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The Office of Mercy por Ariel Djanikian
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The Office of Mercy (edição 2014)

por Ariel Djanikian (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
15618140,206 (3.19)18
"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"--Amazon.com… (mais)
Membro:Magmoiselle
Título:The Office of Mercy
Autores:Ariel Djanikian (Autor)
Informação:Penguin Books (2014), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Colecções:David to read, David, A sua biblioteca
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The Office of Mercy por Ariel Djanikian

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» Ver também 18 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 18 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I can't believe forgot to rate this one...

I enjoyed reading this book. I think the author writes very well. The plot itself was fairly cliche, but this is a first novel and I think she deserves a little lee way for that. It was a four star book until my book club discussion when another member pointed out that Natsha's being a native of the Tribes means that her response to the genocide was genetically determined not her overcoming the wrong morals of America 5. That lessened the book to a 3 for me, but I'll still read whatever Ariel Djanikian writes next. ( )
  LeBleuUn | Nov 14, 2021 |
I found myself rather disappointed when I came to the end of this novel. After some of the interesting plot developments and characters that were introduced throughout the story, everything seemed to sort of peter out at the end; possibly to leave an opening for sequels, but the ending was so unsatisfying that I'm not sure I would pick up the next one. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
Depressing book. Well written but circular logic bring ethic delemas. Genocide is not an ethical solution and the bad guys winning is not an ending that I personally can accept or find acceptable. Giving up is also suicidally depressing. ( )
  scottshjefte1 | Sep 6, 2019 |
It's been a long time since I've read a book I hated this much! This book takes an interesting premise but fails to follow through. The central moral question is very Philosophy 101, and a lot of things about the world created here don't make a lot of sense. The protagonist, Natalie, is very passive and wishy-washy, and it's hard to understand her motivations or feelings. The main love interest is her boss and father figure, and the relationship they have is so skeevy, but it's not portrayed as a problem for this woman to start banging the guy who has doted on her since early childhood who is also her boss. None of the other characters are fleshed out at all.

As for the ending (spoilers ahead), I absolutely appreciate books that don't end on a triumphant, good-guys-save-the-day note. But this ending fell flat. The Alphas' handling of the mini-rebellion makes absolutely no sense, and Natalie's conversion from compassionate sympathizer to emotionless killer seems too easy. They show her the thoughts of a trapped man in pain and... she stops empathizing with the tribes entirely? And then, after all of that, to have Jeffery be the one to leave when he's shown almost no sign of internal struggle before, is just weird. To have this manipulative and hypocritical mansplainer who had sex with his employee and daughter-figure turn out to be the real hero made me want to barf.

There are so many better books in this genre out there - Office of Mercy isn't worth your time. ( )
  uberheathen | Aug 25, 2017 |
The setting is the mostly depopulated eastern portion of North America a few centuries from the present in a bunker/city known as America-Five. Other Americas are said to exist, but they do not factor into the story.

The backstory, revealed appropriately in bits of conversation and introspection, suggests that most of humanity was intentionally exterminated by the Yangs, the group that originally built and populated the America bunker cities, and perhaps other places. Who exactly the Yangs were, a bunch of ultra-rich survivalists, a governmental hierarchy, a religious cult, or something else, is left vague. Their intent was apparently to kill all of the people on the planet other than themselves, and their justification for this seems to be that the population had become unsustainable and civilization was on the verge of collapse. People were killing one another in conflicts over resources. Others were dying of starvation. Exterminating them all would end their pointless suffering. It would be merciful.

The Yangs failed in this. Some small populations of humanity survived and went on to create the ‘tribes.’ The Yangs themselves were overthrown by the Alphas, who may have been a faction or the children of the original Yangs. So much for the backstory.

The main character of the book, Natasha, is a resident of America-Five. She works in the Office of Mercy. Their job is to locate and ‘sweep’ any tribes entering the area around their bunker city. The preferred method is to use a ‘nova’ (assumed to be something like a tactical nuke) to exterminate whole tribes at a time, although manual sweeps using Office of Mercy ground troops with small arms are also done when necessary.

Natasha comes to question what she is doing, about the rightness of it, which leads her to take actions and make discoveries, some of which are unexpected.

This book is technically well-written. The prose is professional. There is no dump of information to relate the backstory in a prologue or in lengthy exposition. The writing is good, but the story isn’t. I didn’t find it so, in any case. I read fiction primarily for enjoyment, and in that regard, this book fails for reasons both large and small.

Apart from being depressingly dark and dismal, the book contains no characters I could force myself to care about. None of them is admirable. None tries to achieve anything that I felt worthy of succeeding. None captured my sympathy. None was even especially likeable.

I found the backstory implausible. Although no one can accurately foresee the future, the one that preceded the ‘Storm’ (the attempted global extermination) left far too many questions as to how it came about. To me, it seemed so unlikely I could not suspend disbelief enough to accept it for the sake of a story that had no characters or goals I could care about.

The philosophical questions it seems to ask are: Is mercy killing of people ethical? Is it ever justifiable? Can genocide ever be seen as an unfortunate necessity? This story takes no clear stand, but seems to lean toward a ‘yes’ to all of these. Maybe the point is that sometimes things are so bad there are no ethical choices. I’m not prepared to say this is true, but this is a work of fiction. Sometimes fiction can reveal deep truths using events that never have and never will happen. This does not do that.

There are also some little, niggling things. Two especially struck me as strange. America-Five grows its children in vats. They grow replacement organs for their citizens the same way. Okay. Not a problem. This is a plausible future tech. But America-Five also keeps livestock. Why aren’t they growing their meat in vats? It’s the same technology. The other minor logical disconnect was that they have something like tactical nukes and satellites, but they rely on security cameras mounted in trees to monitor the tribes. Why no spy satellites? Why no surveillance drones? They obviously have the technology for these, but they leave themselves blind to the movements of the tribes they both fear and wish to ‘help’ by killing them mercifully.

I expect this book will appeal to some readers. Dark, dystopian novels do have a following, which is why I suppose traditional publishers keep publishing them. This is just another of that type. It did not appeal to me, however, and I cannot recommend it.
( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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Ariel Djanikianautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Barkat, JonathanArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ramirez, JasonDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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"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"--Amazon.com

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