I have mixed feelings about how much I liked Wool. Knowing that it was written as individual novellas, that were compiled together later, it makes me wonder if I should review each part by itself, or look at it together? I suppose the last parts are really meant to be one complete set, as they revolve around the same character.
I liked the setting and the revelations at the ending, even if those revelations aren't exactly enlightening as to what has truly happened in the world. I am completely fine with that. My mind likes to wander and speculate about possibilities, and in doing so, makes a story more enjoyable.
Juliette was a great character. Additionally, I cared about all the characters and was interested in what happened to them. Wool is mainly character driven. The ending surprised me!
The pace was well done. I got absorbed in the story many times when I needed to put the book down and do something else. However, there were times when I didn't get that so much. I think the style of writing, although plain, never gives us enough backstory and exposition about the world the characters live. I don't need answers to everything! But taking the time to describe how systems work in the silo would have interested me. Or at least skipping the stair climbing descriptions.
I can see how this story or stories, really, has gotten rave reviews. You can sit down with Wool, read through, and never get back up until it's done. I got the feeling it was almost like sci-fi "lite." Heavy on the action, little on description. Maybe in that way it has more mass appeal because nothing is really explained in the nitty-gritty.
The middle part of the Omnibus is the best. I did like Wool #1, although it seems other reviewers didn't like it so much. I thought it set up the world really well, and it's rather short anyway.
About the cleaning....If IT has the ability to manufacture suits that can withstand the outside, and they have all these mechanics in the silo, and all sorts of equipment - a real source of conception and practice - couldn't they have simply made a machine that cleans the lens? Where did this ritual of cleaning come up from? And if cleaning this lens is necessary, doesn't it seem short-sighted to wait on criminals or suicides to have it cleaned? Doesn't that mean there would be long periods were the lens would uncleaned? I would think in that circumstance, if it was necessary to consistently clean, there would be some sort of monthly, annual, etc. sacrifice...or lottery even, to have someone clean it.
Also, I wondered why there would even be an accessible door to leave the Silo. Wouldn't a secret door in IT that leads up to an exit be more apt?
I thought it was intriguing how there was no mention of religion. Although in Wool #1, Holston remembers rituals that he and his wife did to help with the pregnancy, there's no discussion of greater beliefs. I would think people would start coming up with something after being cooped up for so long to explain answers to all the questions that people have. For me, I think this was the missing piece that didn't quite make Wool as great as a novel as it could have been.
Although Wool is interesting, it never goes far enough with the story. We read such a small corner of the larger world. I guess that is what the sequels are for.