Review

Review: The Stranded

The Stranded
The Stranded by Hugh Howey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wool is the Brave New World of our time!

The tension in this, the final story of the Wool series, is constant: with running-out-of-air-underwater, running-for-safety, and racing-against-the-clock scenes, it absolutely did not disappoint!

But for me there was an added joy, because it’s in this story I was most aware of the ultimate underlying question:

“A game where breaking the rules means we all die, every single one of us. But living by those rules means we all suffer.”

What would we do if we knew our lives were reduced to this? How would we live our lives differently? Who am I to judge the choices these people are making?

And most importantly, is history always doomed to repeat itself, or is there a way out of this?

The Wool series is the best version of this dilemma I’ve ever read, because it wasn’t just esoteric but warm and alive with human choices and our imperfect reactions.

And I feel sorrier than ever for the naysayers: yeah, there’s passive voice, and the odd section of telling-not-showing, but these are either used to good effect or are inconsequential. And sure, I never did visualize the server room exactly right (every time the room was featured I had to re-adjust my mental imagery!).

But if these elements are real (and not just a fault of my own imagination) then they just prove the author is as human as his characters. The story was too good to get stuck on minor issues.

This series is unique, original and perfectly executed, and I can’t wait to read to more.

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