Thursday, November 27, 2014

Meritropolis by Joel Ohman BOOK REVIEW and Author Q&A + GIVEAWAY!

                                                        Amazon ** Barnes&Noble

  Title: Meritropolis

Author: Joel Ohman

Published: Amazon Digital Services                                                      

This exciting YA Dystopia is on sale for just 99 cents for Kindle Thursday, November 27 through
Monday, December 1!

In Meritropolis everyone is assigned a numerical Score that decides their worth to society and
whether they live or die. After a young boy is killed because of a low Score, his brother plots to
take down the System....

This book follows a boy named Charley as he comes into adulthood in a society that only cares about your score which is tattooed on your arm from the point of birth. Many things determine what score you have such as health and intelligence are just a couple of things that could get you a nice rank. Others aren't so lucky to have good score and for that the system which is ran by a man named Orson states that for the better of the people in Meritropolis these low scores must be put out of the gates of the city and left for the mutant animals that live beyond the walls. 

After the exile of his brother Alec when he was younger Charley has revenge in his sights. Growing up in the care of the systems underground school Charley learned many skills to help him along the way to seeking his revenge. Charley plots daily to try to figure out a way to overthrow the system while at the same time keeping a low profile, but all of that changes when a young girl is scheduled to be exiled from the city for not being able to walk. The thought of another exile from the city didn't surprise Charley but when he attended the exile ceremony and witnessed the young girl struggling to walk to her inevitable doom while Guards aggressively shove her along the path.....Charley snaps. 

The beating that Charley gives to the guards hurting the little girl catches the eye of Commander Orson. After the spectacle Orson forces Charley to join his high ranking young adults who are being trained in the art of battle and hunting, but for what? Charley's life begins to change dramatically as secrets begin to unfold all around him making Charley realize that Orson might not be the biggest threat. There is something larger than Charley ever thought coming.....something that could destroy them all. 


Thoughts: I am not a huge fan of dystopian novels but I found this one to be quite interesting. This book is like The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and The Village all wrapped up into one short novel. I think my favorite part in the whole book was learning more about the animal mutations which were scary as well as funny. For being such a short book, everything was so detailed which made it easy for you to picture yourself in the story. I had some issues with this book though mainly with the lack of information about some of the characters backgrounds while other characters lives were painted like a picture. Then ending was a huge cliff hanger though so I hope there is another book in the works to help with the unanswered questions. 


Q: Who or what was your inspiration to write about post-apocalyptic, dystopian sci-fi?

A:  I've read a lot in this genre, so I would say it’s a mix of a lot of different things. I really just wanted to explore this question of, "What gives a person worth?" Is it their usefulness to society? Is it because someone loves them? Is it because of how they look? Is it because of their health or ability? As a Christian, I believe that all people have worth, because they are made in the image of God. I wanted to explore some different takes on this question. I think that the post apocalyptic/dystopian/sci-fi genre was the best vehicle to tackle some of those deep philosophical questions in a fun and interesting way.

Q: Why do you write? Is it for fun, or because you have something you need to say in your writing?

A: Some writers are loath to say their writing has a message, because maybe they think doing so diminishes their art (not true, in my opinion), but I think that everyone has a message in their writing, even if they aren't as consciously focused on it—and that's a good thing. My message is in my epigraph: "Because everyone matters - Psalm 139".

Q: Why the title Meritropolis?

A: I wanted a short one word title that was a clever—or at least semi-clever—play on two different words. I like "Meritropolis" because it combines "Merit" and "Metropolis," two words that are great for describing a city where each resident's worth is measured by a score given to them.

Q: In Meritropolis how were the animal combinations decided upon? For example, I chose to write about a bion (bull-lion), as well as many other freaks of nature. So what I want to know is how did you decided which animals to meld together and why.

A: I have a big list of animal combinations that I came up with before I began writing the book, and I tried to work in as many as I could. Sometimes the only criteria was that I liked the way the name sounded. Look for many more in the following books!

Q: Can you tells us about your characters and who/what inspired them?

A: I am a big believer in John Truby’s approach to building a “character web”, because this deepens the relationships between characters and helps to make each of the characters more complex. Absent building a good character web, it can be all too easy to fall into the not-very-true-to-real-life good-person/bad-person false dichotomy where your protagonist devolves into this I-can-do-no-wrong character and your antagonist is just pure evil. I was very much aiming to show the imperfections and brokenness in each of the characters. My thinking as a Christian influences this to some degree, given that the Bible teaches that we are all essentially the same; we are all sinners—only God is perfect.

Q: Do you have a favorite genre that you like to read?

A: I read pretty much everything! Fiction, non-fiction, you name it! I am of the opinion that, as an author, I can learn something from almost every kind of writing. Sometimes, it most definitely is a matter of learning what not to do—but, on the whole, I love to read a wide variety of writing styles, genres, etc.

Q: Are there any books that have inspired your own writing?

A: I read A LOT so there are many different things that have shaped my writing over the years, but I wouldn't say there was any particular book, or books, that I was consciously looking to for inspiration while writing Meritropolis. Looking back though I can definitely see different threads of influence in almost everything I have read over the years that contribute toward making Meritropolis what it is: the strong protagonist of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, the philosophical bent of C.S. Lewis’ fiction, the dystopian setting of Hugh Howey’s WOOL series, and many more.

Q: Are there any authors that have emerged in the last three years that have caught your interest?

A: Hugh Howey is an author that I really like that has caught my attention lately. I would highly recommend his Wool series!

Pictures From The Book:


1 comment:

  1. Aubrey, Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Meritropolis!

    Also, congratulations to the giveaway winners: Bri and Jo-Von! For inside access to future giveaways and other special Meritropolis promotions please be sure and join our Facebook group here:

    Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a review, and stay tuned for the next book - Charley, Sandy, Grigor, and the others have many more adventures in store. There will also be some new characters introduced, new elements of the System to be explored (there are more civilizations besides Meritropolis...), new animal combinations to fight (and maybe even work with...), and more repercussions of The Event to be discovered. Charley and company will be searching and finding answers to all their questions as they explore beyond the walls in their attempts to "zero" the System.

    To receive an email as soon as the new book is released, please enter your email here (no spam, this is just for new book release announcements):

    Thank you!! - Joel