Wool shows how to develop enthralling plots and sharp, believable characters. Howey colours his world well; the scenario is satisfyingly rich. The book will reward re-reading, thanks to its depth of detail.

Some may find the pace slow, descriptions of mechanical devices are intricate, even tools are portrayed with real respect. Others may want further exploration of the world outside the character’s home, or more historical information. A few rumours might have helped flesh out the back story, but Howey probably wants readers to find answers in the next book in the series.

Nitpicks aside, Wool contains lucid writing, lays a firm foundation for future ideas, and there’s enough ambiguity in the characters to add spice to the story. Howey’s next novels are going on my reading list.