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This weeks read was provided to me for free in exchange for an honest review.
So book two in the Meritropolis series picks up right where book one ends. Charley, Hank, Sandy, Grigor, Orson, and the remaining citizens of Meritopia have fled beyond the decimated walls on a quest to find Meritorium where they believe they will find Orsons father, to once and for all exact revenge and level The System. Charley insists that all travelers are treated equally, high and low scores alike, as they forage and hike their way across the unknown. In a journey fraught with danger and treachery, the group is captured, split up, and sold by a slaver to the highest bidder to compete in the annual Venatio. A gladiatorial event, the Venatio is held in a large colosseum, reminiscent of the ancient Roman games. Charley and his crew must survive the tournament while coming up with a plan to take out the Czar and with him, The System itself.
Overall, I felt this was a strong follow up to book one, Meritropolis. It was filled with action, great animal combos, and some personal character development which was satisfying. I did have a few minor issues with some aspects of this book, which could totally be a personal preference versus through any fault of the author. While I did enjoy the inner struggle that Charley often faced with tempering his anger, the morality of killing (both man and beast), and the concept of revenge, I feel it was a little to focused on the “god” aspect of these issues. The author could have easily portrayed these struggles in way that didn’t come off so “preachy”. Religious books/themes in general are a turn off for me, so like I said, this may not bother you in the least. While the introduction of the Circumcellion, a crazed religious cult of sorts, was a great idea and did make for crucial plot points in the storyline, I wasn’t all that satisfied in the way they were portrayed. Suicidal religious zealots? Check. I can get down with that and understand their place and how they may have sprung up in this type of society. What I didn’t really like was how they were touted as rapists, murders (of innocents), and druggies. These facets just don’t seem to go well together in describing the movement and it’s ultimate purpose. The story could have been written just as effectively with them omitted, or perhaps a little better fleshed out as a whole. I will say the battles of the Venatio were well written and exciting to read, all the various animal combos were great additions. The ending was a slam dunk for sure! Shocking and unexpected which definitely left me eager to start the finale book in the series.
Be sure to check back in next week to read my review of the third and finale book in this series, Meritopia!
Until next week!
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