Author: Joel Ohman
Published: September 9th, 2014
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Dystopian
Recommended Age: 14+
~ Synopsis ~
~ Excerpt ~
Each person in the crowd wanted a glimpse of the girl to see how she would react, to see if they recognized her, to see the pitifully low Score on her arm, and perhaps to verify that she deserved the gates, but there was no outrage, no demand for justice. The System had ordered her to the gates, so it must be just. Charley thought about Sven’s statement: “I’m sure it gets easier” and considered that, maybe, if you see something often enough and put up with it for long enough, even the most horrendous deed can become part of your daily life. Maybe you just stop caring.
Was this how the crowd had reacted when Alec was put outside of the gates? Charley wondered. As the younger sibling of Alec, only eight, and presumably unable to take in what was happening, Charley had been confined underground during Alec’s gate ceremony—they had simply replaced Alec by assigning someone new to sleep in his bed that exact night. Had some of the very same people around him now looked at Alec with the same sick feeling in their stomachs that Charley now felt? Had they remained silent, swallowing their shouts, averting their eyes, and now, after many such acts of cowardice, they no longer even cared? Bile rose in Charley’s throat. He wanted—he needed—to care, to hate those who had taken Alec from him. It was all he had.
Charley watched the gloved hands of the guards on either side of the girl squeeze her pale, stick-like upper arms, roughly pressing her forward, just a few short steps in front of Charley. She faltered, stumbling as the toe of her slippered foot caught on the edge of a cobblestone, bending her foot back and causing her to let out a sharp cry of pain. One of the guards on the outer edge, a redheaded Blue Coat with a bristly goatee and arms knotted with thick cords of muscle, gave a muffled curse and dropped back behind her, harshly shoving her onward.
Her cry ignited some primal part of Charley’s brain: pure emotion, cause and effect. Synapses fired, rage blossomed. To act was to live, as natural a part of living as breathing. There was no fight or flight, only fight.
~ Review by Angela ~
You know how when you read the synopsis of a book and you think you’re going to be reading something similar to a certain book that has been done time and time again? Well, that did not happen with this book. Yes, it may sound similar to other young adult dystopians that are out there and are “all the rage,” but it most definitely is not.
The main character is a cocky smart a$$ that doesn’t like the way things are going. He’s an “act first, ask questions later” kind of kid. He’s got a rough life in that his parents are dead and his brother was taken away. However, he is a High Score and is smart. Those are good things to have when you are living in Meritropolis.
I really like Charley and the other characters in this story. Charley isn’t the typical hero that you find in most young adult books. He’s flawed and he doesn’t try to act like something he’s not. He’s genuine in his hate for the System and he doesn’t just talk the big talk. He’s a hothead which is awesome, but it does get him into trouble a lot. Even though this book has a killer cliffhanger, I still have to give it a high rating. I really thoroughly enjoyed reading it, loved the mutant animals (with illustrations!), and can’t wait to dive back into the next one. So Meritropolis gets 5 books. Now, hurry up and get me book 2 Mr. Ohman!!
~ Purchase Links ~
~ About the Author ~
~ Author Links ~
- $50 Amazon gift card (INT)
- 3 x Stuffed Animals (US)