Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review: The Office of Mercy by Ariel Djanikian

A thrilling debut of a postapocalyptic world for fans of The Hunger Games

Weaving philosophy and science together into a riveting, dystopian story of love and adventure, The Office of Mercy illuminates an all-too-real future imagined by a phenomenal new voice in fiction.

Twenty-four-year-old Natasha Wiley lives in America-Five—a high-tech, underground, utopian settlement where hunger and money do not exist, everyone has a job, and all basic needs are met. But when her mentor and colleague, Jeffrey, selects her to join a special team to venture Outside for the first time, Natasha’s allegiances to home, society, and above all to Jeffrey are tested. She is forced to make a choice that may put the people she loves most in grave danger and change the world as she knows it.

The Office of Mercy is speculative fiction at its best with a deeply imagined, lush world, high-stakes adventure, and romance that will thrill fans of Suzanne Collins, Margaret Atwood, Justin Cronin, and Kazuo Ishiguro. (From Goodreads)

Best Bits: With a number of dystopian books that I've read in the past I've noticed that there tends to be a bit less gritty than I anticipate (this doesn't include every one that I've read, i.e. THG). The Office of Mercy actually did live up to my expectations in that regard. I believe that it's because it's adult fiction, and so the themes and dramatic elements has a little more freedom. Amazingly, Djanikian manages to make it hard-hitting without being overly graphic. Thus, I think it does have crossover appeal. There aren't any explicit scenes, and I think that older teens would appreciate America-Five and the ethical issues that arise in that society. There is a pretty crazy twist thrown in there, too. That always helps. 

Nit Picks: Honestly, I was supposed to review this one quite a while ago, but every time I started it I had a hard time getting drawn in. It's unfortunate, because I really did enjoy the book after the first 50 pages, but Djanikian writes in a way that requires readers to be patient in waiting for explanations (although, this did allow me to make many wild, and completely wrong, guesses). 

The Office of Mercy

By Ariel Djanikian
Published by Viking (adult)
320 Pages
Received for review
Rating: B


Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I am totally one of those impatient readers and want to know everything right now. THis does sound really good, though! I am curious! Thanks for the recommendation!

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