Wool is one of the best books I’ve read all year, and is now one of my all time favourite sci-fi novels. Howey originally self-published this as a short story, fleshing it out over the next few years with feedback from the steadily increasing readership before it was professionally published as the story it is today. And what an incredible story it is! Howey’s world is vivid and detailed, the characters are realistic and well-crafted, and the plot is gripping. I had to force myself to put the book down instead of staying up all night reading like I wanted to. His heroine is great! She’s smart, determined, capable, everything you want in a hero. Howey treats her exactly as he treats the male characters, no seductive passages lingering over her body or damsel-in-distress scenarios where she has to wait and hope a man will save her. His male characters are no slouches either, they’re brave and resourceful and vital to the story. They have a full range of emotions! It’s so wonderful! If I was going to be stuck in a toxin-filled dystopian future, these are the people I would want to have with me. I mean, I’d prefer not to live in a dystopian world, given the choice. But if some shadowy cabal is hell-bent on destroying the planet so they can rule over its charred husk, (I’m looking at you Donald Trump) you could do worse than to find yourself in Howey’s world. There’s still violence and murder, but relative to other futuristic novels I’ve read like 1984 and Brave New World, Wool is much less grim. Howey makes me believe we can overcome the challenges before us and transform our flawed societies to wonderful places, even if the world outside is hostile and broken. It’s a good feeling.