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Publisher's Summary

"Absorbing, stunning, and emotionally rich." (Locus)

The journey through M. R. Carey's "immersive, impeccably rendered world" (Kirkus) - a world in which nature has turned against us - continues in The Trials of Koli, book two of the Rampart Trilogy.

The earth wants to swallow us whole....

Koli never planned to set foot outside his small village. He knew that beyond its walls lay a fearsome landscape filled with choker trees, vicious beasts, and Shunned men. But when he was exiled, he had no choice but to journey out into this strange world where every moment is a fight for survival.

And it's not just Koli's life that is threatened. Whole villages just like his are dying out.

But Koli heard a story, once. A story about lost London, and the mysterious tech of the Old Times that may still be there. If he can find it, there may still be a way for him to change his own fate - by saving the lives of those who are left.

The Rampart Trilogy:

  • The Book of Koli
  • The Trials of Koli
  • The Fall of Koli

For more from M. R. Carey, check out:

  • The Girl with All the Gifts
  • Fellside
  • The Boy on the Bridge
  • Someone Like Me

By the same author, writing as Mike Carey:

  • The Devil You Know
  • Vicious Circle
  • Dead Men's Boots
  • Thicker Than Water
  • The Naming of the Beasts
©2020 M. R. Carey (P)2020 Orbit

Critic Reviews

"A broken world that is both marvelously expansive and claustrophobically menacing. Fans of postapocalyptic science fiction will find plenty to hold their attention." (Publishers Weekly)

"If you loved M.R. Carey's The Book of Koli, you will love The Trials of Koli just as much, if not more... Absorbing, stunning, and emotionally rich." (Locus on The Trials of Koli)

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What listeners say about The Trials of Koli

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

World, Characters, Performance: A+. Wokeness, D-.

Carey has built an authentic and immersive primitive future universe and populated it with characters that are so well-drawn they feel real. Koli's naivete...Minono's wise comic insights...Spinner's sensitivity and political shrewdness...both performers do an excellent job of portraying their nuances. The insertion of a transgender subplot feels painfully woke and yanked me right back out into 2020. And making it a prepubescent character...huh wha? Can I just have an immersive tale well told without the in-your-face [INSERT ISSUE]? Considered returning it, but the story and the performances are too captivating. Love the story, love the world of the future, love the characters (mostly), and love the performances.

19 people found this helpful

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More Koli Please

Picking up right where The Book of Koli left off The Trials of Koli is every bit as good. This time around a 2nd PoV character has been added, Spinner, who you may remember from the first book. I'm always weary of additional PoV's added in fantasy novels as many times they can potentially slow down the pacing and feel a little dry and detracting to the main narrative. However I did not feel that way at all this time around. Spinner's part of the tale is every bit as engaging as Koli's and the author does not drag one section out longer than needed or constantly bounce characters back and forth with ridiculous chapter cliff hangers.

The character's are all excellent. My favorite being Monono the sentient iPod with the essence of a Japanese pop idol. The world is interesting and it continues to be a nice change of pace to have a dystopian fantasy that is not YA. The world where almost all of the things living on it both flora and fauna are deadly and technology from the past is coveted.

Compassionate and intriguing characters, creative and interesting setting, a good dose of humor, and excellent pacing makes the series easy to recommend. I can't wait for the final book in the trilogy early next year.

Both Narrators do a good job in presenting their part of the tale.

8 people found this helpful

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Book 1= world, Book 2= characters, Book 3= Plot

Update after finishing the series. I think the title I put here perfectly sums up what your experience will be. Book 1 has the best world building and establishing the characters. Book 2 is rich with character building and deep diving into who they are to get you attached. The very end of Book 2 and the entirety of Book 3 is just pure, rich plot in a well established world with characters you love. The plot turned out to be amazing once you get to book 3.


Teetering between 3 stars and 4 stars. But decided on 4 stars as I truly was satisfied by the end and hooked enough to finish this in a weekend.

This was an amazing book for continued rich character and world building in a way that I didn't expect. I truly thought all the world building was sorta maxed out from book 1 and we were going to move on to plot for book 2.

I was wrong. I felt like the plot really didn't start until the last 20% of this book. The first 30% of the book felt like a re-cap of the previous book.

That left the remaining 50% of the middle of this book stuffed full of further character and world building. You really get more of a sense with who these characters are and fall in love with them.

You also get some character building for Spinner and can see her growth as a character. Her story line felt though more like it mostly at first was added in to further aid in a re-cap of the events in the previous book and disguised it to the reader as a new POV. Her character building actually starts happening after the initial recapping is done with the first 30% of the book. You spend a good chunk of your time experiencing back and forth between her in the middle of this book and Kodi fleshing out the world more and their characters and then lightly dabble in the side characters.

Kodis POV was a hit and miss. Because of how the world opened up so significantly for him and his crew, i felt like the story didn't really have a lot of focus so it spent most the time getting from point A to point B and then deep diving into his character, Cup and Ursula within that time.

You hardly see Monomo unfortunately. She really only pops up for some Deus Ex Machina relief in the story to resolve some impossible situations and make them possible. I didn't mind this though like I usually would, i could excuse the fantastical tech as an excuse, i was more disappointed she didn't pop up as much for some comic relief to break up the bleak atmosphere like she did in the first book.

Some of the complaints seen on the reviews for this book over Cup are extremely exaggerated and i feel are blown out of proportion mostly by people who are clearly trying to find ways channel their phobia. Cup happens to be transgender but barely any time is spent focusing on that aspect of her. I think maybe out of how long this book is, a combined 20 minutes at most is spent addressing her situation. The author does a great job addressing it respectfully and in a realistic way with those 20 minutes but that's it. There's no agenda or political aim with it, it's just character building for a side character that happens to be trans. It's a shame how sensitive people get to that and allows such a small part of the book to impact them so negatively. I think its cool to see transgender people in a book, their so rarely represented in any form of media correctly even if it's just for supporting role. It's also very realistically not a complete focus for her character since transgender is not a personality trait and this book really does that well.

There's is a very brief mini plot that happens in the middle of the book but it starts and stops so quickly and was essentially meaningless to a point that it was mostly forgettable. This mini plot felt like more of a way to break up the slow pacing.

Slow pacing is what you ultimately get for nearly the entire book. I was a tad frustrated at times with it but luckily the world and characters were so engaging that I could still get through this.

Only towards the end of the book does anything feel like it finally picks up. I don't blame some people who might call it quits at the 50% mark for this book for that reason.

When it does pick up though, it does in an amazingly fun way with some action scenes and meaningful significant movement in plot. I loved where this book ended up taking me with its plot. Just wish it was introduced sooner somehow or more meaningful plot would happen earlier on to break up all slow pacing.

Other then a weird mini conflict that happens in the middle of the book with Koli, most of this book felt respectful of my time and meaningful with all this building done for this book.

Now that I feel like the world is built, and the characters are established, I am hoping this next book in the series focuses on plot finally as its main course. The cliffhanger ending leads me to believe that it's likely.

7 people found this helpful

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Awesome!!

Cant wait till next March for the last of this trilogy!!! I love this universe!!

6 people found this helpful

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Didn't need the politics

An engaging story, even exciting at times, despite the fact that the author felt it necessary to jam his world view into our faces. Both narrators were superb, heightening the dramatic moments and bringing a range of characters to life.

5 people found this helpful

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Solid series so far, but.

I really enjoyed Carey's The Girl with all the gifts also its follow-up so I thought I would give this series a try. It is reminiscent in the spirit of the stories previously mentioned however not as dark yet. Koli's dystopian setting feels fresh and new. Characters are engaging, interesting, believable. The narration is top-notch. The story is not a typical post-doomsday. the pacing feels smooth,

Still, I am afraid this will be challenging to end on a trilogy leaving me wanting more, I Hope Carey continues to build on these worlds he has made. Before I forget to mention be ready for some "WOKE",

To Carey's credit, though it felt a little pushed in, Side plots have not detracted from the story in my opinion but have added new depth. I find myself rooting for the character in question feeling investment has been achieved. This fact I state more as a warning for some who are hanging on to a pre-millennium view of the social norms around us.

I give it a thumbs up, with the other thumb still undecided.







4 people found this helpful

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Loving this series!

I am absolutely loving this series so far! If you enjoyed The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey, then you'll love this series. It's another post-apocalyptic tale, but without zombies this time. It's set in the future when most of the world's technology is lost or broken. The few things they do find in working order are only carried by those in charge. In this book, Koli has been cast out of Mythen Rood and now travels with Ursula and Cup. And of course Koli's tech, Monono. Monono is like an ipod with personality lol. Great narration by Theo Solomon again. This time a female narrator was added as well. Saffron Coomber did a great job narrating! Can't wait for book 3!

3 people found this helpful

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Great stuff

The story and performance are both excellent. It is disappointing to see other reviewers complaining this book is “political”, it’s not at all. At least no more than any other post-apocalyptic story. Sure the characters are diverse, but it’s well done and doesn’t feel forced. Honestly, you’d have to seriously prejudiced to see this as a political book. Ignore the noise, this is a fantastic trilogy.

2 people found this helpful

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Koli is the boy with no gifts.

All traditional virtues associated with men are given to women. All others are too.

2 people found this helpful

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Koli

I really like everything M R Carey has written and the Koli books are no exception. I am looking forward to book 3 eagerly. Rich world building and nuanced character development. Enjoy.

2 people found this helpful