The Office of Mercy by Ariel Djanikian

February 18, 2014 Dystopian 22

Howdy Bookworms,

You know how much I love a good dystopian novels, right? ESPECIALLY when they can stand on their own and not foist a trilogy upon me. (This ended well, PLEASE, don’t trilogy me!) A while back I received an email from Penguin (my favorite publisher, for obvious reasons) offering me a copy of The Office of Mercy by Ariel Djanikian in exchange for an honest review. Despite my love of penguins and Penguin, the receipt of a free book has not compromised my integrity. For real, I’m too honest for my own good.

officeofmercy The Office of Mercy had me hooked pretty fast. It’s an undeniable page turner, that’s for darn sure. Natasha Wiley lives in a settlement known as America-Five. About 300 years before this novel takes place, a great “Storm” destroyed the majority of human life on planet Earth. What remained holed up in these elaborate bunkers and got their science on. Since then they’ve been slowly expanding and figuring out ways to clothe, feed, house, and amuse their population. Oh, and they’ve been growing spare organs and attempting to conquer the aging process. Nobody dies in America-Five.

People do, however, still die on the Outside. Natasha works in what is known as The Office of Mercy, her job being to track tribes of Storm survivors, and if they get too close, to kill them. Compassionately. To end their suffering. It’s all very altruistic.

The vast majority of the citizens in America-Five have drunk the kool-aid. There are a handful of conscientious objectors, and though they’re tolerated, they are NOT popular. It’s hard to work in the room where you release the death weapons and not buy into the philosophy, so Natasha is on board…

Until she goes on her first field mission, and she realizes that the tribes people aren’t exactly what the elders have trained her to believe. That’s when all the interesting stuff starts to happen that I can’t TELL you about because it would be SPOILER-Y and this book is too good for me to ruin for you. Ugh. Scruples.

I loved the ethical conundrums put forth by this book and Natasha’s evolution. Plus, all the science-y stuff was pretty rad. I’m a sucker for rooms full of spare human organs, what can I say? If you like dystopian fiction, I highly recommend The Office of Mercy.

Since America-Five is getting close to providing its citizens with immortality (thanks to spare organs and fancy pants medicine) I got to thinking. Even if you were guaranteed health, safety, and a life free of physical suffering, would you want to live forever? 

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22 Responses to “The Office of Mercy by Ariel Djanikian”

  1. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Ooo, fun! Moral dilemmas and dystopia!

    I would definitely not want to live forever, even if I could. That is way too long. The regular length of a human life is plenty of time for me. Part of me regrets all the places I won’t travel to and all the books I won’t read, but not enough to want to live forever.

    • Words For Worms

      It’s weird to even think about because we all have expiration dates, you know? The way you’re imagining it sounds kind of like Heaven, which just makes my head all spinny because religion and stuff. Woah. I probably shouldn’t read my comments before coffee.

  2. Megan M.

    I don’t know that I’d want to live forever, but I’d take a good, solid 100 years. Maybe even 105.

  3. Ashley F

    Oooo. Sounds good.

    Btw…have you heard of “Red Rising” by Pierce Brown? It’s apparently the Hunger Games meets Enders Game. It’s getting good reviews and a second book has already been scheduled for January 2015.

  4. Jennine G.

    This definitely sounds like one for my classroom shelf! The students eat this stuff up! (And it gives me an excuse to buy it…it’s for the kids, right?)

    • Words For Worms

      I don’t know if I’d consider it YA… It’s not like there’s an abundance of sexytimes or anything, but it might be a bit heavy? Look at me, underestimating the kids. 12 year old me could have handled this just fine. Go with it!

  5. Wayne

    I’m afraid we are a long way away from immorality in the USA. The waiting list for Kidney transplants in the USA is about 6 years and many people die waiting for organs. In addition, those transplanted must take anti rejection drugs that cost at least $1500 a month for the rest of their lives.

  6. Psychobabble

    Hmm…with guarantees of all that good stuff, yeah, I may prolong my life. But live forever? Man, that’s a long time. But then, I wouldn’t want the responsibility of choosing when to end my life if it had to end some time. So yeah, it’s complicated.

  7. Amy

    *adds to amazon cart*

    I don’t think I could live forever, mainly because I would outlive everyone I love, and plus that’s just a LONG time…

  8. Jennifer St James

    I don’t think I’d want to live forever, esp. if you had to see all your friends and loved ones die. Or maybe that’s just vampires and Wolverine. If I could hang out with Wolverine forever, now you’re talking! (My husband doesn’t read your blog, right? HI honey! Love you!)

    Oh, and PS I’ve taken your nephew’s nickname, which I believe is “Squishy” and applied it to my puppy. He’s a ginormous puppy (70lbs at 8 mos. old), and a big love bug and momma’s boy, which is why Squishy fits. So your blog has some reach, young lady. Squishy sends you kisses, since I can’t send a photo.

  9. Kelly

    I’ve had an ARC of this, I really need to read it sometime soon. Not sure I would want to live forever…I could maybe put in a good 200 years before I got bored…after that I might hit my limit. lol.

  10. Sarah Says Read

    Oh this sounds like something I would totally enjoy. Especially if it’s a stand-alone.

    I think I’d want to live “forever” if it meant you didn’t get old. And I say “forever” because I’m assuming you can still be killed, or off yourself if you get sick of being alive. Several hundred years of being alive might get kind of annoying.

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