Picture a future Earth in which technology has nearly disappeared, on which plants and animals have mutated into terrifying forms, and upon which human tribes struggle in fraught adversarial pockets. M. R. Carey’s brilliantly conceived world unfolds in the trials of young Koli, an untutored but smart and resourceful young man with unquenchable spirit. The second book of the Rampart trilogy, “The Trials of Koli“,” is as spellbinding and emotionally rich as the first book (review), and is thoroughly recommended. Heading towards a mythical London with two very different humans and a mutating artificial intelligence, Koli battles humans and animals and, eventually, horrific plants. Carey artfully employs a slightly illiterate voice to capture the unforgettable voice of Koli. Unfolding as both an epic and a technical riddle, this trilogy is destined to be a classic sci-fi series, and The Trials of Koli is a surefire resident of my “best of 2021” list.