Omni by Andrea Murray

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Omni by Andrea Murray.  I posted an Interview with Andrea Murray a little while ago but here is my review for the book.  I received a free copy of the book in exchange for this review but this in no way influences the content of my review.

Pierce only wants a shot, a real shot, and not just the excuses he’s been handed his whole life. Harmony wants to escape her future, the future she fears will be chosen for her. After their chance meeting, they might get exactly what they want.

Since taking over the US government years earlier, the Omni party has created a perfect existence. From consorts to job assignments, every choice, every facet of life is under their control. Each citizen has a specific role in one of the four strata. Seventeen-year-old Pierce is a Drudge, the lowest social stratum in society. For over two years, he’s hoped–prayed–that his upcoming aptitude test will finally free him from his virtual slavery and give him a chance at a better existence. When he rescues Harmony, an Artist and member of the most successful stratum, at a publicity event for her latest movie, his life takes an unbelievable twist. With his gallant act and good looks, he becomes a media sensation. Every stratum in society seeks his membership for their publicity, but as he becomes closer to Harmony, Pierce realizes what fame in the all-seeing eye of Omni is truly like. His choices will not only affect him but Harmony as well. The life Pierce thought he wanted may not be worth the cost to either of them. 

In this retelling of the classic story of Paris and Helen, love must struggle against an ultramodern, ultracontrolling society. They will risk everything, even challenging the all-seeing eye of the Omni government. But will the prize be worth the cost?
OK I think a good place to start is with the fact this story is inspired by one from Greek mythology.  If, like me, you don’t really know anything about Greek mythology, don’t let that put you off.  You don’t need to know anything about it to enjoy reading Omni.  It did make me think that maybe I should look at it a bit.  Not because I needed to know the story to enjoy Omni but just because this is the second book I’ve read recently that has taken parts of mythology for inspiration and I think I’d like to read the source material if you will to see why so many people have found inspiration in it.
This book has a real dystopian feel to it.  I love dystopia.  I spent the first little while I was reading this trying to work out which book it reminded me of it terms of feel.  I’m not sure it’s quite right but the best I could get to was Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (if ever there was a book I had to look up the author of each time I thought of it, it’s that one).
Omni is self published and like a lot of indie books it has a few mistakes.  But I only noticed two definite mistakes (in one other place I wasn’t sure it read right but I have a feeling that was down to the author’s US English versus my British English) and they were tiny things.  Much less grating than in many other self published books I’ve read.  I had been thinking that maybe I would give up reviewing indie books but Omni made me reconsider that. Which is a good thing.
I really enjoyed reading Pierce’s story although aspects of it made me very uncomfortable.  I had thought that the uncomfortable bits would make it difficult for me to give it a good review (some of the female characters are in places treated abusively by some of the male ones) but it didn’t go down the route of this being acceptable like it originally seemed it was going to and the matter was handled appropriately.  In fact I thought it was probably pretty realistic.
My understanding of Omni is that it’s the first in a series of books.  It’s definitely ended in a way that made me want to know what comes next and I’ll be interested to see where Andrea Murray takes her characters in the next book.

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