Thanks to NetGalley and Orbit for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: April 14th, 2020
Synopsis: The first in a gripping new trilogy, The Book Of Koli charts the journey of one unforgettable young boy struggling to find his place in a post-apocalyptical world. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and Annihilation.
Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable world. A world where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly vines and seed that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will.
Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He knows the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture beyond the walls.
What he doesn’t know is—what happens when you aren’t given a choice.
M.R. Carey is an author that has never let me down. I loved his urban fantasy/horror Felix Castor series, and as disappointed as I was when that ended, I was blown away by The Girl With All the Gifts, and enjoyed The Boy On the Bridge, and Fellside. I was a little worried that The Book of Koli being another post-apocalyptic novel was going to be too similar to some of his previous stories, but I should have known better, because this is as creative and original as any of his other works.
The setting is what used to be England, centuries in the future. Apparently, our society sent everyone back to the dark ages with climate change and wars. We also puttered around with genetic experimentation which resulted in deadly vegetation. For most of the first half, there’s not a lot of action, but it’s not boring either. There’s much to learn about fifteen-year-old Koli, and this strange world he lives in. It took me a couple of chapters to get used to the vernacular used by Koli and the characters, but it further fleshes them out. Without venturing into spoiler territory, my favorite scenes are with Koli interacting with Monono, the “tech” that winds up getting him in so much trouble. Let me just say that Monono is so much more than ordinary AI. I also loved the pairing of him with Ursula, who’s a wise woman who travels from village to village with her high tech “drudge.” I’m looking forward to learning more of her backstory, because not only does she know more about our time period and the collapse of civilization, but her speech pattern is more in line with ours.
The second half of the book really takes off action-wise, as Koli and Ursula fall into the clutches of a murderous cult. The ending answers some questions, but brings up new ones as Koli, Ursula, Monono, prepare to begin the next phase of their quest. It’s left me extremely excited for the sequel! I highly recommend The Book of Koli to fans of post-apocalyptic fiction, who are looking for something a little unusual.