Book Review: The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey

The Book Of Koli by M.R Carey – Book Review – The Bookwormery

The Book of Koli // by M. R. Carey

Pub Day: April 14, 2020

Publisher: Orbit Books


Everything that lives hates us…

Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable landscape. A place where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly 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 believes the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture too far beyond the walls.

He’s wrong.

My Thoughts:

I’ve been dancing around reading this book for a while now. I was not sure if I was ready to jump into another series where I knew more books were coming out soon because I just have so many other books to read. But something just told me I needed to do it so I did. And am I glad that I did! I read almost the entire book in just one day and stayed up until 1am to finish it. I haven’t done that in years!

Koli, the narrator, drew me right in. I was hooked from the very first chapter on! Carey chooses his words so well. The writing was so beautiful that I highlighted sentences and whole passages in every chapter. There were so many highlights, that eventually I just told myself to stop with it all together because the entire book would glow in the end.

I am a big fan of dystopian stories but I did not even realize that this was one in the beginning! All I knew about this book was from the blurb and there honestly was not much information in that so I had no idea what was coming. The book reminded me a little bit of Zoo by James Patterson with nature banding together against the humans and even animals forming organized packs against them and their intelligence having evolved so much that revenge and placating via gifts were concepts they understood.

As I said, dystopia was not something I expected here so when technology started to appear, I was thoroughly confused at first. I had a rough time trying to figure out a general time period that this may have been set in or modeled after until then but it made so much more sense later. Koli did an incredible job explaining the time period, their living situation, the technology they know about, and everything else we needed to know to understand his story. It is written like a diary for future readers or as if he was verbally telling you this story much later and he wanted to make sure we really understood everything in case things were different again by the time we found his story. I really enjoyed that part.

I don’t want to give too much away because I actually think it was good not knowing a lot going in but the way the technology was integrated into society as well as against societies was very interesting. I am also a big fan of familiars and while that is probably not the right word to use here, it still felt similar to that, which was a lot of fun. The integration of and references to specific music was very well done as well.

The last thing I want to mention is that I am really enjoying the mention of more diverse characters in my reading lately and this one was no exception. But I do find it necessary to put a warning in [look away now for the rest of this paragraph if you don’t like even tiny spoilers!]: While Koli himself is very accepting of trans characters, some people in his society are not so there is talk about physical abuse towards those characters at least twice in this book and it seems to be based off of their religion.

This book is written to be a trilogy and it is obvious in the slow (but interesting!) start as well as the way it is left open-ended. Due to the changes of the English language over time (or maybe it is due to illiteracy of the majority of the population?), some people may enjoy this more as an audiobook, though I found it flowed very well and did not distract from the story. Some of his spellings even made me laugh out loud! I did listen to an excerpt of the audiobook though for my friend and the narrator sounded really awesome. I am very excited for the next book, The Trials of Koli, and am happy because the wait for the third book, The Fall of Koli, is not too far behind either.

The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey

About the Author:

M. R. Carey is a writer who is equally at home in a wide range of media. His previous novel The Girl With All the Gifts was a word-of-mouth-bestseller and is soon to be a major motion picture based on his own screenplay. Under the name Mike Carey he has written for both DC and Marvel, including critically acclaimed runs on X-Men and Fantastic Four, Marvel’s flagship superhero titles. His creator-owned books regularly appear in the New York Times graphic fiction bestseller list. He also has several previous novels, two radio plays and a number of TV and movie screenplays to his credit.

About the Publisher:

Orbit is a leading publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy, with imprints in the UK, US and Australia. They publish across the spectrum of Science Fiction and Fantasy – from action-packed urban fantasy to widescreen space opera; from sweeping epic adventures to near-future thrillers. Launched in 2007, Orbit US is the Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint at Hachette Book Group USA.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey

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    1. I looked at it for a long while before finally requesting it and am mad at myself for not trying forit earlier! I don’t know if this one is still available on there but I think so. They also have the second one on Netgalley, which I am reading right now. I’m really enjoying the series and am excited for the third one also.


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