The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey – A Book Review

The Book of Koli


Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognisable landscape. A place where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, the Shunned men will.

Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He believes the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture too far beyond the walls.

He’s wrong.


Author: M. R. Carey

Publisher: Orbit

Series: The Rampart Trilogy

Pages: 400

Genre: Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian

Release Date: 16\04\2020

My Chosen Format: Kindle

My Rating of ‘The Book of Koli’: 4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon UKAmazon USAudible UKAudible US



Just a bit of warning to anyone who fancies picking this up, the writing style is difficult to start with but charming when you get used to it. I say difficult, as it reads like it’s written in a very uneducated way (which it is, given the character of Koli). It can take some getting used to, but don’t let that put you off as the book itself is well worth reading.

Koli’s different style of speech makes for a different kind of reading experience. This is a very slow book. The first 50% feels like nothing but build up and, were it not for Koli’s speech style then I think it would have been boring. But through his way of speech, and obviously because it’s 1st person narrative, you are viewing his world through his eyes and learning at his rate. It makes the slowness feel less tedious as, once used to it, Koli’s voice is really quite an enjoyable vehicle in which to travel through his world.

The Book of Koli is set long after our world has been destroyed by some war or another. Tech from ‘the old times’ is left scattered around and those that can use it are revered as leaders. Who wouldn’t want to be a leader, to feel important? Who on earth would simply want to just be a follower and do what they’re told for the rest of their lives without any input on how things go? Not Koli. And that ambition gets our protagonist in all sorts of trouble.

The world Koli inhabits, though very similar to ours is also very different. The leisurely act of reading a book under a tree, basking in the heat of a warm sunny day, isn’t something that can be enjoyed for Koli. The trees are murderous and the sun brings out all manner of vegetation and wildlife that men and women are smart enough to fear. Imagine living in a world where rain and gloom was loved and seen as a good thing. Urgh! It would be like living as one of the Cullens in the world of Twilight. Just imagine it, the cold horror. The cold, sparkly horror.

Fear not, there’s no sparkling vampires in this. Only joy at heavy clouds and rain, for it keeps the sun at bay and the deadly flora asleep. M. R. Carey has created a post apocalyptic world that is reminiscent of the one in the video game ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ and one that I am incredibly eager to learn more about it. I want to know what happened to lay our world low and just how bad this cataclysm must have been to thrust our people into another dark age. 

The book, wonderful as it is, isn’t perfect. As I mentioned, it’s very slow to start off and doesn’t really feel like anything truly happens until the halfway point. But that’s only a small issue as it’s still enjoyable. Another small issue is consistency. Koli routinely gets words wrong that he wouldn’t have heard before or understand (diagnostic becomes dagnostic for example) yet when characters who do know what they are talking about, these words are spelt and pronounced correctly … yet they revert back to incorrect when Koli is writing the narrative. Just kind of feels a bit awkward as, seeing as how Koli is writing the bits where the characters say them correctly, you think he’d carry on using it correctly after that. Again, only a small thing and probably only really an issue if you’re being a tad over-critical.

What this book does really well, is create good characters with even better connections. It’s far too easy to find yourself liking certain characters or hating others as though they had done you a personal wrong which shows great writing on Carey’s part. My own personal favourite character was a bit of tech, but I imagine many readers will have loved her due to the quirky nature of the character.

All in all, I look forward to book two and to finding out more about Koli’s past and, indeed, his future.

31 thoughts on “The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey – A Book Review

      1. I just said to Sarah at Titan that due to having too much to read I’d not be able to accept a book she was offering. Looked so good 😦

        To my surprise she offered to send one anyway and to review it whenever I can. So there’s one upside: decent, understanding people 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yea, it’s a hefty book. The fact I’ll be reading another 600 pager in Ashes of the Sun brings tears to my eyes. But then I’m on furlough so I suppose the term ‘don’t start any long books’ can’t really apply to me.


        Making a post in my read but not forgotten series using Block editor. I have to put so much effort in to do the exact same as I used to. I’m not saying WordPress is the Nazi Party … but Hitler used to force people to do things they didn’t want to do, too …

        Liked by 1 person

      3. If you enjoy it those 600 pages fly by, it’s if you don’t enjoy it when issues start. Dracula was short, when I got the press release I thought awesome, expected a 350 – 400 page book and then 596, a chance the story will drag. Will check out some reviews before I decide over it.

        I do know that Titan have a new Sherlock Holmes book by James Lovegrove coming out in October, it’s a continuation/sequel to The Hound of the Baskervilles, I think it’s my Can’t-Wait Wednesday post next week, absolutely stunning cover.👍📚

        They might be the 2020 version of the Nazi party, the block editor is definitely torture.😂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’ve figured out a good way of using the block editor. I just pretty much use the ‘pre-formatted’ layout for my review/writing and it works like before.

        Frustrating, but far less hassle than it could have been under these forced circumstances.

        I haven’t had an e-mail about the Sherlock Holmes one. I didn’t about their last one to be fair, so I’ll not hold my breath

        Liked by 1 person

      5. No! Scratch that. Pre-formatted is fine for list things but, as I just discovered when writing a HUGE block of text in it, it puts it all on one line and makes you use a scroll box to read everything in that ‘block’ when you go onto preview.

        This is an absolute abortion of an update. To think good people are losing their jobs and some cretin at wordpress probably got a raise a blowjob for screwing with everyone so bad.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought it would annoy me to the point I’d hate it. You pretty much get used to it within a chapter and, if you’re anything like me, it might even grown on you.

      Was frustrating reading this and then trying to write my own novel. Had to keep editing as I kept slipping into the style from Koli 😂

      You snap this up when it was on sale, too?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course I did! 😂 The first day of each month is just the gift that keeps on giving for Kindle sales! 😂

        Oh that’s a relief! I find it difficult when I have to settle into a narrative style but at least the transition is fairly quick with this one!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Well, not too sure about this one. On the one hand I really don’t look books/movies that take a long time to get going, on the other hand you have me intrigued because of Koli’s unique speach and well the narrative itself. Let’s just say I’m putting this on the maybe list😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, Aaron, you poor baby! My heart bleeds for you! Pretty woman or not, you do know that the deal was very unfair, right? The Black Magician trilogy is actually readable, and it’s only a trilogy! 😆

        Most importantly, though, I hope your trade doesn’t include that newest book! 🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s hardly surprising that your favorite character was a certain piece of tech… All those who read the book felt the same way 😉
    And spot-on about the spelling: since the books should contain Koli’s memoirs, it would stand to reason that he would either use the incorrect spelling throughout, since that’s the way he learned the words, and that he would do so even when quoting correctly-speaking people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, that aspect of his spelling really annoyed me. If the author had simply said Ursala had helped him write her bits because he was butchering her words, it would have made a bit more sense.

      Just started book two now, god bless Net Galley.

      Liked by 1 person

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