The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey
Rating: 5/5 stars Pages: 416 Genre: Science Fiction, post-apocalyptic Publisher: Orbit Books Release Date: April 14, 2020 The village of Mythen Rood is protected by the wall. And everyone knows that the first rule of staying safe is that you never venture beyond the walls. But after Koli’s choosing ceremony, all he wants to be is a Rampart, and to be a Rampart, a piece of tech has to wake to his touch. Being a Rampart means everything—he’ll become one of the protectors of the village and may even get the girl of his dreams. But to get that life, he might have to break a few rules to get there, and if he fails, he’ll be forced to leave Mythen Rood forever.
** Thanks to NetGalley and Orbit Books for providing me with an eARC of this book**
There is a lot to love about this book. And it's a fantastic start to a series! First off, it’s a master class in voice. Straight up one of the most voicey books I’ve read in a long time. And I honestly think it wasn’t overdone. At first, I was like, oh I dunno if I’m gonna last with this, but over time, I got used it, and before I knew it, Koli’s voice was stuck in my head and I got carried away by his story. I think Koli is a fantastic protagonist. And I loved how his naivety plays off the reader's knowledge. He’s one of those protagonists that is sort of an accidental hero, but it worked for me. The things that he does make perfect sense—in a really frustrating way in which you can definitely guess that the shit is gonna hit the fan—but they made sense for his goals and what he wanted. And I think my final praise is for the world-building in this book. I don’t want to say too much so I don’t spoil it (though maybe it’s obvious after the first few pages?), but I thought the book did a great job of showing the world through Koli’s eyes, rather than through what the reader would expect. And of course, this is a book that does the lie that the characters believe very well, and I just love that. I am also very eager to see where the next book goes! And additional aside, I was very pleased to see trans secondary characters, and though there is clearly transphobia in the world, neither of them are misgendered or deadnamed on-page (that I noticed!). Overall, I’d recommend this one to anyone who’s loving the post-apocalyptic sci-fi trend in the book world for the past while. Another great book with oodles of voice and a brilliantly constructed world.
M.R. Carey can be found on twitter here.
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