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“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” 
― Stephen King, On Writing.

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"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."— J.K. Rowling

Wool Omnibus (Wool, #1-5) - Hugh Howey This is the review for the entire Wool pentalogy (my new favorite word, btw). Wool introduces us to a postapocalyptic world where survivors of whatever disaster that made the outside uninhabitable huddle underground in a giant "silo" that houses hundreds of people. As we can predict, the disaster was man-made (*). What we may not immediately suspect is that there are several more dozen of similar silos around(*) "You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!" - courtesy of "Planet of the Apes" (I give credit when it's due!) Left - what a silo looks like, in case you are agriculturally challenged, like me. Right - apparently people already live in the underground missile silos. No shit.Even speaking about the outside has become taboo, and breaking this taboo results in exile to the toxic outside, where - for reasons unknown to most - the condemned take time to clean the silo "windows" before their death, and the survivors inside can enjoy the toxic views for a few more years. For a long time, the Silo has been functioning like a well-oiled machine until we witness a confrontation between a strong-willed young woman who is not afraid to dig through the secrets of this shelter/prison and an equally strong-willed official who for reasons of his own prefers a status quo. The question stands - what is preferable: safety and security or truth and potential devastation? And the answer to that one is not that easy.This story began as a standalone novella and was subsequently expanded into 4 more volumes (with more potentially to follow, but seems that this particular story arc is complete). The first part has a bleak and haunted, almost vintage sci-fi feel to it. The sequels are more action-packed and touch upon this world's politics (which do not detract from the story). All together they make a fun and enjoyable read. The plot remains tight throughout and all the storylines are compelling. The end may be a bit rushed, but it is still satisfying. The characters are well-developed and multidimensional. Due to originally unplanned expansion of the story, the protagonist Juliette does not take center stage until the third part, but she quickly and effortlessly becomes the natural center of the story. She is an awesome heroine - rational, practical, level-headed, strong-willed, courageous, tough, and outspoken. She is good with machinery and kicks ass. She is a good friend. In short, she is cool, and I want to be her BFF now.The story is well-written and a page-turner. Worth giving it a shot. 4.6 stars - rounding up to 5 with clear conscience. Edit September 2013: 3.5 stars and rounding up - a skim-through a year later showed me its flaws, or maybe I became more critical.