Long haul trucker, nerd, and scifi fan.
Overall this is a pretty good dystopian tale. The originality of the silo habitat throws some fresh air into the genre, and some new twists to keep it interesting. There is one thing that readers may struggle with...
On a sentimentality scale of 1-10 with 1 being Vin Diesel and 10 Being Richard Simmons... the male characters in the story would score a 12. The weepy emotionally fragile men become a distracting influence on an otherwise great story.
I would easily recommend Wool to my friends, but most of my friends would agree that the narrator is a distraction.
Maybe a male/female team would have been better. She reads Juliette's part well, but every other part suffers. All of the male characters sound like slow-witted cartoon characters or evil old women. Those are the only two characterizations available for about ten male characters.
Don't let the lousy narration dissuade you from enjoying the story.
Smoke me a kipper; I'll be back for breakfast.
The most enjoyable aspect of this book is its believability. Many of the current dystopias available explore interesting ideas of levels of government control. However, this series I wouldn’t really categorize as dystopia as it is more of a survival story and this makes it seem so much closer to our real-world situation. It’s not a government trying to make the country perfect and society civilized and then it turning out scary. It is a government trying to help a few humans do the best they can to survive. So the story explores how a country would go about shelving away some humans for survival until the world is live-able. What levels of deceit are worth it for the best survival of the most people? It also addressed issues of class separation, population control, limit of historical information, and the power of taboos.
I found the story slow at the beginning with the first couple of main characters but it moved onto story-lines I found more appealing. All of the characters are standard bucket types, which I felt showed a real lack of imagination on the author’s part. Everyone is what they appear from day one. It could be argued, however, that in a closed society this would be apt to occur. A great aspect of this book is that it is fairly gender-neutral in approach and so more widely palatable to readers. The writing is average but the ideas are great and well-worth the read. I always appreciate an author willing to discuss difficult issues like sacrifice for the good of many and social control and value ideas over good prose. I will definitely plan on reading the Shift series.
I wasn't very fond of this narrator. She did try to do distinct voices, which is appreciated. However, she narrates like she's doing an oral reading on stage instead of just reading it. I'm glad "Shift" is a different narrator.
I was stimulated by the premise of the story, but the depth of character and somewhat juvenile level story sophistication eventually detracted from the overall enjoyment. Similar to ayn rand bad guy level characters. The side story of the mechanics revolution was tedious and unengaging
On the performance side, the narrator was terrible at best. Her version of Bernard made me wish I read the book, not listened. Like nails on a chalkboard.
I found it hard to get into this book at the beginning. But ended up loving it.
My only qualm was the narrator's voice while doing characters. Her voice was lovely most of the time. But then she would do someone's voice...
This is one of the worst narrations ever. Amanda Sayles normal voice is pleasant and easy to follow. HOWEVER, why she felt the need to use painfully loud (rush to turn down the volume) and annoyingly nasal or throaty voices for some of the characters (e.g. Bernard) is inconceivable. It was so distracting and grating that I doubt I will try any other books in the series
An interesting premise that could've been more expeditiously explored.
It was very slow with far too many words spent in flowery descriptions of the character's mundane observations.
The narration was ok, but some male voices were terrible and made the characters sound like country bumpkins.
I fell asleep many times.
I loved the world that it was built in. The amount of intrigue and
[spoiler] The moment that Juliette decided to not clean and go over the hill. And discovering the second silo. I'm always a sucker for new discoveries. [/spoiler]
The character voices were a bit jarring. And some of them sounded very simliar to each other. Which I understand as there were a lot of characters. The regular narration was on point though.
Great start to the series. I finished Shift today and while I liked Shift a lot more this was a good stepping stone into the series.
So, this book was an instant classic and has been reviewed and gushed over pretty widely. It's all true. Read it.
I'm just going to talk about the strangely uneven narration of this audiobook. Amanda Sayle reads it, and I'm going to take a wild guess and say that she must have a history in cartoon voice over.
The thing is, she reads the text PERFECTLY. She gets the intent of the the text more often and accurately than almost audiobook readers I've heard in the past decade.
I can't recall her ever mispronouncing a word, or getting the tense or conjugation wrong. That's an amazing feat for a book of this length.
Then why has she been so widely complained about in the majority of reviews of this book?
It's the voices she chooses to use. Most of the major characters both male and female are just perfect. This is a serious book, filled with grim, practical people. The acting for most of these characters is perfect for them.
But there are 4 or 5 character... important to the storyline, that sound like they're from the Rugrats cartoon.
Without giving away any spoilers, there is one character who might be thought of as the "mail villain". Ms Sayle gives this away almost instantly by using a voice straight out of a Hanna-Barberra cartoon. It is so jarring and distracting to hear this overdone slimy cartoon villain voice right in the middle of the most tense, serious scenes that it's almost impossible to stay invested in the story.
She gives another character a squawking voice that is commonly used for bird characters in cartoons. I actually went back to listen to previous chapters to see if I'd missed something that would explain this voice. Other female characters who are written as tough leaders who demand respect are read with overly cheerful little Disney baby voices.
All of these weird voice choices are too bad because otherwise Amanda Gayle could very well be one of my favorite audiobook actors ever. I hope she gets more opportunities in the future.
Now I'm going to go check IMDB to see if if my theory about a cartoon career is true.
I would recommend the actual book, not the audio version. I read the physical version of the book a few years ago and decided to listen the to audio version because I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately the narrator was awful when she attempted to any sort of dialogue between the characters. Stick to reading this book.