Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wool 2: Proper Gauge

Wool 2:  Proper Gauge, by Hugh Howey

A cleaning has been performed, and now the silo is without a sheriff. With only one good candidate available, Mayor Jahns and Deputy Marnes 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.

My Reaction:
I enjoyed it.  Not quite so much as Wool (the first installment), though... But whereas Wool felt like it could have been a stand-alone short novella, Wool 2 has more the feeling of settling in for a longer story.  Wool was one man's story, and while Wool 2 can be seen as one woman's story, it's also the beginning of a story about the silo as a whole.

...Anyway, it was enjoyable, but sad.  (Few dystopian tales can help being sad.)  Also, it has a major case of the cliffhanger ending.  You might as well secure a copy of the Wool Omnibus Edition, if you liked the first installment (which is now free on Amazon), because I can guarantee you won't be satisfied to stop after the second bit-- not if you like stories with some sense of closure. 

Spoilery Comments:
Bernard's insulting words about Jahns and Marnes-- spoken in their presence-- felt a little over the top.  Maybe it was just me, but that felt just too much, even for a guy who thinks he runs the place.  True, considering later (somewhat predictable) developments, maybe someone who'd be willing to do that wouldn't think twice about harsh insults based entirely on someone's age... but I picture Bernard as at least believing himself to be a mastermind of sorts.  What kind of mastermind would cast suspicion on himself by openly insulting the woman he's planning to kill?  Of course, for that matter, how does he think he'll escape suspicion when they trace the water back to his office?  I'm sure he'll have some excuse, but it seems like a bright guy would've found some other place/way to contaminate the water...

In any case, I think I'll have to brace myself for Bernard being an Evil Incarnate character with no redeeming qualities whatsoever-- though I hope he won't continue to be so cartoonishly drawn.