Published: 8th September, 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…
What I liked: I really enjoyed this book, and I loved reading about the animal hybrids that were introduced. I thought they were not only interesting, but many were strange and unique, things that made me question about them. I love the way “merit” is woven into the title and how it directly ties into the story beyond just the name of the city these people live in. This is a really short read, but the writing is so incredibly colorful and explosive you can’t help but be sucked into the world Ohman has written! The message this book seems to be trying to send is clear, no one is useless. I liked that message and this book was very complex for being just over two hundred pages long, and it has to do with the brilliant writing inside.
What I didn’t like: I would have liked more information about the System that everyone in Meritropolis is subjected to, it felt glossed over and I was really hoping to learn at least some about how Scores are obtained and how some get a good score. We get that health is a reason because someone has to be able to work in the city to eat since they have food shortages, which is why people get “zeroed” so that they can have plenty of food.
Overall Review: I really thought Meritropolis stood out in its own way from other dystopian novels I’ve read in the past, which admittedly isn’t very many, but I did love the writing and the story I found in this novel. I liked the characters because they each had their own voice and there was a feeling of everyone being in the “grey area” between bad and good, because they did things that could count as both, even Charley who was our main character. I liked that, and I think he was doing what he thought what was right by his standards, not what was good. Two entirely different things.
Recommend?: If you like dystopian books, I think you should give this a read! I liked it, and while I’m not the biggest fan of dystopian I’m ready to read whatever Ohman writes next (if anything) for this world!
My Rating: 3.8/5