Firstly, a huge thank you to Orbit and Compulsive Readers for having me on this tour.
The Girl with All the Gifts is one of my favourite books and has a fantastic film adaptation so I thought I knew what I was getting into with this book. Some kind of dystopia stemming from nature.
I was right....until I really wasn't. This book is unlike anything I've ever read before. Whilst yes there are killer trees there's so much more to this book.
Koli lives in a regressed future, nature has evolved and has been fighting back against humans. Trees can move, seeds burrow into the skin and splinters can be deadly. However, they still have some of our technology, certain bits have survived but can only be operated by certain people. In Koli's village, those are the Ramparts, chosen by the tech to wield it.
Whilst the whole dystopian element sounds majorly exciting it takes a back seat in the narrative of the first book. Instead, we're focusing on Koli and his understanding of the world around him. He desperately wants to be a Rampart and get the girl of his dreams. But it isn't as easy as he first thought, the rules by which he lives have consequences and unforeseen circumstances when he tries to achieve his goal. Upon learning some harrowing truths his world is turned upside down in a way he can't come back from.
I can't begin to explain how clever this book was. Everything from the phonetic spelling, changes in places and the overall plot. The regressed future is demonstrated through how Koli speaks, it's more colloquial for example ate becomes et. Places in the UK received the same treatment, Halifax to Half-Ax.
You feel for Koli as a protagonist, he believes he's following the rules (for the most part) in a way to achieve what he wants. Unfortunately for him, it doesn't quite work like that, not when there's no one holding the group that makes the rules accountable.
There's a lot of talk about community, AI and government and the grey areas of each.
This book was nothing like I expected and it completely blew my mind. It was near impossible to predict what was going to happen from page to page.
Name: The Book of Koli
Author: M.R. Carey
Have you read The Book of Koli?
What did you think?
Thank you for reading,