Author: Joel Ohman
Publisher/Year: CreateSpace Publishing 9/9/14
Series: Meritropolis #1
In Meritropolis everyone is assigned a numerical Score that decides their worth to society and whether they live or die. After a young boy is killed because of a low Score, his brother plots to take down the System.
I don’t know about anyone else, but i’m a sucker for a bit of fantasy in my Dystopia and i think that’s exactly what we get here. Mind you there’s really no back story that we’re given to understand what has been set up for us, but regardless, the premise itself is a good one.
We are in Meritropolis, another one of those cities that’s set inside these very well protected walls – not knowing exactly what’s outside the walls but knowing that you DON’T want to go out there. The city itself is run by what’s called the System – which is a way to determine if you have value to the city and if you don’t – you’re put outside the gates.
Our lead of course is valueable and worthy – he’s known as a High Score, and quite possibly one of the highest if not the highest since he’s so young. It’s on the weekly score update day that we see things go awry. Our lead, Charley – his score of course goes up, yet there are a few that have scores that go down and they are to be ‘zeroed’ and put outside the gates. Charley can’t let this happen in good conscious and well – he’ fights for what he thinks is right. if he weren’t already on the Commander’s radar – he is now since somehow he manages to keep the girl from getting put out and he kills/injures/disarms quite a few guards in the process.
Where we go in this story is down a path that’s kind of expected – yet i’m not sure what we’re going to get since there’s not that much in the sense of a lead here. We slowly learn that there are several ‘High Scores’ that are being trained to be ‘hunters’ yet since they are quite smart- they realize that there’s more to their training than meets the eye. They are taught by fighting and going out into the forest where they encounter all these hybrid animals that are very aggressive and are left to wonder how they became to be. This is maybe the one point that we learn a little bit about what happened in the past – that there was some type of nuclear war of sorts and that left the population decimated and caused hybrids. Or did it? We learn that some of these are of course manmade – but the question remains as to why?
In addition to Charley, we get close to Sandy another High Score who’s in training with him, as well as Abigail who’s not training but who has an in to the Commander. I can’t wait to see what she uses her own powers (i.e. feminine wiles) to accomplish since i think that it’s going to be interesting. We also get a good sense of the type of man the Commander is – although you want to turn your opinion slightly towards the end – since you know that he’s afraid of his father – but you think that there may be more backbone to the man.
As expected – where we are left off in this story – there’s a raid on the town, by not just 1 direction – and there’s a lot of death. i’m not sure who is going to survive and what it means for meritropolis – and even for the High scores – but i think that this is just the beginning.
What gets me about this story – like i noted above, there’s not a significant amount of substance to the back story and i think that it’s something that often makes a series really good. what i’d like to see more of is an understanding of what made Meritropolis into what it is and what the tru function of the town is. Are there others like it and why are they in play?
The other bit is that i want to know what’s out there. I feel like we have a lot ahead of ourselves in understanding who’s really in power – and i think that further development of the story and the characters will do a world of good. Something that i’ve found in series like this is that while the first book lacks a bit of set up – the next installments pick up speed and that’s something that i hope that we get to see since i’m intrigued. Regardless of all that – i hope you guys take a read and enjoy. It’s a quick one so you don’t have to divest all that much time.