Title: Melophobia
Author: James Morris
Genre: Mystery, Dystopia, Music
First published: September 22nd 2015
Finished reading: December 1st 2015
Pages: 265
Rating 4qqq

“She could see how easily someone could succumb to the hex music weaved over them, the temptation to lose oneself within the hypnotic trance-like beats. No thoughts of the future, or the past, only the immediate present, as if life itself had condensed into a single moment.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


I couldn’t imagine myself living in a world without music and I always enjoy a good dystopian novel, so when I was approached to read and review Melophobia I was immediately intrigued. This is the second time I’ve read James Morris‘ work this year and I really enjoyed both novels. Melophobia has an interesting plot and the worldbuilding is very well done. The fact that music is forbidden in this world and that the government is trying to control everyone reminded me of dystopian classics like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984, which is a huge compliment since both are among my favorite classics. The characters are interesting and I really appreciated the development in the main character Merrin. One minor drawback: the love triangle between Merrin, Anders and Rowan. It didn’t add anything substantial to the plot and part of their relationship seemed a bit forced. I personally felt the story could have worked perfectly fine with Anders just being Merrin’s best friend… But aside from that, I more than enjoyed this dystopian story and I would definitely recommend it if you like the genre.


America in an alternate present, a world where the government controls all forms of art and creativity including music. Almost all music is banned and destroyed when found, both creators and listeners reeducated when arrested. Only Musak can be listened to, a government approved background tune that doesn’t make people feel rebellious. Merrin Pierce is the daughter of the Minister of Broadcast Standards and works as an undercover Patrol officer. Her assignment is to infiltrate the music scene and arrest any musician and fan she can find… But when she is asked to stop the government’s biggest treat so far, the Source, she discovers things about herself and her past she is not sure how to deal with. Was her past just a lie? And is music really that dangerous?


Melophobia means fear or hatred for music, and this concept is used perfectly in this novel. The story is set in an alternate present where music is forbidden and the government suppresses and reeducates those who want to have music in their lives anyway. The plot is interesting and the story is well written, making Melophobia in a very entertaining dystopian read. The music angle is really refreshing as well!