Page Count 416
Publication date April 2020 Publisher Orbit
Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable world. A world where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly vines and 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 knows the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture beyond the walls.
What he doesn’t know is – what happens when you aren’t given a choice?
The first in a gripping new trilogy, The Book of Koli charts the journey of one unforgettable young boy struggling to find his place in a chilling post-apocalyptic world.
Written in first from the perspective of -you guessed it- Koli, it took me a while to get used to the narrative style. The book reads as if Koli is telling his story to the reader, but in the future all grammar has gone to hell:
‘Where I growed up there wasn’t many as was swore to the dead god or recked his teaching’
However, once I became accustomed to the style instead of shuddering at it, I noticed it really adds personality and made me feel as if Koli was speaking directly to me which was actually quite enjoyable.
The plot isn’t linear as Koli forgets to mention things in order and tends to jump back and forth a little.
‘Most things in a story got to stay in their right place, or they won’t make no sense at all…’
I struggled at times when foreign concepts were mentioned for several pages without origin explanation. For example, Koli talks about a three legged needle for a while before explaining what a needle is.
I was also a little confused at the differing names for the Ramparts, who was related to whom and what roles they held. This is to say you need to concentrate to keep track of everything in this novel, I flipped back frequently; it’s confusing and yet slow burning.
At times the ‘old world’ – essentially our era- is referred to incorrectly, (The London Parley-Men made me chuckle every time) but just enough to identify the objects and places in ‘Ingland’ that Koli is describing to us.
My favourite parts of The Book Of Koli were the imaginative new threats to humanity and the events that led to their creation. I also came to find Koli rather endearing after my initial irritation at his appalling grammar.
The story only really gets interesting half way in when we get to read more about the outside world.
The Book Of Koli has a POC main character, gay, bi and trans rep. It tackles religion, faith, climate change, sentient AI and more.
I had a feeling Carey was waiting right up to the last to hook me in and dammit he did! I will definitely be reading the next book, Koli’s adventure has only just begun…