Monday, November 9, 2015

Meritorium ~ Review

Meritorium by Joel Ohman
Publication Date: September 28, 2015
Charley has escaped from Meritropolis… 
but in his quest to take down the System that has taken his brother from him, he must go through Meritorium, a city where gladiatorial games of life or death combat are waged between High Scores and Low Scores, man and beast. 

Charley and Sandy must face man-eating plants, religious zealots, slave traders, and the ever present mutant animal combinations that roam a dystopian Coliseum presided over by Emperor Titus, the one man standing between Charley and the answers he seeks. Man is not an animal, but if they are to make it through Meritorium, will they even be able to tell the difference? 

The lines between man and beast, friend and foe, will blur in Meritorium, the riveting sequel to the bestselling Meritropolis.

Meritorium is the second book in this dystopian world unlike any other I've read yet. While this book could be understood & enjoyed on its own (if you happened to miss the first) I would highly recommend reading book one beforehand to grasp everything it has to offer. 

Meritropolis set us on this unique journey where we learned, in depth, about "the system" that Charley and his crew are fixated on taking down. We learned so much about these characters in book one that helps to understand their feelings, aggressions, & personal battles that come out a lot more in Meritorium thanks to periodically being isolated in captivity & forced to face some truths they might otherwise have denied. Even though they have escaped Meritropolis and so far survived in the wild their journey continues to throw them into dangerously amazing situations causing them to rethink not only the forever daunting class distinction & prejudice of their world but finally the much bigger picture. 
They are now seeing things they had never imagined existed & once some things are encountered there is just no going back. And...Sometimes the biggest beasts are not truly the animals you've been taught to hunt down. That realization can be even more fearful. 

Along the way to Meritorium we see more & more of what the world has become after "The Event" yet while some is beyond horrifying some is absolutely beautiful. No matter what the struggle is real to survive so they push on. And that is where these beloved characters shine. Each of their better traits come out as well as the darker ones patiently lying in wait. 

Upon seeing what they hope to be their salvation they soon learn the
man-eating plants & mutant animal combinations were the least of their worries. They are thrust into a path forcing them to succumb or attack gladiator style. Those precious numbers that saved before now mean little & true prejudice roars loud & clear. 

Meritorium is full of new characters, new trials, religious zealots, questions, slave traders, eye opening realizations, suspense, drama, betrayals, amazing animal combinations, an arena that will bring fears to life, a search for grace, & a cliff hanger that ensures my return. 
I am sincerely looking forward to book three, Meritopia! 
Definitely an adventure you'll want to partake!

Get your copy on Amazon & Amazon CA!

Publication Date: September 8, 2014
The year is AE3, 3 years after the Event. Within the walls of Meritropolis, 50,000 inhabitants live in fear, ruled by the brutal System that assigns each citizen a merit score that dictates whether they live or die. Those with the highest scores thrive, while those with the lowest are subject to the most unforgiving punishment—to be thrust outside the city gates, thrown to the terrifying hybrid creatures that exist beyond.
But for one High Score, conforming to the System just isn’t an option. Seventeen-year-old Charley has a brother to avenge. And nothing—not even a totalitarian military or dangerous science—is going to stop him.
Where humankind has pushed nature and morals to the extreme, Charley is amongst the chosen few tasked with exploring the boundaries, forcing him to look deep into his very being to discern right from wrong. But as he and his friends learn more about the frightening forces that threaten destruction both without and within the gates, Meritropolis reveals complexities they couldn’t possibly have bargained for…
BONUS Original Artwork - 17 original chapter illustrations that precede each of the 17 chapters: Bion (Bull-Lion), Scorpicon (Scorpion-Falcon), Chimpanzelle (Chimp-Gazelle), and more!

Get your copy on Amazon & Amazon CA!
Available in Audiobook too!
"The novel is a clear attempt to join the wave of dystopia currently dominating the YA best-seller lists, and Ohman's writing is a cut above." Kirkus Reviews

"The Hunger Games meets The Village with a young Jack Reacher as a protagonist." - Donny Meader

"A fast-paced read... Charley's motivation is brutal and heartbreaking, but the things he discovers as he works to undo the system from the inside are downright terrifying. The animal hybrids, and what they're capable of, are the stuff of nightmares." - Mom Read It

"Meritropolis is a a thrilling romp through a dystopian city governed by the greater good... a thrill-a-minute ride through an engaging science fiction world that touches on society, morality, and humanity. Meritropolis is a stellar dystopian adventure." IndieReader (4.5 starred review)
"Well-written and fast-paced, the characters are well developed and multi-faceted. My only real complaint about the book was that it ended too soon!" Reader's Favorite (5-starred review)

"Well-written and entertaining... a solid Young Adult dystopian novel." San Francisco Book Review (4-starred review)

"Ohman's dystopian vision is well-paced, imaginative, and suspenseful to the very end." -Clarion Reviews (4-starred review)

"Meritropolis is a superior read with a powerful protagonist that brings readers along for a ride which will prove wild at times, always involving, and filled with depth and ethical insights. An absolute standout from the masses of post-apocalyptic survival works permeating today's market." Midwest Book Review

Joel Ohman 
is the author of Meritropolis—“The Hunger Games meets The Village with a young Jack Reacher as a protagonist”. He lives in Tampa, FL with his wife Angela and their three kids. His writing companion is Caesar, a slightly overweight Bull Mastiff who loves to eat the tops off of strawberries .

Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter @JoelOhman

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