BOOK REVIEW: Melophobia by James Morris

Title: Melophobia

Author/s: James Morris

Publication Date: September 22, 2015


Format: mobi

Number of Pages: 252

“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.”

5 BLAZING STARS IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT! If I could, I’d give more than what this book deserves! Oh gods.

I’m grateful to James Morris for providing me a review copy of his book, Melophobia. Also to Karina of @afirepages , for the recommendation.

I am in a reading slump before I read this book, and I’m too desperate to read it ASAP. So I struggled to read the first chapter, again and again, for four consecutive days. Later did I realize, I’m few chapters away from the end of the book. What kind of sorcery was that?

“Just the music. Gets to me.” “I know,” Val said. “Sometimes it’s so beautiful it hurts.”

Envision the world where music is absent. A place where people who have fondness for music would be punished- worse, killed. Classical music are, be it, allowed, but still needs approval. Abominable, isn’t it? James Morris introduced to us a world we never conceived. I’m a person who listens to music every time, I usually rave, aside from books, music gives meaning to my life.

The book followed Merrin Pierce, the daughter of the Minister of Broadcast Standards. She’s a member of the Patrol who captures law defiers. One who goes undercover to bust the “music people”. Together with her ex-boyfriend Anders Copeland, they were given an outrageous mission by the commander in chief to find the insuperable, The Source. In their journey, they found themselves inclined to the music. Questions arise, confusions struck them. Characters started doing, and feeling things they shouldn’t. Now they must redetermine everything that they believe in.

I loved how the characters were portrayed in this book. They all have strong voices. They know what’s right, and they do what they think is right. I love how Merrin thinks wisely, she doesn’t just listen to whatever her heart says. She criticize everything, making sure what she’s doing is right. I love how honorable Anders and Merrin were. I admired how passionate some characters are to music, to their duties especially. Readers will love the appeal of each character. Mostly, how the characters did what they truly want. Because that’s what this is all about, discovering yourself, finding meanings, learning the answers.

The romance between two characters. The impermissible love that’s growing, deep and gripping. How hard it is to love someone you shouldn’t be loving. Knowing that it’ll be against all of what you’ve believed in. Merrin and Rowan Sol’s love is drop-dead comforting, yet dreary. Rowan’s feelings for Merrin happened too fast, but in a way, it’s utterly good. They started escaping boundaries, crossing lines. I appreciated them when they’re together, for they’re being able to be their true-selves.

I was invested to the book for plenty of reasons, but the sole reason was I wanted to know the reason behind the government’s abhorrence to such beautiful creation, to music. Why would someone be so impenitent to charge imprisonment just because of their hate for something? One raised question, leads to more.

“It’s not funny. Look around –music’s considered a doorway to sin. Excitement’s a disease. A calm society is a productive society. A safe society. And a damned boring one.”

The plot, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a plot like Melophobia’s. The intricacies and the developments surprised me. It has well-flourished ideas that made the book suspenseful.

James Morris did not make a book that will just manifest to us the meaning of music. Through his book, he conveyed us to the significance of music. He steered our hearts to our love for music.

The book was told in a 3rd Person’s POV. James used meticulous words, one that will constrain you. He has this uninterrupted writing style that will tranquil, at the same time, disturb your mind and your heart.

Melophobia, is an unexpected book that made me want to rip my heart out. Made me want to be emotionally numb for the rest of my life. I’m still hurt, I feel like I’m feeling all the pain I’ve felt when I read such a tragic book. Only this time, Melophobia’s all the heart-breaking book in one. I don’t think I can ever get over how the ending of this book made me feel, this book per se. Would someone blame me if I’m aching for a sequel? Even if it’s just a short one. Would someone blame me if I wanted Merrin to avenge Rowan’s death? Even a sentence will do. Something that goes like this: “And then Merrin, with all the pain, the rage, the hatred inside her, hurled Anders, grabbed his gun, and shot him through his head.”

Melophobia is rare, it’s a page-turner

A book about self-discovery, love, responsibilities, and family. This book made me want to get out of the cage I’m in, soar and fly like a bird. Free myself from everything, and just do what I love most.

“Why? Why did they do it?” “They’re scared, Rowan. Scared of you.” “…it was only music.”

Even though Melophobia has a great potential for a second installment, the book being a stand-alone is still splendid. Melophobia, like my favorite music, my favorite songs, will be forever treasured.

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.




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