84k Book review

  • Jess Magee

What if every crime had a value? And as long as you could pay up, you were a free man? In a world abolished of human rights and the rich can get away with murder, literally, we follow Criminal Audit Office employee, Theo Miller. His job is to catalogue every offence and make sure the crime matches the payment, discounts are even offered for circumstances such as if a ‘lowlife’ was the victim or the offender turned himself in. If anyone is unable to pay for their crimes, they are sent to the ‘patty line’ to pretty much becoming a slave for society. Even though the Government are still in power, it is really ‘the Company’ that run the show. Although he has spent years trying to remain anonymous, a figure from his past could jeopardise everything he has tried to hide, when they turn up murdered. Putting a measly $1 value for her life is the final straw and he sets out to end a world he can no longer stay quiet in. 84K Claire NorthClaire North is an icon when it comes to the fantasy and sci-fi universe! With books such as The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and The End of The Day winning countless praise and awards, the hype around this book was insane and so the pressure was on! The world itself she creates is absolutely astonishing and coupled with her writing style, you truly feel as if this could become a reality. Unlike most science fiction, this novel’s premise was a lot closer to real life workings, allowing for you to truly picture yourself within this dark world. Her attention to detail leaves you mesmerised and somewhat haunted from start to finish. When imagining this world, it does give you a feel of a 1984 by George Orwell kind of society. The book jumps between different time periods, making sure you don’t lose focus on the true story at hand. Although, this can become a little confusing at times and leaves you rereading pages to figure where we are in terms of time. However, this lack of order really made sense with the plot of the novel, making it just as unique as the story itself. The character Theo progresses so well throughout the novel. At the beginning, he is seen as somewhat a kind soul who just wants to live a normal life, but as we get further through the story, we learn that this not entirely the case. Whilst admitting he will do anything to get his daughter, we start to see more and more what he is willing to do to get what he wants, showing he is just as dark as the world he lives in. Overall, this book was an insane ride from start to finish. Although I did worry if it would live up to the hype of her other works, Claire North did not disappoint with her new novel. She has really tapped into a section of the science fiction genre I didn’t even know we needed until now. I will warn that this is definitely a heavy read and you may find yourself needing to walk away to take what Claire North has thrown you. However, for anyone looking for an action-packed book, I think you have found your answer!