Author: Hugh Howey
Series: Wool #1-5, Silo #1
Published: March 2013 by Simon and Schuster
Review: Everyone lives underground, every birth requires someone to die (so resources aren’t in over-demand), orders are given and followed, and those who think ideas about going outside get them, though maybe not as they wanted them. Dissenters are sent to Cleaning-the task of cleaning, with wool cloth, the cameras which give a view of the world outside of the Silo, which is a punishment because the poisonous gases in the atmosphere break down protective suits and kill the wearer. Jules is one such idea-thinker.
I loved the world of this. You’re transported instantly with the beginning following ex-sheriff Holston going out to Cleaning and starting off the events of the book. You quickly get the gist of the tightness of control, and over the first half you really get the idea of the society and the way it runs together.
Characters-there’s a lot of them. Or at least I think there were. I got really lost in places in terms of who was who and their relationships. Jules is a really good character-strong, inquisitive, and brave.
Book 2 was quite political, which held my interest a lot less than the rest of it. The second half seemed to set up a revolution, and it was interesting to watch, especially when we get parts outside of the Silo.
Overall: Strength 2.5 tea, more a 3, to an adult dystopian that I liked in parts but got lost in others. Excellent world building.
Author: Paul Magrs
Series: Brenda and Effie Mystery #1
Published: May 2005 by Gardener Books
Review: Brendan is an older lady who runs a B&B in Whitby. There’s some weird things going on, such as tv psychics, aliens, time defying beauty parlours and a hotel with people in meat lockers, Brenda and best friend Effie have a lot to keep investigating. And then there’s Brenda and her own mysteries- all the things about her that make you wonder exactly who, or what, she is.
I got recommended this on the fact that it is a very gothy comedy thing that sounded right up my street.
It’s odd reading a book with an older person (who doesn’t have the gift of eternal youth and related perks). It makes it hard for me to connect, but I like the fact that the main character’s age, plus the whole variety of characters, isn’t your typical horror/supernatural/mystery story.
Brenda is a very intriguing character. Who she is is really awesome, and I liked learning her story (see if you can guess who she is from the title. I couldn’t but at the reveal, it made perfect sense). The supporting cast are very varied, but lack depth.
The plot is quite disjointed, but there are some callbacks in places I quite liked.
Writing lacks the laughoutloudness that I was promised by someone, but I liked the style.
Overall: Strength 2.5 tea, more a 2, to a book with a nice idea that I couldn’t get into really.