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The Trials of Koli by M.R.Carey

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The Trials of Koli by M.R Carey
Published in: 2020Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★★]

This ARC was provided by Little Brown Book Group UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Does book two leave up to the expectations set in book one?

Synopsis from Goodreads: The Trials of Koli is the second novel in M R. Carey’s breathtakingly original Rampart trilogy, set in a strange and deadly world of our own making.

Beyond the walls of Koli’s small village lies a fearsome landscape filled with choker trees, vicious beasts and shunned men. As an exile, Koli’s been forced to journey out into this mysterious, hostile world. But he heard a story, once. A story about lost London, and the mysterious tech of the Old Times that may still be there. If Koli can find it, there may still be a way for him to redeem himself – by saving what’s left of humankind.

My Thoughts: I had previously read and loved The Book of Koli so I was really excited to be able to dive back into the Rampart world. This second book did not disappoint once again I was completely absorbed by Koli and his adventures and this time we get to hear the events of book one from a new perspective.

The format is slightly different from the first book due to the fact that different sections alternate between narrators a technique that worked really well as each section ended on a cliff-hanger which left the reader wanting more while at the same time plunging them back into the previous narrator’s cliff-hanger. I have to say I preferred Koli’s narrative slightly more but that is probably because as a reader I began this journey with him.

Several things happen in this book that make me wonder if the author rewrote some of it to fit in with these Covid-19 times or if this is a coincidence then it is an intriguing one to say the least.

“I was doing some handshake protocols, but you can catch some nasty diseases by shaking hands” Conspiracy theorist will love this look at tech and what can happen

They were made to be weapons, that one village would send against another. But a plague’s not a dog. It won’t come to heel when you tell it to. So the people that made and sent the plagues were ravaged in their turn, and all was laid waste.” Timely warning

“… bringing the same message to all. Stay home if your work lets you. Keep a distance where you can.”

“She bade us keep six paces apart, each from other, unless we lived in the same house and could not keep from being close.”Sound familiar?

Then we have the philosophical thoughts:

“She was not that happy to be with us anyway, though we did not mean no harm by taking her. I guess we never do though, when harm is what we’re working”

“Writing is too useful for too many different things. Nobody with a brain in their heads would give it up or forget to pass it along…”

“Libraries. Archives. If they’re all gone, it’s because someone went out of their way to destroy them or lock them away”

“Keeping people stupid is a good way of controlling them, but it’s a tough trick to pull off”

“The first place? The first place is where we start, Koli Faceless, not where we finish”

“Maybe all of us is both inside, and only go with what we choose or what’s choosed for us because it’s easier than thinking about it.”

This book did what a great middle book should do, it moved the story along, the characters develop, it builds on the original world building and most importantly of all it leaves the reader wanting the next book.

Who would like this? I would recommend this to anyone and everyone. If you need to escape from 2020 (and lets face it who doesn’t) this is a great way to do it.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

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