Publication date: September 8th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
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…
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Meritropolis is a thought-provoking tale of a dystopian society where a person’s worth to society is based on a predetermined numerical score. It is this score that determines if a person lives or dies as a means of population control.
The people of Meritropolis blindly accept the Assessment and scoring system without question. Charley, the main character, does not believe in the system. His older brother was deemed defective (for lack of a better word) and “zeroed” out. Charley, again, witnesses the decision to zero out a young boy. Charley no longer accepts his society’s rule and makes a plan to take down the system.
There are a lot of YA dystopian novels out there, each with their own merits and uniqueness. I think what sets Meritropolis (very clever title, by the way) apart from the others is the scary realism of the premise. Strong, able-bodied humans are worth more than weak individuals who only take from society and cannot contribute in return. It’s a scary concept that Ohman put into words. In short, it’s a very smart book.
My recommendation: If you are looking for a smart, thought-provoking dystopian novel with a strong basis in reality, then this is the book for you. It is a clean read and appropriate for most ages.
I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.