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I received a free ecopy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
In this alternate version of America, the government controls art and creativity. Primarily, in the form of music which could potentially cause anarchy and discord if not nipped in the bud destroyed. Those caught making music, distributing music, or enjoying music are severely punished. Merrin Pierce is an undercover Patrol officer who apprehends the fugitives who threaten the values and safety of society with music. On one case, however, she begins to question the validity everything she's ever known.
World-building in dystopian novels can sometimes be hit or miss, but this was one element of the story that I particularly enjoyed. I've always gotten a kick out of alternate history that has close ties to our real life past and present, so seeing how Merrin's world developed was of particular interest. That being said Morris's novel is very original and creative - I've never read anything quite like it before.
I also particularly enjoyed the characters. While Merrin could grate on my nerves at times, she really grows over the course of the novel and it's fascinating to see where she ends up as a character, and to learn her backstory, too. This book has something for everyone to like from music, alternate history, action, mystery, and a little romance. Just to warn you there is a bit of an unrequited love triangle in this story as well, but it is well-written and also heartbreaking.
Overall, I'm so glad I gave Melophobia by James Morris a shot. This dystopia in the vein of 1984 is well worth your time. I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for more works by James Morris.
I read this ebook from September 28 - October 11, 2015 and my review is also on Goodreads.