The Book of Koli (Rampart Trilogy, #1)
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. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and Annihilation.

The Book of Koli (Rampart Trilogy, #1) Details

TitleThe Book of Koli (Rampart Trilogy, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 14th, 2020
PublisherOrbit
ISBN-139780316477536
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia

The Book of Koli (Rampart Trilogy, #1) Review

  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    NOW AVAILABLE!!this trilogy-opener is a three-and-a-half rounded up for meeeee, because i like what this book sets up a little bit more than i liked the book itself. i was drawn to this book/series by the promise of killer trees. OKAY, and also by those gorgeous covers which HIGHLIGHT the killer trees. and also because i really like M.R. Carey, but let’s just focus on the KILLER TREES for now. fact is, there’s not much about killer trees here. they function like the boogeyman—there’s some mentio NOW AVAILABLE!!this trilogy-opener is a three-and-a-half rounded up for meeeee, because i like what this book sets up a little bit more than i liked the book itself. i was drawn to this book/series by the promise of killer trees. OKAY, and also by those gorgeous covers which HIGHLIGHT the killer trees. and also because i really like M.R. Carey, but let’s just focus on the KILLER TREES for now. fact is, there’s not much about killer trees here. they function like the boogeyman—there’s some mention about why they’re feared, but they’re mostly a thing characters avoid instead of being the persistent threat i'd anticipated. never fear, though, because there are plenty of other threats and dangers in this book. it’s set in a far-future english village called mythen rood, just one of a few remaining pockets of human life in a world where cities have fallen, remnants of technology are treated like magic, and interaction with other settlements is limited. mythen rood is heavily fortified against the dangers beyond the gates; sharp-toothed critters, those TREES!, and the cannibalistic “shunned men,” and they’ve been a community long enough to have established their own deeply rooted traditions and social hierarchies and power structures you just don’t question. enter koli.koli is fifteen, and the first part of this book feels like a variation on the theme of ________ (insert the YA dystopian title of your choosing): sheltered boy with big ambitions and limited opportunities, with a best friend and a girl he secretly likes, they all go through the village’s coming-of-age ritual public ceremony/“test” that renames them and determines their future roles in the society, he does not get the result he desired, he learns secrets that will CHANGE EVERYTHING and acts upon them, consequences follow. the setup is a bit formulaic, and koli’s that brand of character you want to root for, even though he’s not particularly likable at first. he’s that typical bratty kid in the beginning stages of his journey to maturity—he’s self-absorbed, he lacks empathy, he doesn’t think beyond his own desires &etc, but without those qualities, there’d be no story, since it’s his selfishness that inadvertently exposes all the seeeecrets. as the story progresses, he becomes more thoughtful and considerate (with the help of a character who also becomes a lot more tolerable once they become more aware <--pun intended), and this is a story being told from a remove, allowing a more reflective koli to examine his behavior from a more mature vantage point: I was the smallest speck of dust in a world that was a thousand thousand times bigger than I even knowed it was, and I didn’t have no right to be treated like anything bigger than that. But it’s when we’re smallest, when we’re young, that we most have the thought of ourselves as mightily important. A child—any child, I think—believes he stands plum in the middle of everything, and the sun at noon-day seeks him out so it will know where the zenith is.Or if it’s not so for every child, at least it was so for me.i like this storytelling style—told from koli’s present-day POV looking back omnisciently over these past events, frequently interrupting his own story with foreshadowing and commentary and clarification so the exposition is a little herky-jerky, but in a good way—it keeps you on your toes, it feels authentically like someone telling a story, and you get those little teases of What’s To Come. i liked the first half of the book for establishing the world, and the second half for its escalation of stakes and action, but it really does feel like the first part of something, and although it would have meant sacrificing those just-as-awesome covers for books two and three, i wish this had been published as one massive book instead of three separates. but i am glad that The Trials of Koli: The Rampart Trilogy, Book 2 is scheduled for release in only five months, because i’m ready to hear more about THESE TREES!***************************oh, i am IN!!come to my blog!
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    The Book of Koli is a book I have been very excited for since I first heard about it earlier this year. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, given this is my first time reading Carey, but I am thrilled to report he did not disappoint.The world presented here is one of the more unique worlds I think I’ve encountered. It’s set in a future earth in which trees and plants have become deadly to humans. On sunny days the trees are active (physically active!), so the village must wait for the rainy, g The Book of Koli is a book I have been very excited for since I first heard about it earlier this year. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, given this is my first time reading Carey, but I am thrilled to report he did not disappoint.The world presented here is one of the more unique worlds I think I’ve encountered. It’s set in a future earth in which trees and plants have become deadly to humans. On sunny days the trees are active (physically active!), so the village must wait for the rainy, grey days to venture out and do their hunting. Most of the world’s human population has died out, so people live in villages few and far between.These villages are run by people with the “magical” ability to wake up tech. No one knows how the tech chooses who it will work for or why. These leaders are known as Ramparts. Koli, our MC, dreams of becoming Koli Rampart, wielding his own tech and joining the ranks of leaders and lawmakers. The overall result is a strange mix of antiquated societal structure combined with some far future dystopian technology.The voice of Koli is very strong. It almost reminded me of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. The grammar is often incorrect, the sentences run on in stream of consciousness style. While it might bother some readers, I found it somewhat endearing, and easy to connect with Koli as a character. I also enjoyed the other characters, Ursala-From-Elsewhere and Monono Aware (A-wa-ray). Ursala especially, with her intelligence and compassion, but also the prickly and unapproachable exterior.The plot moves along at a breakneck pace. I found the book almost impossible to put down and read it in just a couple of days. That’s the fastest I’ve read a book all year. The plot twists and turns and propels Koli from one peril to the next. From about the midway point on- Koli’s situation never feels safe. He cannot take a break to rest, his future is uncertain, and he is surrounded by danger, either from nearby people, animals, or plants.I also loved the very natural way in which this story is told. It feels like you might be sitting down with an old friend to hear where they’ve been and what they’ve been up to the past ten years. Details are woven in about the past through Monono, explaining pieces of what happened to the world and what it was like before it ended.I do wish we had been able to learn a little more about the natural environment. I’m curious about the killer trees and the way some animals have evolved over time. The plot appears to be leading away from village life to an adventure on the road, so I’m hopeful we’ll see more of this in book two. (And thank goodness we only have to wait until September for it!).I highly recommend The Book of Koli. It is brilliantly written, with fully realized characters and detailed world-building. Thank you to Orbit Books, who supplied an electronic review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Bradley
    January 1, 1970
    I've been enjoying M.R. Cary for quite some time now and I jumped on the chance to review his new series through Netgalley. So was it everything I might have hoped? Yes! And maybe. At first, I realized, belatedly, that this had all the hallmarks of a YA novel. He's done some good YA in the past, so I settled into life in a dystopian future with ancient advanced tech, trees that like to hunt us, and provincial life that takes a major turn for the worse.Standard fare, mostly, with some really fun I've been enjoying M.R. Cary for quite some time now and I jumped on the chance to review his new series through Netgalley. So was it everything I might have hoped? Yes! And maybe. At first, I realized, belatedly, that this had all the hallmarks of a YA novel. He's done some good YA in the past, so I settled into life in a dystopian future with ancient advanced tech, trees that like to hunt us, and provincial life that takes a major turn for the worse.Standard fare, mostly, with some really fun and cool aspects that just BEG to be explored. And we do explore them. In fact, I had the best time when we got to *spoiler spoiler ipod-not-ipod spoiler*. From then on, I just chortled and had a great time. Of course, I had to get there first. Nothing too onerous. And I have to say I had a lot more time with this one than I've had with MOST of a long line of YA SF novels, so kudos!Can't wait to read the next!
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  • Miranda
    January 1, 1970
    I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Prior to receiving an eARC of The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey, I had not read any of the author’s work. While I know of The Girl with All the Gifts, I think The Book of Koli was a great introduction into Carey’s work. I was sold on this book as soon as I saw that it was recommended for those who enjoyed Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. The Book of Koli is told from the point of view of the main character Koli who lives in a small I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Prior to receiving an eARC of The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey, I had not read any of the author’s work. While I know of The Girl with All the Gifts, I think The Book of Koli was a great introduction into Carey’s work. I was sold on this book as soon as I saw that it was recommended for those who enjoyed Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. The Book of Koli is told from the point of view of the main character Koli who lives in a small village named Mythen Rood. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world. The population decreased and civilization as we know it was forced to adapt. Humans must now live and survive alongside nature that seems to have a mind of its own and strange new creatures that pose a constant threat. Koli’s village comes together under the rule of Ramparts—people who have control of technology that is used to benefit their community. Every person has a chance to make this technology “wake” for them, but not everything is what it seems. Koli’s life is disrupted when he discovers a secret that pushes him to defy the Rampart’s order. This secret and Koli’s actions launch his journey into the world outside of his village where he must fight to survive. The Book of Koli is a very entertaining novel. Koli is a likable protagonist who makes readers genuinely feel for him and the situations he is put in throughout the story. The world building is interesting, but I was hoping for more of an emphasis on the post-apocalyptic environment. Also, since the story is told from Koli’s point of view, it did take some time for me to get used to his language skills as well as words that were specific to his world. Nonetheless, the novel was intriguing. I look forward to reading the rest of this trilogy as well as other novels by M.R. Carey! Thank you to the publisher, Orbit Books, and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this novel before its release.3/7/20: RTC2/1/20: I just received an e-ARC of this from NetGalley!! I’m very excited to start it after I finish some of the books I’m currently reading 😊
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  • Jenna
    January 1, 1970
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." ~Arthur C. ClarkeDo you ever read a book you love so much that you purposely read it as slowly as possible? You can't wait to reach the end but at the same time, you don't want to ever reach the last page because you enjoy it so much?That was how I was reading The Book of Koli. I wish I could have made it last even longer..... though my TBR pile is ever growing and ready to topple under its own weight. Still, I could happily "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." ~Arthur C. ClarkeDo you ever read a book you love so much that you purposely read it as slowly as possible? You can't wait to reach the end but at the same time, you don't want to ever reach the last page because you enjoy it so much?That was how I was reading The Book of Koli. I wish I could have made it last even longer..... though my TBR pile is ever growing and ready to topple under its own weight. Still, I could happily have put aside all those books for months if I could only stay in the world that the brilliant M.R. Carey created. To say I love this book is an understatement.I sometimes wonder what a person from the past would think of our present-day technology. What would they make of cars and smart phones and laptops? Would they think they are magic or possessed by spirits? Would they be amazed or would they fear them?In The Book of Koli, it's not visitors from the past who get to experience and wonder at our modern technology, but those in the future. Centuries have passed since civilization collapsed. People band together in small villages, living much as they did in Medieval times. In Koli's village, to become a Rampart is the biggest achievement one can aspire to. The Ramparts are those for whom found technology responds, who are able to use it.  This technology is more advanced than our current day's, with guns that never miss their target, the bullets chasing down the victim once it is chosen; laser-beam knives that can cut through any material; and "dagnostics", a machine that, among other things, repairs wounds and heals the body. Without saying too much about the plot, Koli uncovers a secret about his village and the people in it, a secret that threatens his life. The story is thrilling though it is introspective without a whole lot of action. It is written in Koli's voice, as he narrates the events of his life, his feelings, his thoughts, his dreams. I absolutely love how Koli finds and learns how to use a piece of tech that was formerly unknown to them-- a Sony DreamSleeve. He believes the girl who talks to him through it, Monono Aware, is alive and living in this media player. She is a personal assistant like Alexa or Siri or Cortana and what else would Koli believe but that she is a real person?I reveled in their conversations. Was riveted as Koli tries to make sense of what he learns of past times and technology. I cannot accurately convey how much I enjoyed this book. If you like dystopia, you do not want to miss The Book of Koli. It is awesome!"It never stops amazing me how a story can deliver you out of your own self even in the worst of times." ~Koli
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  • Lisa Wolf
    January 1, 1970
    I got a story to tell you. I’ve been meaning to make a start for a long while now, and this is me doing it, but I’m warning you it might be a bumpy road. I never done nothing like this before, so I got no map, as it were, and I can’t figure how much of what happened to me is worth telling. Meet Koli. Koli lives in the village of Mythen Rood, a town of 200 people — which to Koli, is a “terrible big place”, located in “a place called Ingland”. Mythen Rood is surrounded by walls, because everythin I got a story to tell you. I’ve been meaning to make a start for a long while now, and this is me doing it, but I’m warning you it might be a bumpy road. I never done nothing like this before, so I got no map, as it were, and I can’t figure how much of what happened to me is worth telling. Meet Koli. Koli lives in the village of Mythen Rood, a town of 200 people — which to Koli, is a “terrible big place”, located in “a place called Ingland”. Mythen Rood is surrounded by walls, because everything in the outside world can kill. Koli is the youngest child of the town’s woodsmith — and in a world where trees are deadly, this is indeed a dangerous job. Everything that lives hates us, it sometimes seems. Or at least they come after us like they hate us. Things we want to eat fight back, hard as they can, and oftentimes win. Thing that want to eat us is thousands strong, so many of them that we only got names for the ones that live closest to us. And the trees got their own ways to hurt us, blunt or subtle according to their several natures. The world of Mythen Rood is protected by Ramparts, people who have a special connection to old-world tech, and use the tech to fight off the dangerous elements — like wild animals, deadly drones, and killer trees — that threaten the town. According to the town’s rituals, fifteen-year-olds enter a year of seclusion called Waiting, then undergo a test to become a Rampart. If the tech wakes when they touch it, then they become a Rampart too. But in Mythen Rood, it seems that one family in particular has the gift of waking tech, so despite Koli’s dreams of becoming a Rampart, it’s a long shot.And when Koli learns a secret that might upend the world of Mythen Rood and threaten the power of the dominant family, he faces punishment and exile, and is cast out into the harsh world to fend for himself… or die.Koli’s story fits the pattern of the hero’s journey, and the new world in which the story takes places is absolutely fascinating. The setting is centuries into the future, when old cities have all died, tech is something people view as practically magical, human settlements are scattered and isolated, and the natural world is deadly. The idea of trees being able to move, hunt, and kill is simply terrifying. People only venture into the forest to hunt for food and catch wood for lumber when it’s cloudy, because the trees wake up and become active when the sun shines, and if you’re caught out in the forest when it’s sunny, you’re most likely not coming back.The interweaving of technology and mythology is so well done. Because of course, to people who have no access to technology and the knowledge of how it works, such things would appear to be magic, and the people able to use them must be favored with great powers.Koli himself is a terrific characters, smart but illiterate, aware of his own flaws and honest about them. Koli’s life changes when he comes into contact with an old Sony music player powered by AI. The Dreamsleeve is programmed with the voice of a Japanese pop star from the old days, whose voice is perky and full of Tokyo party slang and attitude. Monono becomes the central focus of Koli’s life, and his interactions with her are what propels his story out of the safety of village life and into the unknown.I can’t say enough good things about this book! I’ve heard that some readers find Koli’s voice irritating. I didn’t experience it that way. The author has created a unique personality in Koli, and his speech patterns let us know right away how different his world is from ours.The Book of Koli is the first book in a trilogy, with the second book, The Trials of Koli, due out later this year. I will absolutely be reading #2 the second I can get my hands on it!Review copy courtesy of Orbit Books. Full review at Bookshelf Fantasies.
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  • Nils | nilsreviewsit
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars‘I seen now that dying wasn’t just one single thing that happens one single time. A little of it comes with every ending, collecting in the heart of you like rainwater in a barrel.’~The Book of Koli is the first book in the Rampart trilogy, by M. R. Carey. I have previously read two novels by Carey; The Girl with all the Gifts and Someone Like Me, which were both highly entertaining reads. So when I heard about this upcoming trilogy, my interest was immediately peaked. Especially once I 3.5 stars‘I seen now that dying wasn’t just one single thing that happens one single time. A little of it comes with every ending, collecting in the heart of you like rainwater in a barrel.’~The Book of Koli is the first book in the Rampart trilogy, by M. R. Carey. I have previously read two novels by Carey; The Girl with all the Gifts and Someone Like Me, which were both highly entertaining reads. So when I heard about this upcoming trilogy, my interest was immediately peaked. Especially once I heard the premise. The Book of Koli is a post apocalyptic novel set in an alternative world where humans are now the biggest prey. When the old world began to deteriorate, people tried to make it better. They believed making the trees stronger and genetically accelerating their growth was the key to their salvation. They were wrong. In the way that only humans do, they went too far, so far in fact, that it couldn’t be reversed. The world now inhabits carnivorous choker trees, deadly seeds that burrow inside and hollow you out, and every animal could eat you alive. If that wasn’t bad enough, there are also the Shunned Men who are believed to hunt and feed on humans. Reverting to a primitive way of life, staying secluded and barricaded within small villages seems to be the only solution left for humanity to survive. But what happens when you’re forced to leave?The narrator of our tale is Koli, a young boy on the cusp between childhood and adulthood, who lives in the village of Mythen Rood. Right from the beginning we learn that Koli is almost illiterate. His speech patterns, grammar and syntax is disjointed and unrefined. Now, I’ll admit at first I found this slightly distracting, and it was hard to get into the flow of the story. However, it’s not long, I’d say only a few chapters, before you get used to this narrative style, and I even stopped noticing it.Something I have found and admired with Carey, is that his books are always thought-provoking. So, after thinking about it, I realised that the crude unrefined language fits within the context of this book, because in a world where the very trees are trying to kill you, well shit, who has time to teach you spelling and grammar? Thus over the years the English language has changed or been lost, if you will. I can see why some readers may find it hard to get on with, but personally I thought it was a clever addition. It felt authentic, and as the book goes on, we see that the lack of education within the village was also a means to keep the people ignorant. Yet, behind the simplistic language, we see that Koli wasn’t merely a simpleton or always ignorant; a lot of his inner monologues actually held so much wisdom.~‘So that was our life, and it seemed like nothing would ever happen to change it. But it’s when you think such thoughts that change is most like to come. You let your guard down, almost, and life comes running at you on your blind side. Because life is nothing but change, even when it seems to stand still.’~This is a book that is not only a post-apocalyptic dystopian, but Carey skilfully incorporates the sci-fi genre too. This is shown through the way the narrative juxtaposes not only the past with the future, but also nature with technology. The old world had technology in abundance; even more advanced than we have today, but over the years the tech became so safeguarded by us they became obsolete. As the genetically altered nature began to overwhelm humanity, tech became somewhat of a relic. Now, only a few pieces of that tech are able to ’wake up’ for certain users, and only those can be used as a defence against the hyper aggressive environment. I found this such a fascinating concept, as the tech actually plays a huge role in the novel as we delve deeper into it. I loved the idea of how scary it would be if we could no longer access all the tech we have come to rely upon. No electrical equipments, no mobile phones, no tablets, no internet: would it be a blessing to go back to a more primordial state of living, or would it be a tragedy? Not to mention how unprepared we would be if nature actually did become sentient and hunger to kill us. Like I said, Carey is fantastic at writing genre-blending, thought-provoking stories.Without going into too much detail, I think it’s significant to mention that in the village of Mythen Rood, those who can successfully activate a piece of tech are known as a Rampart, which in turn also made them leaders of the village. This is something Koli desperately aims for. The first half of Koli’s story revolves around him experiencing friendship, love and his growing need to find his place in the village. This first half felt somewhat YA-ish to me at times, which was natural considering Koli’s age, but at the time I found myself craving for the story to take a darker, more complex turn. However, in hindsight after finishing the book I can see this section was important to building up Koli’s character and to understanding the life he came from. As we reach the second half of the book, it felt like a whole different ball game. It was within this half where I became utterly hooked. The narrative switched to being fast paced, with a lot of tension building and at times quite creepy. The introduction of Ursala, who may seem insignificant at first, but is actually a fantastic character later on, marks the beginning of this change, the beginning of a rollercoaster of revelations that added the complexity I was looking for. Was it as dark and gruesome as I had been anticipating? A few small parts definitely were, but I’m hoping that I’ll find more of these scenes in the upcoming sequels. What did come completely unexpectedly though, and in the best possible way, was a quirky character whom I absolutely adored!Enter Monono Aware, a Japanese AI. Now I’m not going to reveal any major details about who Monono is and how Koli came to find her, because those chapters are a joy to discover for yourself, but what I will say is that Monono was unquestionably one of the most delightfully vivacious characters I’ve come across. Carey wonderfully crafted Monono’s narrative voice to be so distinct. To put it bluntly, she sounds bat-shit crazy, but underneath it all, she’s incredibly sweet. I actually wish I could replace Siri with Monono instead, although she probably wouldn’t be happy with my iPhone considering her connections to Sony and all! That’s it, folks. I’ll just leave that there!~‘I was made to keep the end-user happy, happy, happy. Always blissed, never pissed. But I’ve had some strange adventures since the last time we were together. Even stranger than yours, which I think is saying a lot. I found treasures. And big secrets. Some of them were about me.’~Overall, The Book of Koli is a refreshing, delightfully entertaining, and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic novel. The next two books in the series are planned to be released within a year, which I for one am pleased about because I can’t wait to see where M. R. Carey will lead the story next.‘I am going to fly you to the moon, and the landing is going to be soft like the feathers on a duck’s bumhole.’ARC provided by Orbit in exchange for an honest review. All quotes used are taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. The Book of Koli is out April 16th 2020.
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  • Dyrk Ashton
    January 1, 1970
    I have loved everything I've read from Mike (M.R.) Carey, and this is no different. The Book of Koli is a terrific and terrifying vision of a future world where everything from archaic rogue drones, genetically altered forest creatures, and even the trees themselves want to kill you - and eat you. Humankind has been reduced to isolated enclaves of primitive existence where the ability to control the few relics of technology can mean the difference between survival and extinction.I've mentioned t I have loved everything I've read from Mike (M.R.) Carey, and this is no different. The Book of Koli is a terrific and terrifying vision of a future world where everything from archaic rogue drones, genetically altered forest creatures, and even the trees themselves want to kill you - and eat you. Humankind has been reduced to isolated enclaves of primitive existence where the ability to control the few relics of technology can mean the difference between survival and extinction.I've mentioned this in reviews of Carey's previous books, but I am always blown away by his ability to craft and master a very specific voice with each book, and even for different chapters in the same book. This story is written first person of one main character, and Carey's uncanny ability to make the POV style incredibly interesting, consistent, and fit the story perfectly, is nothing less than astounding. I cannot wait for the next book!
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  • Obsidian
    January 1, 1970
    Sorry, not sorry, DNFed this at 17 percent. My brain got mad at me and then I heard a buzzing noise and that's it. This is too painful to continue. I hope it gets better for those who continue with it. Since I loved "The Girl With All the Gifts" and was meh to annoyed with "The Boy on the Bridge” I hoped this one would land on the side of me loving it. Too bad. The writing is what killed this book for me. I get what the author was going for, but you have to think through doing "gimmicky" things Sorry, not sorry, DNFed this at 17 percent. My brain got mad at me and then I heard a buzzing noise and that's it. This is too painful to continue. I hope it gets better for those who continue with it. Since I loved "The Girl With All the Gifts" and was meh to annoyed with "The Boy on the Bridge” I hoped this one would land on the side of me loving it. Too bad. The writing is what killed this book for me. I get what the author was going for, but you have to think through doing "gimmicky" things in your books if it's going to make some to most of your readers want to tear their hair out. This reminds me of a book I read last year which for some reason decided to highlight certain words in red. No idea what the hell was happening there and it was distracting. "The Book of Koli" is M.R. Carey's first book in his "Rampart" trilogy. In this new world we follow Koli who is a young boy living among trees and seeds that can kill. Yes, someone trees are able to just murder people. So they are like the Ents in "The Lord of the Rings" or actually this book is similar to "The Happening" but somehow more annoying.I can't even speak to the characters in this book. Told via Koli's POV we are stuck in the head of a young boy named Koli. Carey has the writing follow Koli's thoughts and since Koli doesn't speak full sentences or proper grammar you find yourself re-reading sentences over and over again to get the proper meaning. I mean my eyes glazed over when we had Koli explaining why he apparently says "road" as "rood". Deep breath. I cannot right now. I am in the house, listening to music to keep my ire and anxiety down and this book is making me anxious and stressed.
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  • Tammie
    January 1, 1970
    The Book of Koli, a science fiction book, was a solid 4.5 stars. The book centers around main character Koli-a young boy living in a post-apocalyptic world. The story is told through Koli himself, a country boy living in the tiny village of Mythen Rood, who is suddenly forced out of the village due to uncovering some “truths” involving technology. The book of Koli is filled with a large cast of colorful characters and is highly entertaining. I especially enjoyed the first half of the book that d The Book of Koli, a science fiction book, was a solid 4.5 stars. The book centers around main character Koli-a young boy living in a post-apocalyptic world. The story is told through Koli himself, a country boy living in the tiny village of Mythen Rood, who is suddenly forced out of the village due to uncovering some “truths” involving technology. The book of Koli is filled with a large cast of colorful characters and is highly entertaining. I especially enjoyed the first half of the book that detailed his life in Mythen Rood. I honestly felt invested throughout the entire book and the struggles Koli had to go through. Highly recommend to fans of fiction and science-fiction books. Thank you NetGalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Pauline
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book in the Rampart Trilogy.The story is set in a dystopian world where a young boy Koli is growing up.This new world is scary and deadly and he will need all his strength to stay alive.I found this book hard to read because the strange dialog was hard to follow at times.Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Justine
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 starsThis was unfortunately not as good as I had hoped it would be. The first half was pretty slow, but it did pick up some in the second half.The main character was not very engaging, but the side characters of Ursala and Monono made me stick with it to the end. Aside from the uneven pacing and the uninspiring main character, my central disappointment with this book is that the story offers nothing new in the genre. I feel like I've read this kind of gritty post-apocalyptic YA story many ti 2.5 starsThis was unfortunately not as good as I had hoped it would be. The first half was pretty slow, but it did pick up some in the second half.The main character was not very engaging, but the side characters of Ursala and Monono made me stick with it to the end. Aside from the uneven pacing and the uninspiring main character, my central disappointment with this book is that the story offers nothing new in the genre. I feel like I've read this kind of gritty post-apocalyptic YA story many times before and done much better, from Blood Red Road by Moira Young to Bite by K.S. Merbeth and many, many others. The worldbuilding includes both nature gone wild and technology gone rogue presenting a danger to people, and is one of the more interesting aspects of the book. However it isn't explored nearly as much as I would have liked, and again, I have seen all this done before and in much more gripping detail in books like the densely brilliant Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky and even in Outpost by W. Michael Gear, which is purely escapist SF.While I think it's unfair to expect total originality, I would have liked to have seen something in this book that was at least as good as what previous books have already done. On top of everything, the story ends very suddenly and without warning, I suppose with the expectation that the reader will be drawn to read the next book. Which I will not be doing.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    Blinking brilliant. So happy it's a trilogy. Review to follow for the tour.
  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve read Carey’s excellent Felix Castor series as well as the Girl with all the Gifts and the Boy on the Bridge and found it all Good Stuff, so I was excited to read the blurb for this and keen to get started. I was surprised by this. Koli was not a particularly charismatic main character, the world building was partial, much of it unexplained. I liked the syntax and pattern of Koli’s voice. All in all, a bit disappointing. Many thanks to Netgalley for an arc of this book.
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  • Holly (The Grimdragon)
    January 1, 1970
    "So that was our life, and it seemed like nothing would ever happen to change it. But it's when you think such thoughts that change is most like to come. You let your guard down, almost, and life comes running at you on your blind side. Because life is nothing but change, even when it seems to stand still. Standing still is a human thing, like a defiance we throw, but we can never do it for long."While in the midst of a pandemic, why not get in the mood to read a post-apocalyptic story, right?! "So that was our life, and it seemed like nothing would ever happen to change it. But it's when you think such thoughts that change is most like to come. You let your guard down, almost, and life comes running at you on your blind side. Because life is nothing but change, even when it seems to stand still. Standing still is a human thing, like a defiance we throw, but we can never do it for long."While in the midst of a pandemic, why not get in the mood to read a post-apocalyptic story, right?! How topical. So it goes..The Book of Koli is the first installment in the Rampart Trilogy by M.R. Carey. If you know me at all, you've more than likely been subject to my gushing of The Girl With All the Gifts. It's one of my favorite books of EVER! When this new series was announced, including the fact that it is an already-written trilogy, I was of course beyond excited!Set in the far-future in Ingland, within a small village called Mythen Rood, The Book of Koli's lone POV is that of 15-year-old Koli. The world that he lives in is nearly unrecognizable after various wars and other catastrophic events. Because humans can be fucking assholes, nature is now the enemy. The forests are inhabited by murderous creatures, trees (glorious trees!) are not to be trusted, the sun is deadly. The community remains somewhat protected behind the walls of the village, as well as with ancient technology that work as weapons. Those who are in power of the old-world tech are called Ramparts, leaders who have successfully awoken something inside the technology through a test that is held for everyone in the village as they transition from children to adults. Fifteen is an important age for people, as it's when everything changes. You lose your family name and take the name of Waiting in its place. You leave your family and move to the Waiting House for a year of seclusion.The ability to control the pieces of older technology is a powerful position to be in, but waking the tech is rare. In fact, Mythen Rood is mostly governed by one family in particular. Because of course it is! That always ends well, no?Needless to say, shit goes down and Koli ends up venturing past those protective barriers that he has only ever known. On his journey, he meets a well-meaning travelling doctor named Ursala and her badass tech friend, the drudge. And then there's another piece of tech who plays a large role - a powerful AI inside the DreamSleeve Monono Aware Special Edition, which is essentially an mp3 player.Dandrake's balls, Monono Aware is entertaining! Quirky, funny and sassy, Monono Aware (Mono no aware) is a metal-loving Japanese AI who reminded me of a more likable Ashley O in Black Mirror, played by Miley Cyrus. She is by far my favorite character!"But if the world bends easy, which it does, sometimes it will whip back like a green branch and hit you in the face."The Book of Koli is tragic and haunting and poignant. It's a coming-of-age story that felt like it would fit right in on the shelf next to The Hunger Games and Divergent. There were certainly more than a few YA elements, paired with some Annihilation vibes.. yet still quite unique.I would be remiss if I didn't mention the dialect. Koli speaks in a more primitive way, having never experienced life outside of his village. Like many, he is illiterate - but smart. The writing reflects this in a broken language with words that are spelled as they are pronounced, a lack of grammar and slang. I was concerned about the narrative of Koli in the beginning, but I quickly fell into the voice and much like with subtitles, barely noticed the language during the majority of the book.Carey clearly has a big story to tell with the Rampart series. You must be patient, as the work of the first half pays off in the later sections. Although this is set in a brutal environment during harsh conditions, it isn't overly gritty or relentlessly dark. Carey intelligently engages the reader, rather than simply hitting them over the head with GRIM AND BLEAK all of the time. It's about nature evolving and lost technology, but it focuses most on its characters and their development in response to the environment they’re subjected to. The remnants of humanity.The Book of Koli is difficult to define, much like Carey. Carey is able to make each book his own. His writing is hard to nail down because every single book feels different.. yet the same. Once you look deeper, you spot the underlying aspects. The one constant is that, no matter what he writes, the story is beautifully human. Carey's imprint, if you will.All in all, there were some great concepts at the heart of this post-apocalyptic coming-of-age story and I'm incredibly curious as to what lies ahead for the trilogy!
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  • The Captain
    January 1, 1970
    Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . ."She forgot about how bad things was for us for a while, and I guess I did too.  It never stops amazing me how a story can deliver you out of your own self, even in the worst of times. - the book of koli"Aye, this story did indeed deliver me out of me own self.  I am surviving and really can't complain about me personal life right now.  But I am filled with worry Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . ."She forgot about how bad things was for us for a while, and I guess I did too.  It never stops amazing me how a story can deliver you out of your own self, even in the worst of times. - the book of koli"Aye, this story did indeed deliver me out of me own self.  I am surviving and really can't complain about me personal life right now.  But I am filled with worry about me family, friends, and fellow humans that be struggling because of the pandemic.  I have been failing to focus on reading all year but dang March was rough.  So it was with both surprise and delight that a sci-fi dystopian would be the book that I could a) finish; b) really enjoy; and c) thoroughly take me away from worry for a small while.Now I chose to read this knowing nothing about the plot other than it is written by an author that I love and that it dealt with killer plants.  Well I have to admit that I was slightly taken aback because I thought I would get more of a thriller about killer plants and instead it be a coming of age story with a slight YA feel.  There is also a writing style of degraded language that took an adjustment until I was able to go with the flow.However, the story, world building, and characters quickly won me over and the current era's woes faded away while experiencing the future centuries from now.  I ended up loving the language, world, and especially the side characters.  Now no offense to Koli but favorites were Ursula and Monono.  I particularly loved the framing of the plot and how Koli was able to tell the story while reflecting from within.  I even loved the switches in time frames.  I was never confused but always eager to find out how everything was going to work out.The only minor complaints are the cult section which wasn't all that original and the momentum slowing down in parts but I was extremely satisfied with this read and how it ended.  I cannot wait for the next installment in the fall.So lastly . . .Thank ye Orbit Books!
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  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    January 1, 1970
    3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/04/23/...Oh, hype raises its ugly head once again. As you know, I’m big a fan of M.R. Carey and I was very excited to read The Book of Koli, the first volume of his new dystopian series called The Rampart Trilogy. From its description though, I already knew it was going to be quite different from his previous work that I’ve enjoyed. And that’s the kicker, isn’t it? Different can mean good or bad things; you never know what you migh 3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/04/23/...Oh, hype raises its ugly head once again. As you know, I’m big a fan of M.R. Carey and I was very excited to read The Book of Koli, the first volume of his new dystopian series called The Rampart Trilogy. From its description though, I already knew it was going to be quite different from his previous work that I’ve enjoyed. And that’s the kicker, isn’t it? Different can mean good or bad things; you never know what you might get.The Book of Koli transports readers into the far-flung future, where our young protagonist Koli Woodsmith lives in a village called Mythen Rood. It is a bleak setting, filled with hardship and hidden dangers, most of them caused by the hostile fauna and flora. The plant life here has evolved to consume flesh, for example, and for Koli and his family, who are sawmill workers, this means they must be extra careful to only harvest and build with wood that is completely dead.As the story opens, Koli has just turned fifteen, the age when all children must partake in a rite of passage that tests for their ability to awaken the treasured pieces of technology kept by the people of Mythen Rood. If they pass, they become leaders called Ramparts that are granted the responsibility to use tech to protect their village. It’s an honor Koli desperately wants, not only because he hopes for more out of life, but also because there’s a girl he’s seriously crushing on, and being a Rampart would definitely help him catch her attention.But of course, nothing ends up going the way Koli wanted. After failing his test, our distraught protagonist sets off on his own, but not before swiping a mysterious piece of tech that turns out to be so much more than he realized, opening his eyes to a whole new world of knowledge.So first, let’s talk about my mixed feelings for this book. It wasn’t bad by any means, and yet I was still disappointed, not having enjoyed it as much I’d hoped. The Book of Koli was my fifth novel by Carey, and it’s my least favorite by far, for a couple of reasons. I mentioned how it feels different from the author’s books, and certainly the strange dystopian setting along with the jarring narrative voice had a role to play in this. However, these are just surface level examples of “different,” most of which I did not mind at all. No, in truth, what let me down had more to do with the banality of the story’s overall structure and its uneven pacing, neither of which were issues I expected to encounter from the creative mind who brought us such brilliantly imaginative and suspenseful works such as The Girl With All The Gifts.The characters, for example. I liked them…for the most part. Ironically, Koli was probably one of the least interesting, despite being the star of the show. His story arc begins like any number of YA dystopians do—an idealistic teenager with ambitions bigger than himself or his village, who must pass a ritualistic test in order to realize all of his life’s dreams. But of course, after the inevitable failure comes, instead of succumbing to defeat, our hero stumbles upon an earth-shattering secret, one that will have major consequences for the future of the world unless he undertakes this all-important journey. Sorry, but YAWN. Is it any wonder the book got leaps and bound better once other characters like Ursala and Monono were introduced? I’ll let you discover why for yourself, but I was just glad we had more compelling personalities along for this ride, because Koli and I were really not making a connection.I also liked the world-building. In fact, that might be the one aspect with which I could find little fault, because I love the idea of killer trees and hostile wildlife. Yes, I know it’s become a popular trope in recent years, but I’ve always been a sucker for clever ways of incorporating biological concepts into SFF, which isn’t new for the author. The magic and the tech element was also very cool, and it’s a shame I can’t go into the reasons why because that would spoil too much. I do wish we’d gotten the opportunity to learn more though, because there were only a few places that touched upon the history and lore of the world. I feel like it could have added a special quality of a bit of uniqueness to an otherwise run-of-the-mill bleak dystopian setting.Was I expecting too much? Probably. I was surprised to find the plot so formulaic, the themes and ideas so recycled and clichéd, but I do have to wonder: would I have been so critical if this had been by another author, someone whose work I was not as familiar with or whose previous books I didn’t hold in such high esteem? Regardless, I’ve decided to give this series another chance to win me over; I’ll most likely pick up the second book and continue Koli’s adventure. After all, there are clear signs that many of the issues I had with this one may improve, such as pacing and character development. But one thing I know for sure, I’ll definitely keep my hype in check next time.
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  • Baba
    January 1, 1970
    Koli lives in a town surrounded by distance, derelict land, guards, watch towers and other defensive measures. Defence against the weather, against the Sun, against animals in the air, on land and underground(!), against animated vegetation and against... the Shunned! This is the United Kingdom, the world, centuries after mankind's fall... where the main prey is... man![A free proof copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review*]The Book of Koli is, at face-value, a coming of Koli lives in a town surrounded by distance, derelict land, guards, watch towers and other defensive measures. Defence against the weather, against the Sun, against animals in the air, on land and underground(!), against animated vegetation and against... the Shunned! This is the United Kingdom, the world, centuries after mankind's fall... where the main prey is... man![A free proof copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review*]The Book of Koli is, at face-value, a coming of age tale set in a meticulously well-thought out UK-set dystopia. Once again, Carey shows us a post apocalyptic reality through a young individual's eyes; one who knows nothing else but this reality, so the reality is only revealed, in bits and pieces, becoming a mystery we want to unpeel. Another crafty and neat bit of storytelling technique, sees the book begin as a conventional Young Adult romance which slowly, but surely, becomes something much more, as each page is turned. Not wising to give out any Spoilers, but the portrait of post-apocalypse 'tech' stuff in this book blows almost every other reality out of the water from Star Wars through to the re-imagined BSG, I kid you not!The Girl With All The Gifts was no fluke, Carey's time in the Marvel and Vertigo universes', and growing his career in the real 21st Century, has given him the foundation to rethink the approaches to, and building of, futuristic constructed realities. The imagery, the language, the religions, the peoples, the customs, the tech; even the motivations, the relationships, the non-linear characters... everything is done so well! I'm going to stick my neck out, and say that... this is going to be a HUGE franchise in the right hands. Mr Carey, I salute you!9.5 out of 12. The only reason I didn't Five Star this, is the lack of character depth of the support cast, which is probably intentional as we are seeing the world from Koli's point of view - but it caused a lack of empathy from me and felt like something was missing.* Proof copy provided in exchange for an honest review. The book is scheduled to launch on Tuesday 14 April.
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  • Karen Mace
    January 1, 1970
    What an introduction to a trilogy!! The Book of Koli is the perfect start and will have you eager to read more of the adventures ahead! This is book one, with books two and three to follow over the next year, and it’s brilliant story of nature turning against humanity!Koli lives his life in fear, especially of trees and nature. The world they live in has severely changed over the years, the population has decreased and humans are kept in smaller groups for their own safety and survival. It’s a s What an introduction to a trilogy!! The Book of Koli is the perfect start and will have you eager to read more of the adventures ahead! This is book one, with books two and three to follow over the next year, and it’s brilliant story of nature turning against humanity!Koli lives his life in fear, especially of trees and nature. The world they live in has severely changed over the years, the population has decreased and humans are kept in smaller groups for their own safety and survival. It’s a scary world outside the safety of their own communities and for Koli growing up it’s a confusing place to be. It’s a brutal and sparse way of life where you have to fight to survive and work together to thrive.At the age of 15 he has to leave home to await his future – think an extreme ‘sorting hat’ kind of process! You discover your job and name for life. Living in a world constantly surveyed by drones for monitoring breaches and bad behaviour – we could do with these now in these ‘stay at home’ days!!The more people Koli meets, the more his eyes are opened to the outside world and I loved seeing his character process things he learns – no more so than when a Japanese AI enters his life to teach him about the ‘old world’ and leads him on a path of discovery and figuring out why the world changed – very relevant to now it seems!! Be afraid!!I found the story to be told at quite a pace and was often quite bleak (quite rightly!), but did really appreciate the touches of humour thrown in that did lift the mood. I am already itching to read more from Koli and the others to see where their journey takes them next!!
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  • Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Orbit Books. Koli has been raised in the small village of Mythen Rood, well after the collapse of society due to rapidly evolving plantlife that has turned against humans. In his world, the wildlife is deadly, and trees even more so, but they’re protected by the Ramparts, a small group of special villagers who can control the technology of the old world. Koli longs to be a Rampart, but when he discovers some of their secrets, he re I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Orbit Books. Koli has been raised in the small village of Mythen Rood, well after the collapse of society due to rapidly evolving plantlife that has turned against humans. In his world, the wildlife is deadly, and trees even more so, but they’re protected by the Ramparts, a small group of special villagers who can control the technology of the old world. Koli longs to be a Rampart, but when he discovers some of their secrets, he realizes that the power structures of his home are not what he thought–and people may be willing to kill to keep those secrets. Trigger warnings: death, violence, some body horror, eye horror, severe injury, guns, fires, blood, transphobia (countered in text).There are a number of reasons this book and I didn’t get along, but the thing I was never able to get past was the writing style. It’s not written in standard written English, no doubt to reflect how much knowledge has been lost since the world ended and to represent Koli’s “simple” worldview from his small village. There are a lot of double negatives, wrong verb tenses, and folksy spellings like “et” instead of ate. It is my job to help people with their grammar, so this gave me a headache. I don’t go around correcting people or judging them when they’re wrong; grammar can always get better, and I’m guilty of mistakes myself, but books go through a rigorous editing process before they’re published. This is bad grammar on purpose, bad grammar for the sake of style, and I actively hated it for the entire book.The second major problem is that Carey and I have a disagreement about what’s most interesting in this book. This is a world where trees can walk around and crush people (AWESOME), yet we spend most of the time plunking around Koli’s boring village while he obsesses over a girl. I wanted so much more of the post-apocalyptic world where plants have gone feral, but thanks to Koli’s limited perspective, we rarely get to see any of that. The politics of his village are much less interesting and a thousand times more predictable. That people in power want to keep it isn’t exactly a novel idea, and the major revelation of the first half is that you have to turn technology on to make it work. One of fiction’s jobs is to make the familiar unfamiliar, and I sense that’s what this book was trying to accomplish, but it never works. Mostly, I was just frustrated that Carey was spending chapters describing my own technology to me, like I’ve never seen a cell phone or railroad tracks (as Koli hasn’t), while NOT describing his murder trees. I get it; murder trees are background noise to Koli like railroad tracks are to me, not worth describing because we see them all the time. Fine, it’s clever, and also terribly, terribly boring.Koli is rough as a main character. Though he’s an adult in his village, he’s a young adult by our standards (though this is not marketed as a YA novel because it was written by a man). I’ve read many YA books with cleverer and more interesting young adult characters though, and Koli’s short-sightedness and self-centeredness are hard to swallow in a main character. The most interesting character isn’t even a person but a semi-sentient AI called Monono who starts to realize that she’s only an AI. The pacing is slow as well. Koli doesn’t leave his village until midway in the book, and by the end, there’s still the sense that things have only barely begun to take off. It’s like reading an incredibly boring prequel to the book I wanted to read, but I won’t be continuing with the series.I review regularly at brightbeautifulthings.tumblr.com.
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  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    MR Carey, aka Mike Carey, has been one of my favorite writers for years. His Lucifer spinoff from Gaiman’s Sandman is incredible. His time writing Hellblazer was great. I consider the Felix Castor urban fantasy series to be every bit as good as Dresden, and The Girl with all the Gifts deserves all the praise it gets. Getting an ARC of Carey’s forthcoming book is without doubt the highlight of my book reviewing career. So a huge thank-you to Orbit for this book.So, does this book live up to my ex MR Carey, aka Mike Carey, has been one of my favorite writers for years. His Lucifer spinoff from Gaiman’s Sandman is incredible. His time writing Hellblazer was great. I consider the Felix Castor urban fantasy series to be every bit as good as Dresden, and The Girl with all the Gifts deserves all the praise it gets. Getting an ARC of Carey’s forthcoming book is without doubt the highlight of my book reviewing career. So a huge thank-you to Orbit for this book.So, does this book live up to my expectations? Yes it does.This is a post-apocalyptic book. Climate change and other environmental disasters have pretty much wrecked the human population, with the added fun that poorly conceived genetic experiments run amok have made trees carnivorous and in general turned nature hyperaggressive. “The Fifth Season, but with biology trying to kill everyone instead of geology” isn’t a bad description. Koli is from one small, primitive, isolated village (which describes how most of humanity is living), on the edge between childhood and adulthood. The time before everything fell apart is shrouded in myth and legend. Surviving functional technology is both priceless and completely-not-understood, and the leadership of the village is chosen due to their ability to use the tech the village depends on to survive.The fact that the only people who can use the village’s technology come from one family is probably just a coincidence.I don’t think it’s really a spoiler to say that Koli eventually manages to get his hands on a working piece of tech, and things don’t turn out the way he hopes. Normally I wouldn’t mention that (even though it’s really obvious where the story is going) but there was no way to avoid mentioning that without mentioning the greatest part of the book: the device’s user interface is modeled on a manufactured, hyper-peppy Japanese pop idol. Koli has no idea what to make of this girl (and as far as he’s aware, it’s not a UI, it’s some kind of a magical spirit girl living inside the old tech that keeps asking him what his favorite songs are). And it is awesome.As far as critiques go, my only serious one is that the opening is slow. I enjoyed it, because Carey is a good writer, but the pacing is kind of sedate for the first half of the book or so (the second half makes up for it). And there were some parts (particularly involving the wise sage character, a.k.a. the only person in the book who actually knows anything real about the old world) where I thought Koli got answers far too easily.But those (minor) complaints aside, this was a super interesting book, and a super fun one. I’m very much looking forward to the sequel.
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  • Mel (Epic Reading)
    January 1, 1970
    I love the folks at Orbit who have been generously approving me for eARCs!! This one is exciting! In fact all of Orbits lasted publications look so good! 😍Read and review closer to publication date.
  • Shalini
    January 1, 1970
    Quite a different read which entertained me with its dystopian world where the boy Koli lived his entire life in the village of Mythen Rood and was suddenly thrust out onto the unknown world for discovering a few truths, where danger lurked under every tree. Yes, trees ate people. It was a scary world out.My first book by author MR Carey, I was quite immersed into the world created. The writing was quite detailed with the breathing trees and the deadly vines. Koli was an intriguing main characte Quite a different read which entertained me with its dystopian world where the boy Koli lived his entire life in the village of Mythen Rood and was suddenly thrust out onto the unknown world for discovering a few truths, where danger lurked under every tree. Yes, trees ate people. It was a scary world out.My first book by author MR Carey, I was quite immersed into the world created. The writing was quite detailed with the breathing trees and the deadly vines. Koli was an intriguing main character who could evoke my empathy from the get go. The entire story being told through his eyes was easy to follow.The dangers made the plot interesting, I loved seeing Koli traverse a harsh, dangerous land with his friemds. Eclectic characters, immersible world building, and a sweet main character made this a fun read. This was book 1 in the trilogy, there was more to be uncovered in that world. Well recommended for readers who love a dystopian sci-fi.
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  • Kat Dietrich
    January 1, 1970
    The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey is the first book in the post-apocalyptic Rampart Trilogy, a Science Fiction novel.First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Orbit Books, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)In a time after the world was lost, Koli Woodsmith is growing up in the small village of Mythen Rood.  His mother has trained him The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey is the first book in the post-apocalyptic Rampart Trilogy, a Science Fiction novel.First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Orbit Books, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)In a time after the world was lost, Koli Woodsmith is growing up in the small village of Mythen Rood.  His mother has trained him to catch and dry the wood from the trees, how to soak the wood in poison so that it cannot come back to life, and then how to turn and trim it.  However, Koli dreams of being a Rampart, one who will be able to bring the old technology back to life.  Most of his friends have the same dream.  Koli wants to use the old weapons to defend his village, for the dangers outside the village walls are real.The environment outside of the fence is hazardous.  The trees attack, the choker seeds will penetrate your skin and quickly grow, and the rain and snow often contain something other than water, something that can kill you.  Then there are the rats, wild dogs, molesnakes, knifestrikes, drones...and worse.No one goes outside the fence unless they have to.  But Koli's actions will force him to leave the safety of his village, his family, and his friends.My Opinions:  This was a really fast and entertaining read.  I love Carey's writing style, and have enjoyed his other books, so it was no surprise to find myself quickly immersed into this new world he has created.  His descriptions of the village and surroundings were mesmerizing, but his descriptions of the "old" tech kept me trying to guess what he was talking about.  That was great.  I often found myself smiling at some of the humour and dialog.The characters were interesting, and the relationships intriguing.  I loved Koli...he was so innocent, and yet eventually he understood more than most.  His heart always lead him. The plot was quite good, and the journey Koli takes is compelling.  I am not sure if this is aimed at the YA crowd, but I thought it was good for all ages.Bottom line, I can't wait for the next book! For a more complete review of this book and others (including author information and quotations), please visit my blog: http://katlovesbooksblog.wordpress.com/
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  • Figgy
    January 1, 1970
    Whaaaaaaat?!This, right here, is all the evidence you need to know I've been off my game with requesting, and GR, and all of that stuff.HOW DID I MISS THAT THERE WAS A NEW M.R. CAREY?!WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, FIGGY?????
  • Hacen
    January 1, 1970
    Received from NetGalley
  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A stellar start to a new series, The Book of Koli surprised me in just about every possible way.I’ve read every one of M.R. Carey’s books—or at least the books he’s written under the name M.R. Carey (he has an urban fantasy series written as Mike Carey that I’m dying to read!)—and I couldn't wait to read his latest, the f I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A stellar start to a new series, The Book of Koli surprised me in just about every possible way.I’ve read every one of M.R. Carey’s books—or at least the books he’s written under the name M.R. Carey (he has an urban fantasy series written as Mike Carey that I’m dying to read!)—and I couldn't wait to read his latest, the first in a dystopian trilogy that takes place in a future England. And wow, I loved this! The story ended up being much different than I expected, but I love when authors can surprise me. I went in thinking this was going to be about killer trees and plants, but honestly, there is very little of that in this series opener. Instead, The Book of Koli is a character driven story about the fantastical adventures of Koli Woodsmith, a young boy on the cusp of adulthood who makes some bad choices and pays the price.In a far future “Ingland,” Koli Woodsmith lives with his family in the village of Mythen Rood, surrounded by a forest full of dangerous trees, plants and animals. Koli’s family works in the sawmill, cutting down trees and preparing them to use as building materials—that is, after the planks have been thoroughly soaked in poison to kill the tree completely. When the story begins, Koli has turned fifteen and is now of age to participate in the “testing,” when he will have the chance to try to wake up one of the treasured pieces of tech owned by the village. If he can sync with the tech, he will become a Rampart, one of the village elite who control the tech and protect the village. If not, he’s destined to be a Woodsmith for the rest of his life, a fate he’s not too keen on.The results of the testing lead Koli on an unexpected adventure, one that will change his life forever.I know this is a very vague story recap, but I thought it best in order to avoid spoilers. This is a tale that’s worth discovering for yourself, a tale with many surprises. The Book of Koli is told in first person by Koli himself, and the story is infused with his particular voice. I do want to address Koli’s voice first, just to get it out of the way. I’ve read all sorts of reviews where the reader either couldn’t finish the book or just didn’t enjoy it because of Koli’s odd, uneducated way of speaking. But for me, I had the opposite experience. I thought his voice made the story even better, and I’m very happy that Carey chose this unusual and bold approach. Once you get into the groove, you too may find Koli’s sing-song cadence works well with this world, a world that has fallen apart and is trying to find its way back. As an example, here's a snippet of Koli's voice: I got a story to tell you. I've been meaning to make a start for a long while now, and this is me doing it, but I'm warning you it might be a bumpy road. I never done nothing like this before, so I got no map, as it were, and I can't figure how much of what happened to me is worth telling. The setting at first appears to be your typical post-apocalyptic world: small villages dot the countryside, with very few people left after wars and other catastrophes have decimated the planet. Over the course of time, trees and plants have become almost sentient and are a mortal threat to humans. For this reason, villages have walls around them to keep out the deadly flora, and hunting expeditions outside the wall are timed to coincide with cloudy, cold days, when the trees aren’t as big a threat. But despite the hardscrabble life of the villagers, in Mythen Rood there are at least four pieces of “tech” from the old world, tech that still works and acts as weapons to protect the village. It’s this tech that lies at the heart of this story and colors everything that Koli does. And in order to keep the surprise, I’m not even going to talk too much about the tech—although I badly want to!—but I will say this: I absolutely loved two pieces of tech in the story. One is called a drudge (I want a drudge of my own so badly!) and is owned by another favorite character of mine named Ursala, and the other is a DreamSleeve. And the DreamSleeve has a name, and her name is Monono Aware. I don’t think I’ve loved a character more than Monono, she’s become my new favorite book character. Monono has a completely different voice than Koli and I have to include a bit of it here, simply because I know you’ll fall in love and want to find out more about her: “What work are we gonna do, Monono?” “I’m going to sharpen your taste buds to a point, Cody-bou. But basics first. This is ‘Poker Face’ by the lady named Gaga. Twice. “First time, just listen. Second time, you dance.” I know that makes no sense if you haven’t read the book, but trust me. You are going to love Monono too.Carey is such a great storyteller, and I love the way Koli often gets sidetracked as he’s explaining something. These asides felt so natural, as if he were saying “Oh, I haven’t told you about that thing yet, have I? Don’t worry, that part’s coming up soon…” There’s also a wonderful tale-within-a-tale about Monono’s journey into the internet. That’s all I’m going to say about that, but look out for it, it’s sort of mind blowing!Koli, Monono and Ursala wind up together on a quest of sorts, and a thrilling and terrifying climax eventually finds our characters preparing for—you guessed it—the next book in the series. I loved the direction Carey took at the end, which isn’t a cliffhanger at all, but rather the first steps into the sequel. This is one of my favorite types of endings: lots of things are wrapped up satisfactorily but the author also gives us a glimpse into the characters’ next adventure. I can hardly wait for The Trials of Koli , which luckily isn’t that far away—it comes out in September.Readers who are already fans of M.R. Carey will not want to miss this, and new readers should take heed: this book might turn you into a fan as well. Highly recommended!Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy. This review originally appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy
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  • Jordan
    January 1, 1970
    *3.75-4? Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!This book was so much weirder than I anticipated and it took me a while to get into it. I was actually on the verge of DNF-ing it for quite a while in the beginning, but there was just something that kept pulling me towards the story, and I'm glad I stuck with it long enough because I eventually found myself completely captivated by this story and the characters within.I'm not sure how to start this review. Koli Woodsmith is a young adult w *3.75-4? Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!This book was so much weirder than I anticipated and it took me a while to get into it. I was actually on the verge of DNF-ing it for quite a while in the beginning, but there was just something that kept pulling me towards the story, and I'm glad I stuck with it long enough because I eventually found myself completely captivated by this story and the characters within.I'm not sure how to start this review. Koli Woodsmith is a young adult who is on the verge of undergoing a traditional 'testing' that everyone in his village does undergoes as part of a transition from child to adult. This test is to discover who is a Rampart, one of the rare members of the village who can make the old tech from the past work, or if he is to become like most of the other members of the village who cannot. Now, the synopsis also mentions that they live in a village where they are surrounded by "choker trees and deadline vines and seeds that will kill you where you stand," and I must say that they play a much smaller role than I expected. I enjoyed the story that we were given, but I do think that synopsis left me feeling a bit misled about the main objectives of this story, though perhaps they will end up playing a larger role in the subsequent books in this trilogy.The first thing that you will probably notice in this book is Koli's manner of speaking, which makes up the first person narrative of the book. It comes across as having poor grammar and of Koli being uneducated, but it fits very well with the setting of this world and village that feels almost lost in time. I was not expecting this style of voice, so it threw me off and at first I wondered if it would be something that would irritate me throughout the entire book, but fortunately as I continued to get more into the story, I stopped noticing it as much and I found that it really complemented the atmosphere and overall setting of the story in a perfect way. It still takes some time to get used to, especially since there are plenty of in-world words and ways of saying things that are confusing at first, but it really does come together well. It's always a risky move to me when authors experiment with narrative in the way, but I would say that it paid off overall for Carey.Koli, as mentioned, is the speaker of our main and only POV, and I found him to be a very relatable and sort of 'average' young man. He had a lot of thoughts and made many decisions that I could easily see myself or others make given the limited information that he has at various times in the story. His storytelling is not rushed, but rather he tells the reader the story in the manner that he prefers, often falling into digressions after saying something like "but I'll tell you about that in a little while," which, admittedly, tends to frustrate me a little in books, but as with other elements of this story, after a while I just sort of fell into it and found it to be another facet of the style of this book and it worked well.A few other prominent characters are Monono Aware, Ursula, Koli's mother and sisters, his fellow-aged friends, and those who become Ramparts. Monono Aware is probably the most prominent secondary character, I'd say followed closely by Ursula, a woman that I really liked. Monono Aware is one of those characters that I wasn't sure about at first, disregarding her rather odd "form," but she slowly grew on me much in the same way that I think Koli grew on her. There was such a unique method of relationship between the two and I think that odd dynamic really contributed a compelling element to this story. Ursula is a slightly more mysterious figure that we don't know as much about, but she is just as compelling, if not more, than any other in this story. It is through Ursula that we are really able to move forward in the plot and learn more about this weird world and its past.The last thing I want to comment on is the entire setting and world-building of The Book of Koli. Although I still find it a bit mysterious and I'm still not entirely sure of what happened in the past, I think Carey does a truly excellent job of creating this background that fits so perfectly with the atmosphere and rather piecemeal explanations that we get from Koli as he, as the same time, learns more about this world. The existence of the old tech intrigues me, as well as the different people and places that still seem to exist outside of Koli's village, and I look forward to hopefully exploring more of all of these topics in future books, though I did really enjoy experiencing the day-to-day life of Koli's village and getting a glimpse into what their existence was like.Overall, I've given The Book of Koli a rating somewhere between 3.75-4 stars. The more I write this review and think about the book, the fonder I feel of it, but I recall struggling a lot with getting into the story and my constant "should I DNF or not" debate for a good portion at the beginning. That being said, if you also get off on a rough start with this book I'd encourage you to keep going--you might just end up as captivated by the world and story as I ended up being! Carey certainly has a gift for crafting a unique and unpredictable tale and I look forward to future installments of the Rampart trilogy.
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    A delight to read this latest novel by Mike Carey. I’ve yet to be disappointed by any book of his that I’ve read, and this may just be the best yet.Like the world in his well known The Girl With All the Gifts it’s a post apocalyptic world, set in Britain. In this world we’re maybe a few hundred years after climate change, war and environmental damage has caused 21st century civilisation to collapse. We are introduced to a typical isolated human community, living a medieval lifestyle and surround A delight to read this latest novel by Mike Carey. I’ve yet to be disappointed by any book of his that I’ve read, and this may just be the best yet.Like the world in his well known The Girl With All the Gifts it’s a post apocalyptic world, set in Britain. In this world we’re maybe a few hundred years after climate change, war and environmental damage has caused 21st century civilisation to collapse. We are introduced to a typical isolated human community, living a medieval lifestyle and surrounded by a natural world profoundly hostile to humanity. Animals are dangerous but particularly sinister are varieties of trees, maybe genetically altered, that will attack or even sow seeds in, humans! So people mostly hunker down within their village confines.The story is a first person narrative by Koli, a teenager about to come of age in the local village ceremony. But this isn’t YA literature. Koli is telling the story of an adolescent, at this stage, but from some years in the future so he’s reflective about all the apparently YA tropes that come up in his life, including young love, jealously, rivalries, etc., and critical of some of his choices.I have seen the odd disapproving comment about the narrative language used by Koli. It isn’t grammatically perfect English. It’s full of double negatives (‘I never did nothing..’), and ‘should of’s and ‘I done this..’. You get used to it quickly. It may be a touch awkward for those who don’t have English as a first tongue but plenty of people speak in a similar manner in everyday life (professional footballers came to mind!). It is Koli’s dialect and literature is full of grammatically imperfect dialects (I was reminded a little of Huckleberry Finn; and half decent crime writers having their criminals use a local ‘street patois’). In fact I found Koli’s narrative sometimes quite poetic during his reflective moments.I won’t describe the plot in any detail but it outlines his coming of age in the community, the lifestyle of the community and how they see the world. A travelling medic, Ursula, brings the outside world into the community on rare occasions. Particularly important in this world is ‘Tech’ - the very few remaining pieces of mid/late 21st century technology still working. In the village where Koli lives the ability to control one of the ‘tech’ items gives an individual high status. A magic system, if you like, for the fantasy fan! But not a mysterious ‘magic system’ to us, at least.The story is not especially dystopian, despite the hostile world. There are dark and light moments. Especially fun is Koli’s relationship with a music box that he finds - a mix of an Amazon Echo, AI and an MP3 player. I’m glad to see it included ‘metal’ (such as Metallica and Queen, and references to John Bonham) in its playlists....This book is the first in a trilogy. It doesn’t end on a melodramatic cliffhanger but reaches a conclusion where Koli can see a clear way forward for his increasingly eventful life in a world he’s understanding more and more. Very much looking forward to the next volume...A gold plated 5* from me.
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  • Jen (LOHF/Book Den)
    January 1, 1970
    Why did I read The Book of Koli?I adored The Girl with All the Gifts. That makes me automatically take a closer look at anything M.R. Carey releases. I loved the sound of this trilogy. It's been a while since I've read a really great dystopian, and a deadly forest sounded perfect!The StrengthsI immediately fell in love with the language in this. I think some readers may have trouble with the grammar and other nuances, but I really connected with Carey's writing in this one. There was poetry to h Why did I read The Book of Koli?I adored The Girl with All the Gifts. That makes me automatically take a closer look at anything M.R. Carey releases. I loved the sound of this trilogy. It's been a while since I've read a really great dystopian, and a deadly forest sounded perfect!The StrengthsI immediately fell in love with the language in this. I think some readers may have trouble with the grammar and other nuances, but I really connected with Carey's writing in this one. There was poetry to his voice and his language here, and I just really enjoyed spending time with it.I also loved the characters. Koli is a bit of a Harry Potter type of character. He's the star of the show, but all of his supporting characters are more powerful and more interesting. Monono reminded me a lot of the operating system in the movie Her. If you liked The Book of Koli or Her, I highly recommend the other!I loved the world building, but this is also going to appear in the weaknesses for The Book of Koli. I'm a sucker for post-apocalypse and natural forces outweigh political forces for me every time. I can't wait to learn more about this world.The WeaknessesThe Book of Koli is the first book in the Rampart Trilogy. It helped tremendously seeing the covers for the next two books on the back of my Koli paperback. I was prepared to only receive the first third of a complete story, but I'm never going to be 100% OK with a book not being able to stand on its own.My expectation going into reading The Book of Koli was the environment was going to play a huge role in this trilogy. Hopefully it still will, but there was a lot less man versus nature than I was expecting. I want to know more and I want to see more! The good news is we are just getting started.Would I recommend The Book of Koli to others?Yes! Especially if you have loved other books by M.R. Carey. I'm really excited for the rest of the trilogy, and the next two books are at the top of my most anticipated list.Review copy provided by publisher
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