Meritopia by Joel Ohman #Review
Posted by brriske
In this thrilling conclusion to the bestselling Meritropolis trilogy, Charley and company chase the Czar to Meritopia, a utopian city set among celestial heights in the mountains. Just to get near the city, Charley will have to brave terrifying new animal combos roaming wild among the stark wilderness, and if he succeeds in summiting the peak, there’s no assurances that he will even be able to gain access. Meritopia might deign to be a perfect society based on merit, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s invited. But Charley’s not the kind of person who waits for an invitation to do what needs to be done and this is his last chance to zero the System and avenge his brother’s death.
Interview with the Author
Q – What or who was your inspiration to write in this genre?
I’ve read a lot in the YA dystopian genre so I would say it’s a mix of a lot of different things. I really just wanted to explore this question of, “What gives a person their worth?” Is it their usefulness to society? Is it because someone loves them? Is it because of how they look? Is it because of their health or ability? As a Christian, I believe that everyone has worth because they are made in the image of God so I wanted to explore some different takes on this question. I think that the post-apocalyptic/dystopian/scifi-ish genre was the best vehicle to tackle some of those deep philosophical questions in a fun and interesting way.
Q – Okay, so you’re a Christian… Well, I don’t like reading Christian fiction so interview’s over, I guess—
Not so fast. I am a Christian, but this is most definitely NOT Christian fiction, at least in the technical sense. There are certainly some Christian themes like courage in the face of evil, grace to love and forgive even when someone doesn’t deserve it, and the biggest themes of identity and worth, the value of a person, as mentioned above, and it’s a very CLEAN book, which a lot of parents have told me they really appreciate. That being said, this is very much a secular young adult dystopian fiction series, and one that I think hits a lot of the tropes and conventions in the genre, but in some new and interesting ways that might just surprise you. For those who care to look there are also some deeper philosophical underpinnings floating just below the surface of a book that is almost pure action. Just wait until you meet Charley, he’s more of an “act first, think later” type of person, if you know what I mean—in other words, your typical teenage boy…
Q – Are there any books that have inspired you at any time while you’ve been writing?
I read a LOT in many different genres so there are many different things that have shaped my writing over the years, but I wouldn’t say there was any one particular book, or books, that I was consciously looking to for inspiration while writing Meritropolis. Looking back though I can definitely see different threads of influence in almost everything I have read over the years that contribute to make Meritropolis what it is: the strong protagonist of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, the philosophical bent of C.S. Lewis’ fiction where there are layers upon layers of meaning, the bleak dystopian setting of Hugh Howey’s WOOL series, and many more.
Q – Where can we learn more about you and your other books?
If you visit my website at JoelOhman.com, I’ve currently got some free Kindle eBooks that I’m giving away to everyone who subscribes to my newsletter.
In book 3 of this awesome series Charlie and friends are chasing the Czar, the creator of the System. I’m zeroing the Czar they hope to zero the system. They have to get to the city of Meritopia but will their scores be high enough to get through the gates? On their travels the find many more strange animal combos, some helpful and some even more dangerous than what they’ve faced before. Can Charlie control himself and do what he feels he needs to do to avenge his brother or will his animalistic rage get the best of him?
This is an action packed story from start to finish and I couldn’t put it down. I love the characters and some I loved to hate. I would definitely like to read more about this world and hope the author will continue this great series.
Independent reviewer for Romance Authors That Rock. 5 hearts