Thursday, 20 May 2021

The Book of Koli

Wyrd Britain reviews 'The Book of Koli' by M.R. Carey publshed by Orbit Books.
M.R. Carey

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?

Mike Carey has destroyed the world before in his fantastic mushroom zombies novel 'The Girl With All The Gifts' and its sequel prequel 'The Boy on the Bridge' and here he's up to apocalyptic shenanigans once again with his new 'Rampart Trilogy' beginning with 'The Book of Koli'.

Now I absolutely love a post-apocalypse novel but I generally prefer a more immediately post scenario than we have here.  Koli's world is several hundred years on from ours in a UK devastated by war and by genetic tampering that has left the world over-run by plants and animals with a real taste for all that squishy stuff that humans are made of.

This first book provides an easy and nicely straight-forward story that allows for some comprehensive world building as we follow young Koli on his travels from the relative safety of his village out into the wilds of Ingland.  

There are the inevitable shades of the two Johns (Wyndham & Christopher) along with hints of Walter M. Miller Jr's 'A Canticle for Leibowitz',  Neal Stephenson's 'The Diamond Age' and Patrick Tilley's 'Amtrak Wars'.  With its undercurrent of botanical menace its debt to 'The Day of the Triffids' is the most notable but Carey has rejigged, reinvented and revived it for a new era and his story is fun and fleet of foot, never settling and thoroughly enjoyable and I'm very much looking forward to getting stuck into the next one.

Buy it here - UKUS.


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