Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows my love of Hugh Howey’s Wool series but as of last week I hadn’t delved in to the massive library of fan fiction out there. Something was holding me back, part of me not wanting to dilute the experience with something below par, but at the same time I was eager to go back to the Silos for another peek.
I’d seen Hugh recommending Patrice’s Karma series on more than a few occasions so when the omnibus edition was released I took his word for it and jumped in.
Taking on the world of Wool is no easy task and Karma Of The Silo bravely takes on the life story of a significant character from the Wool series who we know existed and while didn’t play a huge part in the original story, the importance of her relationship with one of the main characters reverberates through the history of the Silos
Beginning with the early days of the Silos, the author does a fantastic job of retaining the atmosphere and claustrophobia of life underground and the characters are carefully constructed, exploring not only the effects of Silo life on the family dynamic, but the often complex relationships between the different Silo classes through the eyes of Karma and her family as she realises who she really is and has to decide whether to remain subdued and forget her past life, or choose a different path than the one chosen for her and challenge the status quo.
It also explores the brutality of human nature as various conflicts arise during Karma’s life with all-too-familiar uprisings and power struggles taking place with some resorting to violence, menace and murder to achieve their goals, while also dealing with the tragic consequences of suicide as people become disillusioned with life and the ever-lingering threat of being sent to Clean.
The story is well-paced and rarely falters with plenty of twists and a stirring conclusion and I have to say overall my first foray into fan fiction has been very rewarding indeed. I have to admit I’ve always been a bit skeptical about the impact and validity of fan fiction, but Patrice Fitzgerald has proven me wrong and for that I’m grateful.