Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Review: The Office of Mercy by Ariel Djanikian

A thrilling debut of a postapocalyptic world for fans of The Hunger Games.

Weaving philosophy and science together into a riveting, dystopian story of love and adventure, The Office of Mercy illuminates an all-too-real future imagined by a phenomenal new voice in fiction. 

Twenty-four-year-old Natasha Wiley lives in America-Five—a high-tech, underground, utopian settlement where hunger and money do not exist, everyone has a job, and all basic needs are met. But when her mentor and colleague, Jeffrey, selects her to join a special team to venture Outside for the first time, Natasha’s allegiances to home, society, and above all to Jeffrey are tested. She is forced to make a choice that may put the people she loves most in grave danger and change the world as she knows it. 

The Office of Mercy is speculative fiction at its best with a deeply imagined, lush world, high-stakes adventure, and romance that will thrill fans of Suzanne Collins, Margaret Atwood, Justin Cronin, and Kazuo Ishiguro.

Received for review.

From the description I knew this was going to be an interesting book and it was.  It drew you right in and had you feeling vaguely uneasy from the very first page.  It had a very Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? sort of feel to it.

I wasn't overly fond of Natasha but she worked as a character.  Her viewpoint really brought the story to life for the reader and made it a much more emotional journey.  The morality issues raised were done in such a way that they felt completely natural inside the story.

The only thing I was not fond of was the unexpected religiosity that popped up partway through the book.  It was quite unwelcome and I'm not entirely sure if the author added it because she wanted to get her own religious viewpoints across or if she wanted to make the story more dramatic.  Either way it took some of the joy out of the story for me.

Overall this was a very well written, engrossing dystopian novel and I certainly recommend it.

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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