Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Author: Alex London
Info: Philomel, copyright 2013, 384 pages
Knox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death.
Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own.
Then again, neither is Knox’s. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be repaid.
It's the future, and basically the world as we know it has ceased to exist. Wealthy born individuals (Patron) own the debt of the lesser class known (Proxy). When a Patron breaks the rules (or is just a complete knucklehead like Knox), the Proxy pays for the crime through torture, work camps, and a variety of other unfavorable ends. After a terrible accident that is going to cause Syd his life, Patron and Proxy meet for the first time, and realize that they might just need each other to survive.
Proxy is a high-action, thrill ride with a surprising amount of heart. London has created characters that have dimension and show growth through the journey in the book. The story lacks a bit of substance, it's a pretty straight forward plot, but it's easy to tell that the intrigue and intensity are building. I'm definitely curious to see what happens to the society as a whole and especially the characters that we're following in volumes to come. (Alas, if I could only show some follow-through with series...MY KRYPTONITE!)
Let's just say that I would not survive in this particular future. I probably wouldn't survive in any dystopian future. I'm a coward. But I do know that, um, no...I would not be taking responsibility for someone else's stupidity. I would go into insurmountable debt, and then I would die. It would be quick. Or I would join a gang and die anyway. Dystopian death is in my future. I can just feel it.
Overall a solid book, and one that I would highly recommend. It's just fun. Nothing fancy. Nothing mind blowing. Just fun, and interesting, and exciting. So pick it up on your next trip to the library and let me know what you think.