Review: The Stranded (Wool #5) by Hugh Howey

The Stranded (Wool#5)

Author: Hugh Howey

Rating: 5 star

Publisher: Broad Reach

Format: Electronic (Kindle)

Silo eighteen is at war. The mechanics have retreated to the lower depths of the silo and the mayor is willing to use lethal force to spare the few. He has entrusted Lukas with all of the secrets of the silo and expects him to execute the silo’s protocol regardless of the consequence.

Juliette, our fearless heroine, has found that she is not alone in neighboring silo seventeen. The lower levels are flooded and there is danger in her midst. Against impossible odds, she must save silo seventeen, stop the war in silo eighteen, and stay alive in the process. Meanwhile, her love interest, Lukas, must ultimately decide where his loyalties lie.

The Stranded was the perfect conclusion to the series. There were many unexpected twists and the action was packed onto every page. We learn so much in this volume — how deep the silos go, how many there are, and why they were designed in the first place. Howey has constructed an interesting world that was not at all like I suspected — one that leaves continual mysteries, even after the series is completed. More answers will likely be told in the prequel trilogy (Wool 6-8), but enough information has been shared to paint a complete picture.

I particularly like the way Howey is able to build the action up and resolve minor conflicts without it being a diversion to the overall story arc. Juliette has many tasks that all contribute to her welfare — draining silo seventeen’s flood, investigating an attack, and resolving the conflict in silo 18. She is abused by what befalls her, but she is tough and each time methodically pieces through her dilemmas. She needs no punk rock hairdo or martial arts expertise to be a cool heroine and is able to fulfill her role by her character alone. This is refreshing for genre fiction, where female protagonists are often devolved into mannish behavior and a gritty disposition.

Wool has been a delight to read and I will most definitely be continuing the series with the next installments. The first volume is free and I would recommend this series to anyone looking for a great adventure.

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