The Book of Koli by MR Carey (The Rampart Trilogy: Book 1)

9/10 A rich world and if you are ready to follow an unlikeable (which is no bad thing) protagonist on his journey of growth and reflection then you are in for a grand adventure

Koli lives in a post-apocalyptic world, where there is little technology and many dangers beyond our comprehension. This is the first book in a series, which allows us to know about the world Koli grows up in, but also tells us the story of how Koli becomes estranged from that world, to one far stranger.

The Book of Koli took me a while to get into, as the people of Koli’s community speak in a vernacular that is and isn’t English. Once you get used to the rhythm of their speech patterns it flows much easier, but their speech also feels juvenile as though they have lost the words for things we take for granted. Koli begins his story by telling us about his childhood which although quite idyllic is also full of dangers, as the creatures that inhabit this world are far more dangerous than the ones we live with, in this time even the trees hunt humans.

As the book goes on we find out small bits of information about what happened to the old world, but this is still a misremembered past. In this world, genetic modifications were pushed to the extreme and yet Koli and his friends barely understand what they have lost. The first real conflict of the book is also the one where childhood ends, as children reach the age of majority in their community they are tested to see if any of them will be able to wield the technology of the past.

The book shows the thoughtlessness and rage of a fifteen-year-old boy. All Koli wants is to be able to pass the testing to become part of the group that handles the tech and leads the community, but the way Koli decides to get this knowledge is with both a destructive and impulsiveness that does not think of the consequences either to himself or how his actions could affect his family.

The second half of this book begins to show us the consequences of his actions, and due to this, the pace intensifies and so do Koli’s misfortunes. Koli’s world expands, but so too do the dangers around him as he is thrown into one bad situation after another. Although Koli starts to realise that there may be better ways to live than the rules he has grown up with. Koli starts to believe that there may be hope and a possibility of a way to help everyone out of their current situation.

This is a rich world and if you are ready to follow an unlikeable (which is no bad thing) protagonist on his journey of growth and reflection then you are in for a grand adventure. There are a lot of intense moments where you wonder whether Koli will survive and how much you want to see if and how he does, the next parts of this story will probably lead us to even stranger things.

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MR Carey's The Rampart Trilogy series

The Book of Koli

The Rampart Trilogy: Book 1

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