Book Review: Meritopia by Joel Ohman

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Dear Bookworms,

This weeks read was provided to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Charley and his crew are once again on the run. Fleeing Meritorium after a bloody battle in the Venatio, they must make their way across unfamiliar lands in their pursuit of the Czar in a desperate attempt to once and for all zero the System. The Czar has fled to Meritopia, hailed in his warped mind as the utopia of society where he will meld human and animal, creating the most perfect master race. Battling new and dangerous animal combos along the way, and teaming up with familiar faces from Meritropolis, Charley makes it to this “utopia” only to find it more eerie and dangerous than he imagined. Will he be able to zero the System and kill the genetically enhanced Czar once and for all, or will the System finally win? 

This book is formatted and paced in much the same manner as it’s predecessor. Charley and his gang flee a broken city, traverse the unknown wild lands in search of a newly discovered city, combat combo and human adversaries, arrive at destination, and fight the Czar.

I appreciated that it was paced and structured in a similar fashion to the previous books, lending it a sort of symmetry. I once again enjoyed the various imaginative animal combos. Ohman certainly had a way of making each and every combo come alive on the pages (I find myself with an intense desire for some gobster after finishing this series).

The characters continued to grow and develop, most notably with Orson. He was perhaps the most conflicted character of the series in my opinion who subsequently experienced the most dramatic metamorphosis (not physically- that would be the Czar of course *wink wink*).

My only criticism, much the same throughout the series, are the sermons and preachy moments dispersed throughout the book. I think Ohman did himself a disservice in this novel by focusing too much on the morality of this new world (which duh- we as readers know that it’s pretty fucked up) and Gods hand in it (or absence as the dialogue suggested) and not enough on delving deeper and expounding on the System itself and the world in which it derived.

Understanding the mechanisms and nuances of the System and it’s affect on society (especially seeing as how the System was a relatively new construct as The Event was not that long ago in history) and being more in touch with society as a whole versus just Charley and his group would have made for a far better read in my opinion. If you can get past these obvious attempts to explain the mysterious workings of God through the characters struggles, the story itself is interesting, action packed, and enjoyable. Overall I would recommend this one if you are in the market for a unique dystopian read.  

See you guys next week for an all new book review!



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Real-life bookworm with a taste for adventure. Coco enjoys reading as much as she enjoys good coffee. Coco is an experienced book reader, and expert book reviewer. If you need a book reviewed, you are in good hands.

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