Saturday, November 8, 2014

Meritropolis by Joel Ohman - Dystopian fiction in the tradition of The Hunger Games

4 of 5 Stars

Meritropolis had a lot going against it.  First novel from a writer with no track record.  Self-published.  Somewhat derivative in the dystopian genre.  But guess what?  Meritropolis manages to overcome all of those obstacles and stand tall as an entertaining YA novel that tells an all too believable story

It's the year AE3.  Three years after the nebulous Event.  From the book description on Amazon.  "Within the walls of Meritropolis, 50,000 inhabitants live in fear, ruled by a 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."

In a city of limited resources, there is not enough of anything to go around.  The solution is a System where everyone's worth to the community is measured and reevaluated on an ongoing basis.  Fall below a set score and be banished to the outside and certain death.  The rules apply to every man, woman, and child in Meritropolis.

Over the last few years, families have been torn apart.  In some ways this System reminded me of the rumored  "Death Panels" that would be a part of President Obama's Affordable Healthcare Act.  All too possible.

Charley's older brother, Alec, was zeroed out when Charley was just just eight.  Now he's an adult with one of the highest scores in Meritropolis and he's driven to zero out the System.

With a well thought out story line and varied and complete characters,  Meritropolis is a story I can easily recommend for young adult readers and adults who enjoy a good dystopian thriller.   Plus, there is plenty left unresolved and I'm hopeful for a sequel.

Meritropolis  is available now for the Kindle and as a paperback.  If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read this one at no additional charge.


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