Blog Tour · Book Review

Review: The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey

Today is my slot on the mega blog tour for The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey. I am so pleased to have been involved in the blog tour for this book. It’s pacey, gripping and imaginative and a fantastic introduction to what promises to be a great series.

Book of Koli blog tour

Title: The Book of Koli
Series: The Rampart Trilogy #1
Author: M. R. Carey
Pages: 416
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: 14th April 2020

Book of Koli

The book is set in a small village, of about 200 people, in a place called Mythen Rood, in the Calder Valley, somewhere in the north of a place that at one time was called Ingland. Koli Woodsmith has his place in the village, his role to play and his family, but he isn’t satisfied. He feels thwarted and powerless (as events show) and he plans to take back some control, to be notable and noticeable. But things don’t quite go to plan, leaving Koli adrift in a world filled with shunned men and killer trees.

And it … it’s really good. Koli’s voice is strong and compassionate. He’s a young boy, and has a lot to complain about, but the story is told by a much older (we think) Koli, who looks on some of his past actions with shame. He’s reflective and thoughtful and, although I think he perhaps should have been freaking out a whole lot more, tells a great story. He starts off a little immature but slowly grows.

The world is intriguing and imaginative – it’s set in some kind of post-apocalyptic Britain, where there are just fragments of technology left that very few people know how to use any more. There was some kind of war, and some kind of cataclysmic event, but the people know very little about it – they are just focused on their own survival now.

There’s also something really stunning in the way that it’s written – it’s very colloquial, but also very endearing – it means that some things are described in a way that you’ve never thought of before, which is so creative and authentic to the setting and type of novel. It’s somewhat what The Knife of Never Letting Go doesn’t quite manage to pull off, to my mind; The Book of Koli manages it so much better.

Not to mention the pacing – it’s got that perfect balance of cliffhangers, short chapters and interest to mean that you’re not exhausted reading it but you can’t wait to see what happens next.

I loved Monono Aware and the other characters – I suspect some of them will be back in future books and I really can’t wait to see how this pans out. I’m hoping things will get a bit more Wilder Girls in the next book, especially if we see more of the world. But it all read like this man has got a clear plan for what comes next.

It’s certainly YA – it fits all the boxes – but its YA done really, really well.

I think it’s got to be 5 stars!

I received an ARC of this book from Orbit Books for the Compulsive Readers blog tour – all opinions my own!


4 thoughts on “Review: The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey

  1. I’ve been mulling over this book for a while since the news came out of its release, and I certainly like M.R. Carey’s writing. Glad for your review, it’s making it add to the list of my next book haul 🙂

  2. Ooooh this one sounds really intriguing! Going to add it to my TBR I think 😊☺️😊☺️💙💜

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