M. R. Carey’s The Book of Koli Review

The Book of Koli is the first book in a trilogy called The Rampart Trilogy. It takes place in a far distant future somewhere in the U.K. Due to humanity almost being wiped out and separated into small villages the gene pool has become…let’s just say…it’s not ideal to reproduce since everyone is pretty much related to each other now somewhere down the ancestry line. At least within those villages.

In Koli’s village, the people in power are called Ramparts. These are people that are able to use old salvaged technology, but the Ramparts suspiciously always seem to be from the same family. The rest of the story follows Koli on his journey within his village and also outside the walls among choker trees and the shunned men.

I was really hooked throughout the first half of this book. I loved piecing together the world that was being built and the mystery of the technology and how only some people got to use it. This book is an interesting one because, while I was enjoying the world and the story throughout the whole book the introduction of one particular character almost ruined the whole book for me. The second half of the book was me just trying to finish even though I was reading at a much slower pace. I would like to continue with the trilogy, but I’ll have to think on it.

Takeaways:

Plot: The plot of this book is decent. It doesn’t necessarily do anything new. It’s a post-apocalyptic journey in a savage world, but it’s the way that it is told that makes it unique and really hooked me from the first page. It is all told through first person past tense as if Koli is sitting around a campfire telling you his life story. And his voice is so unique that it really does elevate the story to greater heights.

Characters: Rant time – Ok, so I liked pretty much all of the characters in the story….besides one which I almost despise. And that one is Monono. Without giving away any spoilers, she is just so different from the way anyone is in the world that it just takes me out of the story. She constantly calls Koli “dopey boy” which is just weird to me. And, not that this is necessarily Monono as a character, but it has to do with her: she plays music for Koli, but it’s not like generic music it’s literally Enter Sandman from Metallica or Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. If I’m reading a post-apocalyptic book that takes place hundreds of years from now those are the last things I want to be reading about. If anything he should be listening to music that has came out within the last 100 years not the past 2 or 3 hundred from Koli’s current time. I don’t now, that just makes no sense to me and it just seemed like Carey was like “Hey, I like these songs.” Also, the reader literally gets rick rolled at one point in this book. I have never cringed so hard in my life. Just completely took me out of the story. End rant.

Setting: Like I said before, the setting isn’t anything ground breaking, but the way that the setting is used and the eyes that the story is told through really elevates it. The suspense behind some of the things going on in this, dare I say, cliche world really had me hooked for the first half of the book.

Final Score: 7/10

If the story and everything about the book was the same, but the character Monono and her plot was taken out then this could have easily been a 9/10, but I would literally cringe or have eye roll moments that made me dread reading the book. I almost stopped reading with 100 pages left just because there were times when I didn’t care anymore.

It seems like I’m shitting on the book, but I did like it. It’s just everything to do with that character sticks out like a sore thumb to me in this setting.

Is it just me? Let me know what you think.

Published by Jacob Fite

My name is Jacob, I'm 30 years old and currently serving in the USAF. Born in Sheridan, Arkansas, USA. I love writing poetry and stories. My first completed story, The Drip can be found here on my blog.

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