Published: September 8th 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
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...
"Submitting to the System provided the best chance of collective survival.DNF at 60 %
Of course, there are always those who refuse to submit."
Thank you CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform for providing me with an advanced reading copy for review.
I can't remember the exact reason as to why I ever decided to request Meritropolis from its publisher. I seriously wonder now though, because it surely wasn't the premise. I didn't have much hope for this novel, because from what I've read this book seemed like yet another wannabe-dystopian. I wasn't surprised when I decided to just stopped reading. There is literally nothing interesting in here.
The writing style definitely needs some getting used to. There was an overuse of strange terms without explanation and it definitely gave the impression that the author wanted to have a beautiful but sophisticated writing style à la Markus Zusak or John Green. It wasn't flowing in any way and needs all the improvement it can get. Because the writing itself was just trying too hard for my liking, I had a great deal of trouble trying to stay focused on the story. If I can even speak of a real one.
Even though this book consists over two hundred pages, I don't feel like anything special happened. I was almost crossing my fingers in the hope that I won't stay like that for the rest of the book. There could have been such a great storyline filled with action, rebellion, mystery, plot twists, even a spark of romance. It disappointed so much.
I can't really talk about any of the characters, and I have a great explanation for it. I honestly can't remember any of the characters, nor their names, except for Charley. I bet it's rather easy to guess that none of them really stuck with me enough to remember them. They didn't make a great first impression. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it also implies that I had zero interest in getting to know them or to learn about their lives. Other than that, I found them to be shallow, lack in depth, were completely unbelievable and they did not have such thing as a personality. I'm sad I don't like any of them, because now the characters are yet another aspect which made the book not really likable.
Despite the book being labeled as a 'dystopia', there is zero world building in this book. The only aspect that may count as world building, is the system of Scores. However, I already lost count on how many times the main character keeps being proud of his Score and talk about his Score and his Score only. There is no explanation whatsoever about the System itself, nor on what these Scores are based on, how it's possible to get a High Score. It's a must that every dystopia at least has a controlling system, and preferably a system with a little more depth into it.
After all, Meritropolis is yet another dystopia with a serious lack of world building, believable characters and something like a plot. Do not waste your time reading this if you're looking for a refreshing dystopian novel, because you won't find anything here.