:

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