Wool by Hugh Howey

The basics

Title: Wool


Series: Silo #1

- Wool (2013)
- Shift (2013)
- Dust (2013)

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Goodreads Summary:

In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo. Jules is part of this community, but she is different. She dares to hope. And as her walls start closing in, she must decide whether to fight, or to die.

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in Wool by Hugh Howey to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel. If you need help remembering what happened in Wool, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in Wool?

  • Holston’s wife was sent out cleaning three years ago at her own request. In the silo, if you voice your interest in going outside, the higher ups will grant that because you can’t have people talking about the outside all over the place.
  • Holston now wants to join his wife. He says he’ll clean the cameras outside, because everyone does. He is let out, and he sees green earth and birds. He realises this is fake, though, and as he starts to head over the hill he dies next to his wife’s body.
  • Now they need a new Sheriff. Mayor Jahns and Deputy Marnes head down to see Juliette, a Mechanic who has potential. They talk to her dad briefly first on their way. They meet with Jules and she says she’ll take the job but she needs a power holiday in the silo first so she can get the generators running properly.
  • On the way back up, Jahns and Marnes stop off at IT. Bernard, the head of IT, is annoyed because he didn’t want Jules to get the job. He gives the pair some water and food for their journey back up to the top.
  • The water is poisoned and Jahns is killed, so now they need a new mayor. Bernard steps up, of course.
  • Juliette spends her first couple of days trying to figure out what the hell is happening. It doesn’t help that Marnes supposedly kills himself in his room, so she is assigned a new deputy. Billings is one of Bernard’s people, so it’s becoming more and more suspicious.
  • Juliette speaks to a guy called Lukas and I guess they connect over stars or whatever.
  • Juliette goes to see a lad in IT who she knows, and he gives her a bit of info on IT being super dodgy.
  • Bernard finds out that Jules went down to IT and has her fired. She steps down from her role and heads back to Mechanics. She receives a note from her IT guy, which seems to be some kind of riddle about an inside joke.
  • IT guy also mysteriously dies. He clearly knew something.
  • Juliette is arrested. She’s being framed for something she didn’t do, because Bernard wants to get rid of her.
  • Juliette is sent out for cleaning. She doesn’t clean at all, and instead walks over the hill. This throws everyone into an uproar and the silo into chaos.
  • Bernard calls up silo one (!!!!!) and tells them there’s a problem over here in silo eighteen. Ah shit.
  • Jules stumbles across another silo and breaks in. She has to wade through a lot of bodies.
  • Walker attends an underground meeting in Mechanical and explains he called in some favours with Supply in order to build Jules a decent suit that’ll help her survive. It sounds like another uprising is about to begin.
  • Juliette bumps into a guy in the silo. His name is Solo, and he starts explaining that everyone in his silo died a while back when they tried to exit the silo. He explains that there are multiple silos and they’re from just a couple of them.
  • The uprising back in Silo 18 starts.
  • Bernard appoints Lukas as his shadow and tells him about the other silos. There’s a guidebook for Lukas to refer to too, and it tells him to prepare for war as there was no cleaning.
  • There’s a bit of a fight in IT. Bernard receives a call from Juliette who tells him she’s on her way back.
  • Knox dies.
  • Jules starts calling Lukas regularly while she works on getting the pumps in Silo 17 up and running. She needs to drain the lower levels but at this rate it’ll take years, which will be far too late.
  • Walker and the others start listening in on the radio. They overhear some conversations that suggest there are other silos. So now they know too.
  • Lukas reads up on the history of the silos. He’s got a lot to get through, but he manages to read up on some stuff about a Civil War and psychological experiments.
  • Juliette goes underwater to get to the pumps. She radios Solo while she’s down there, but then suddenly the radio goes silent.
  • Turns out Solo wasn’t alone after all and he was attacked by some kids. Solo’s real name is Jimmy.
  • Juliette gets into contact with silo 18. The uprising wins, Lukas gets some help from Billings, and Juliette returns. I feel like this is just the beginning!

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