Meritropolis by Joel Ohman
Publication date: September 8th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
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.
The year is AE3, 3 years after the Event. Within the walls of Meritropolis, 50,000 inhabitants live in fear, ruled by the brutal System that assigns each citizen a merit score that dictates whether they live or die. Those with the highest scores thrive, while those with the lowest are subject to the most unforgiving punishment–to be thrust outside the city gates, thrown to the terrifying hybrid creatures that exist beyond.
But for one High Score, conforming to the System just isn’t an option. Seventeen-year-old Charley has a brother to avenge. And nothing–not even a totalitarian military or dangerous science–is going to stop him.
Where humankind has pushed nature and morals to the extreme, Charley is amongst the chosen few tasked with exploring the boundaries, forcing him to look deep into his very being to discern right from wrong. But as he and his friends learn more about the frightening forces that threaten destruction both without and within the gates, Meritropolis reveals complexities they couldn’t possibly have bargained for…
The description of the series so far is spot on, as there are certainly many similarities with popular ya Dystopian franchises of the Hunger Games and the like. I do enjoy a good horrific account of what could happen in the not-so-distant future, and this fits the bill. With only a few instances of tediousness, the book moves pretty quickly to an ending that leaves you anxious for the next installment. Overall, I definitely think this is a book that I would have enjoyed borrowing from the library and reading with friends when I was younger. I’d recommend this for ages 14 and up, for psychological content, although it is a clean read.
Joel Ohman is the author of the Meritropolis series –“The Hunger Games meets The Village with a young Jack Reacher as a protagonist”. He lives in Tampa, FL with his wife Angela and their three kids. His writing companion is Caesar, a slightly overweight Bull Mastiff who loves to eat the tops off of strawberries.