Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) (Wool, #1-5) - Hugh Howey,  Minnie Goode

A YA dystopia with SF premise.

Quite a likable story. If this were a movie, it would be filled with close-up shots of the main protagonists with some glimpses of the world in the backdrop. [a:Hugh Howey|3064305|Hugh Howey|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1327581631p2/3064305.jpg] focuses on the human drama and does this quite well. His most compelling character is the perspicacious Juliet, headstrong, compassionate, and equipped with Lance Armstrong-like calves (sans PED). Her story is enough to keep many a reader reading on through to the end, including this reviewer. The character development of Lucas is also quite engaging, in particular, as he faces his personal crisis.

I personally wanted to see more of the broken world of the silos. The opening segment (Wool #1) describes the worn metal stairs in some detail, but does not address some immediate SF issues as the lack of elevators, the effects of sunlight deprivation (vit D deficiency, brittle bones, depression, sallow skin). But the humans of this strange underground world are seemingly the same as the "normal" ones of today, despite the apparent centuries of elapsed time. In my distracted way, I kept wondering where they get their meat, if any, or how they grow their food, and how much canned food was stored to last so long. But these are my pre-occupations and not the author's who clearly has a different focus in mind with this book. Wool is about the human story, their struggles for equality against the tyranny of the few, their spirit of perseverance and the will to keep living despite inimical conditions. It is a powerful story which is reflected in the popularity of this book among the GF readership.

As for me, I kept asking the SF questions straight through Wool #5. How much power did each silo need, where did they get the fuel to run the generators, how did they handle ventilation, when Juliet took a really deep dive and fast rise in the depths of Mechanical, did she not get the bends, how do radio signals propagate underground, and so on and so forth. If you are able to deal with the SF premise that is not expounded upon, then you can really love this book. This is a well-written human interest story that happens to have an SF-type premise. My rating of 3-stars is based purely on the difference in expectation when I purchased the book as an SF story and when I read it as a sort of Romeo and Juliet romance.