March 3, 2013

The Office of Mercy: A Novel by Ariel Djanikian

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.

My Thoughts: 
From the opening pages I was very disappointed with The Office of Mercy. Okay, scratch that. The prologue was great and showed lots of promise but Chapter 1 brought that to a screeching halt. The book was off and running with absolutely no backstory and it took me quite a few chapters to finally understand what their world was like and what what going on. 

Natasha lives in America Five, an underground compound settled by the Alphas. While working for the Office of Mercy Natasha gets an opportunity to go on a mission outside the compound. When she does her eyes are opened to a whole new world and she begins to re-think everything she has learned. It really just seems too forced and the turn of Natasha and Jeffrey's relationship is completely awkward. 

Incidents would arise and I would think, "This sounds interesting. Let's see what becomes of it." and pfft... the plot line fizzled. Overall it was just too predictable and I really couldn't connect with any of the characters.

My Recommendation: 
I really don't feel like I can recommend this one to adult readers but if you love YA dystopian novels (even though this book isn't billed as YA) this might be an enjoyable read for you.