Author: Hugh Howey
Publisher: Broad Reach
Format: Electronic (Kindle)
(Note: minor spoilers below)
The self-published serial sensation continues in the third book with a new sheriff in town. Juliette has been recruited from the depths of the silo to serve as sheriff of the subterranean city. Before she can become acclimated to her new role, she finds herself on the case of investigating the death of Mayor Marnes. She also becomes intrigued with the previous sheriff’s decision to step outside of the silo, bringing certain death due to the toxic wasteland that occupies the outer world.
In the midst of her investigation, Marnes’s deputy commits suicide, apparently over a broken heart from his friend’s (lover’s?) assassination. But there seems something is afoul. There’s a conspiracy brewing in the IT department and it has something to do with an 8×2 inch viewing screen. Can Juliette uphold the law and get to the bottom of this conspiracy or will she suffer the same fate as the Mayor, the deputy, or the previous sheriff?
After a slight letdown of the second Wool book, Casting Off comes back with a fantastic episode. I am really not aware of anything else like this series in fiction. It is different from a television series of episodes in that no character’s life is safe. Already we have the three main characters from the first Wool book killed off. Moderate time spans occur through each of these novellas, giving the reader a fast-moving plot with a sense of wonder and uniqueness.
The third book was good in many respects. It dug deeper into the broad conspiracy taking place in Silo 18, it brought emotion and a little romance to the underground dwelling, and ultimately left the reader with a new understanding of who is in control in the vast political network in this post-apocalyptic dystopia.
Juliette’s character was portrayed very well and I loved the moment where she was able to share a moment with an amateur astronomer as they looked up through the toxic cloud sky and spot a lone star shimmering. It was symbolic in terms of hope that people could form new relationships again after a devastating disaster and that perhaps, one day, the air would clear and they could lie beneath a cloudless sky and gaze out at the expanse of stars.
Hugh Howey pulled off another great book in the series and like many other readers, he has me completely hooked.