Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review of The Office of Mercy by Ariel Djanikian

The Office of MercyTitle: The Office of Mercy
Author: Ariel Djanikian
Published by: Viking Adult
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

Haunting, spellbinding and thought-inducing.

The Office of Mercy is the type of book where just when you think you know which side you stand on everything shifts and your left wondering whose opinions are the right ones.  While this dystopian novel mirrored many young adult novels, there was an added elements that made it stand on it's own.  It was the first adult dystopian novel I read so some of the situations were a bit more mature, but I think it would be a novel that any adult or teen would enjoy. 

Natasha was  refreshing character.  She was a bit feisty and didn't go along with the stream of followers.  She knew what she seeing and feeling was not right and instead of continuing the blind trust, she took matters into her own hands to right some of the wrongs of her society.  Besides Natasha, we don't really get to know too many characters.  This made me feel a bit disconnected and since we were following the story through Natasha's eyes, I felt her loneliness and understood how hard it was for her to not conform. 

The best thing about this book is the complicated feelings it induced.  I thought I was on one side of the battle the entire time, until all of sudden things exploded and then I didn't know what to think.  What I thought was originally morally wrong, I had to go back and examine to determine if what the people did was the right thing to continue the human race and make a better future.  As always this novel shows that ethically many decisions are not always black and white, and while you may not agree with every issue sometimes you just have to pick a side. 

A great debut by Ariel Djanikian, The Office of Mercy is sure to bridge the gap into adult dystopian novels.   
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1 comment:

  1. I love reads that leave you thinking and reconsidering your stance on things by the end! This sounds like a great Adult Dystopian!


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