The story of how Wool came to be is actually pretty interesting. Howey originally self-published the first story (only ~50 pages) through Amazon.com’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Although he didn’t originally expect it to do as well as it did, it just took off and over the next few years he wrote several increasingly longer (although still well within the novella range) sequels.
So what is there to like about Wool? Well, the world is really interesting. It has everything that I both love and hate in a short story: getting me really into the world building and the characters, while at the same time knowing when not to get into the deep backstory that a full length novel could do. And then in the sequels, you get the best of both worlds with a more fleshed out world with all the little twists and turns you should have seen coming.
I also really liked the characters. They each have unique voices and react well enough to difficult circumstances, something I like to see done well in a story. One problem I had around the middle of the series was the relationship between Juliette and Lukas. It just felt unearned. It grows and makes more sense by the end, but it still felt weird. Also Lukas' sudden ascension in power didn’t feel earned to me. I get that he wanted a POV character in that role, but it still felt weird.
On the down side (and here be spoilers), the world doesn’t really make that much sense to me. Perhaps it’s because I’m not seeing the big picture, perhaps there are other ways throughout the world, but I just really don’t get why each and every silo has to either follow the rules or will collapse. Honestly, in a few hundred years, no one has managed to build what Juliette seems to be trying for at the end of the series?
All that being said, I really loved these books. I can see why they took off so well on Amazon. If you like post-apocalypic fiction (or heck, even if you just don’t hate it), give them a try.
So after 20 days, I’ve read 10 books. Even though Wool et al are significantly shorter, I’m still going to count them. With behemoths such as Way of Kings to balance the scales I’m sure everything will work out in the end.
Originally my goal was 24 books. I might just finish that by the end of the month. New goal? The full 100. So far I’m 4-5 books ahead.