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Here, Now — I mentioned over the weekend that we’ll be bringing back book and movie articles to compliment our news articles and help round out the overall theme of D’D. The only difference is that they will not be full-fledged reviews, but rather recommendations from us to the D’D reader.

So, that being said, I couldn’t think of a better way to kick things off than with Hugh Howey’s WOOL OMNIBUS EDITION.

Anyone who has been on this site long enough is familiar with Hugh Howey. He was one of our writers, one of the site founders, and a very close, longtime friend of mine. A while back he decided he wanted to be an author, and within a short amount of time, he was.

Already having written a handful of well-received books, it was his latest effort, the self-published WOOL series, that shot him to the top of everyone’s reading list, landed him in Entertainment Weekly and with a movie deal.

I reviewed the first WOOL, a novella involving people living in an underground silo after some kind of catastrophe made living above ground impossible. I loved the story and my only complaint, along with others who loved the story, was that I wanted more of the world the story was based in and Hugh delivered; writing five more books for the series. Warning, synopsis for the following books may contain spoilers.

WOOL

They live beneath the earth in a prison of their own making. There is a view of the outside world, a spoiled and rotten world, their forefathers left behind. But this view fades over time, ruined by the toxic airs that kill any who brave them. So they leave it to the criminals, those who break the rules, and who are sent to cleaning. Why do they do it, these people condemned to death? Sheriff Holston has always wondered. Now he is about to find out.

WOOL 2: PROPER GAUGE

A cleaning has been performed, and now the silo is without a sheriff. With only one good candidate available, Mayor Jahns and Deputy Mames set off for the Down Deep to recruit her in person. Along the way, they discover much about each other, troubling news about this candidate, and stumble upon fractured alliances that could spell the doom of a silo they’ve worked long years to protect.

WOOL 3: CASTING OFF

The silo has appointed a new sheriff. Her name is Juliette, and she comes not from the shadows of deputies, but from the depths of the down deep. But what does being a mechanic have to do with upholding the law? And how will she be able to concentrate on the silo’s future when she is surrounded by the ghosts of its past? Before she can even settle in, the whirring gears of the silo begin to grind anew. Things aren’t right. And the people whose help she most needs are gone. If Juliette isn’t careful, she’ll soon be among them.

WOOL 4: THE UNRAVELING

There is a legend in their past of an uprising, a war they have learned about, but have learned nothing from. Nobody knows what went wrong. Nobody talks about what happened. Such are the silo taboos. Now, nearly two hundred years later, the people of the Silo will get a chance to learn more about that distant uprising. They’ll get to start one of their own…

WOOL 5: THE STRANDED

Two people find themselves stranded in worlds apart. One world is crumbling, the other already in ruin. Will their fight to be reunited spell doom for them both and all around them? Or will it bring salvation? Welcome to the exciting conclusion to the Wool saga.

After these books were completed, Hugh put these five books into one collection called WOOL OMNIBUS EDITION. With this, you get all five books in one. Each book is a bit longer than the last, the final one clocking in at 60,000 words, and leaving the OMNIBUS with 550 pages of dystopian future, post-apocalyptic, underground dwelling goodness.

I would review the entire collection here, but there is no way I could do them justice with one article. Although there is a main storyline that runs through the series, each book focuses on separate characters within the Silo and handles different themes. So I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves. I just checked, and currently there are 992 Amazon reviews for WOOL OMNIBUS EDITION–882 of those are 5-star reviews. On Goodreads, WOOL OMNIBUS is sitting at 4.52 with 1,366 ratings. That’s pretty effin’ crazy.

But if those numbers do not sway you into checking out OMNIBUS at the low, low price of 5.99, let me tell you that it is good. Real good. Classic good. Of course some of you may be thinking that I would say this because Hugh is a friend of mine and the site’s. For those that think that, you obviously don’t know me well and just how seriously I take using this site to recommend things to our readers. Besides, as the numbers above show, my accolades for the series are just a small drop in the large bucket of praise Hugh has received for the WOOL series.

For those of you, like me, who are turned off with the words “science” and “fiction” when used together, know that this isn’t “pew! pew!” science fiction involving alien races and fleets of intergalactic spaceships. This is often bleak science fiction in the realm of  I AM LEGEND, A BOY AND HIS DOG, and the FALLOUT series of video games.

These books contain so many memorable situations and characters–some of whom you will hate and others you will care about–that there is no way I could possibly write about the entire series without babbling for pages about what a damn good job Hugh did fleshing out the world of WOOL and the people who inhabit it. So just do yourself a favor and pick up the WOOL OMNIBUS EDITION. The only negative aspect in doing so would be that you would be robbing Hugh. At $5.99, it’s a steal. He could easily be charging two to three times more than that like other authors do for products that are half as entertaining.

And to Hugh, if you are reading this. I once told you that I liked your books, but that you had not written anything I would personally consider 5-star worthy. I said this after you had written the WOOL series and before I had read them. How absolutely wrong I was. Outstanding job.

[rating:5/5]

If you would to keep track of Hugh and what he is up to, including the prequel to WOOL and his upcoming zombie book, then be sure to stop by his website or check out his forums. The former contains everything you want to know about Hugh and his daily activities while the former contains other Howey fans and an administrator who, I hear, is quite dashing.

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