Categories
Review

The Book of Koli

The Book of Koli, by M.R. Carey

Publication date: 4/14/2020 ~ Genre: Science fiction, fantasy

Synopsis:

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 seeds 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?

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 chilling post-apocalyptic world. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and Annihilation.

Thoughts:

The premise of this book sounded intriguing and so imaginative when I first learned about it. It’s based around a futuristic world with scifi and fantastical elements. I’m happy to say this book absolutely did not disappoint. I sympathized with the protagonist, Koli, from the beginning and his struggle to shape his world.  

The story is told as if a future Koli has sat down with you to tell you his tale. I felt a closeness with Koli’s character due to the writer’s choice of delivery. Koli’s speech is also a bit different, as one would assume language has been shaped through the ages and differences now exist.  The speech did take a bit of getting used to but eventually just became a part of Koli’s charm.  

Through events of Koli’s early years, the reader learns the inner workings of the village and environment beyond. Roughly half the book takes place within the walls of the village, which are very necessary as the plants beyond the walls are carnivorous.

I think the idea of plants that eat flesh intrigued me the most about this book. I mean, how would one even survive when plants wanted to eat you and trees can move to catch animals and people as they pass? The answer is very carefully.

We follow our protagonist Koli in his early teen years just as he’s getting ready to complete the “testing” to find out if he will be chosen to wield old world tech, which is viewed almost as magic in his village. Unfortunately, nepotism is rampant in Koli’s village and he’s hopeful but unsure if he even has a chance to “waken” a piece of tech. Koli unearths truths which lead him to take things into his own hands for better or worse.  

Certain understandings are passed as truth throughout Koli’s village to allow those within the village to feel secure even in a dangerous world. However, once Koli is beyond the walls, he’s pushed to his limits to survive, makes alliances, and he eventually learns the reality of his situation. The reader watches Koli grow, become insightful, and develop into the hero of this story.  I was elated when Koli didn’t shrink from what needed to be done but rose up to meet it. The book culminates with Koli and his friends, taking the first steps to begin Koli’s vision for a better world.  

This was an entertaining story from beginning to end. I’m excited to see what happens to Koli and his friends as he attempts to ensure the future of humanity. Also, we only have to wait until September for the second book! Yay! Highly recommend!

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Categories
Review

Chosen Ones

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

Publication Date: 4/7/2020 – Genre: Adult, Sci fi, Fantasy

This ebook was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for allowing me to read this book.

Synopsis:

A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.

Thoughts:

What happens to the hero of the story after she/he is done saving the world? Is it all glory, celebrity, and wealth? What are the ramifications of the decision to save the world and is it possible to return to a normal everyday life? 

I feel like Roth set out to answer these questions and provided the reader a glimpse into the life of one of those young adult heroes we read about who are thrust into the spotlight to save the day and after they do, the story fades to black with no further knowledge of what the character then endured as a result of the traumatic and stressful event of, you know, saving the world.

Sloane is our main protagonist throughout this story and, early in the book, we’re provided with a slice of life look into her everyday. Matt, Ines, Ester, and Albie are the four other chosen ones who, together, took down The Dark One and we watch the group experience addiction, depression, and PTSD. I appreciated receiving only Sloane’s point of view throughout this book as I feel the author could have attempted to write the views of each character but, for me, that just wouldn’t have worked. I felt connected to Sloane and understood her behavior from a deeper level, which would have been missing with a multi POV format. 

Some of the criticisms of this story describe slow pacing but that wasn’t my experience. I enjoyed observing the character’s lives after the descent of The Dark One and viewing their new normal. I’ve read lots of chosen one stories so I feel like I’ve seen that before, this after-saving-the-world aspect is new and interesting!

The slice of life doesn’t last long anyway and soon we’re thrust into a new predicament and our characters must, yet again, save those around them from dire circumstance. This, however, is a different take and a completely different dimension; think multiple paths, multiple versions of self, string theory and I loved it! The aspect of multiple dimensions fascinates me. I feel like the very possibility of multiple dimensions opens up unlimited possibilities.

It is possible to get confused at points, however if you keep reading events become clear. I thought the end wrapped up nicely. Actually, from the way the story concluded, I believed this to be a stand alone but, looking at goodreads, I noticed there will be a second in the series and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’m excited to revisit the characters but it concluded so well, do we really need another? I don’t know. You’ll have to determine that for yourself. Let me know what you think of this one, as it seems there’s a lot of conflicting opinions. Overall, I really enjoyed it and will read book two to see how the story develops.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Categories
New Release

New June Releases

Half the fun of reading books is the discovery!

At least, this is true for me. I don’t know about you but nothing is quite as satisfying as learning about a new book that sounds like it was written just for me and then preordering it. Anytime my favorite youtubers upload videos featuring new releases, I’m one of the first to watch. So, of course, I want to start a regular blog post featuring my most anticipated new releases for the coming month.

Agnes at the end of the World

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: June 9, 2020


Agnes must choose between the only life she’s ever known, living inside a cult at the whim of a madman, or on the outside where a deadly virus is killing the population at an alarming rate.

The synopsis compares this book to The Handmaids Tale and Wilder Girls. Thus far, the goodreads reviews are really promising. I think this book may be a five star for me.

My Calamity Jane (The Lady Janies #3)

Publisher: Harper Teen

Publication Date: June 2, 2020


This book is likely on many readers most anticipated lists. This is the third book in the saga of “Jane.” The previous two books being, My Lady Jane and My Plain Jane. In this latest edition of Jane, we follow Calamity Jane through her trials and tribulations, which will no doubt be absolutely hilarious in the best of ways.

The Obsidian Tower

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: June 4, 2020


Destined to one day rule the kingdom, Ryx must solve the mystery of her unstable powers and save her family from destruction.

I don’t have to know anymore than that. I’m here for all the fantasy escapism right now. Bring it on!

Mexican Gothic

Publisher: Del Rey

Publication Date: June 30, 2020


Silvia Moreno-Garcia also wrote Gods of Jade and Shadow which I still need to read. (It’s on my TBR shortlist) Mexican Gothic sounds equally if not more intriguing. Set in 1950s Mexico, our main protagonist Noemi travels to a mysterious mansion, which is also the home of her newly-wed cousin, in an attempt to save her from a perplexing threat. Not all is as it seems.

Mysterious mansion, eerie atmosphere, creepy side characters — this is right up my alley! Fingers crossed it’s a book of the month pick!

A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians

Publisher: Redhook

Publication Date: June 23, 2020


I don’t have much to say about this one, I mean, it involves magic! What more needs to be said?

Historical fiction and fantasy combine in this alternate take on history. I’m always up for a little magic and excited to dive into this immersive story. Early reviews look promising!


This list could go on and on so I better stop here. What are some new release books you’re excited to read in June? I’m sure I missed some so please comment down below with your most anticipate books. I’d love to add more to my list! 🙂