Melophobia – James Morris
As kids, what is forbidden to us is what we desire the most. Sneaking alcohol when our parents aren’t looking, getting frisky in your boyfriend’s car, smoking pot at your first party, etc. These are normal teenage experiences that our parents and leaders try to dissuade us from engaging in, whether through laws or house rules. But even as adults there are still laws binding us in different ways for our protection. Melophobia shows us a world in which music, something we all take for granted as the soundtrack of our lives, is forbidden. To listen to music is to break the law, and in many cases the punishment is worse than death.
Being flooded with dystopian novels these days, it was refreshing to read one that took a different take on the genre. What a compelling and scary idea, a world where music is a threat as great as terrorism. It reminded me of the famous song American Pie by Don McLean, “the day the music died.” While this song is not directly about music becoming forbidden, it is still about loss and this theme is ever present throughout this novel.
I found myself thoroughly engaged throughout the entire novel. I loved all the characters and how intricate they all became the more you got to know them. Watching the evolution of Merrin was the most enticing, as she struggles with her duty and her growing self-realization and reflection. A tale of loss and learning, of deceit and tested loyalties, and a tale in which the world of music has no home except in dark, soundproof basements.
I encourage all you readers to take a peek at this novel. It is quite good and Morris has gained an audience from me. I look forward to reading his other stories as he is a skilled storyteller.
Synopsis: Melophobia: fear or hatred of music.
The time—now; the place—America, but in a world where the government controls all forms of art and creativity. Any music sowing the seeds of anarchy is banned—destroyed if found—its creators and listeners harshly punished.
Merrin Pierce works as an undercover Patrol officer assigned to apprehend a fugitive musician who threatens the safe fabric of society, only to confront everything she thought to be true – her values, upbringing, job, and future.
Can love survive in a world without music?
Publisher’s Weekly called it “a convincing alternative history novel and…an accomplished coming-of-age love story that asks big questions about freedom and expressiveness in the face of oppression.”
THE MAN BEHIND THE STORY:
James Morris is a former television writer who now works in digital media. When not writing, you can find him scoping out the latest sushi spot, watching ‘House Hunters Renovation’, or trying new recipes in the kitchen. He lives with his wife and dog in Los Angeles.
CONNECT WITH JAMES
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.