Author: Claire North
Date of Publication: 24 May 2018
“This is the daily diet on which Theo Miller is fed:
Bound in never ending plot twists is the story of life being defined by a single number. 84K is a dystopian thriller which revolves around the central character Theo. He is set against the world that surrounds him with its darkness encroaching on him like worms eating up a dead body. Bewildered and terribly shocked by the sudden death of his ex-lover Dani, Theo has his world turned upside down as he begins to question and ponder on the legitimacy of social systems.
This make believe world of his has severe punishment for every crime that is committed. The book goes on to enlist all the crimes and the punishments for each follow. Though a lot of readers will come with the excitement of reading a modern day dystopian novel, however, the writing style of the book can kill a lot of thrills. Constant shuffling between events and juggling of facts leads to an overload of information that is random, fragmented and scattered. It is not until a few chapters that the story catches some pace but that doesn’t do away with the fact that the way it is written is confusing making the book a difficult read. But if one can get past that, then the book has several highs and lows and enough matter to keep readers entertained.
Having to go through the first few pages over and over again to get a hang of what exactly is going on is rather frustrating. Passages are followed by single words mentioned one after another. This is followed by dialogues or other verbal exchanges in this confusing write up. Of the several themes are the important underlying ideas on capitalism that continuously forges its double standards. Class politics abounds in cases where the middle or lower classes are severely punished while the rich get away even after having committed some of the most heinous crimes by just throwing in huge sums of money.
Money speaks in this depressing, sci-fi world with nothing in the name of human rights or mass petitioning. The eye for detail is great as it allows for the creation of an other worldly world that is both interesting and astounding. But for readers familiar with more hard core dystopia this piece may not seem so original. For readers wanting to begin reading sci fi dystopic novels this is a good starter. The writing style is a barrier and multiple attempts may be required to try to grasp the happenings of the novel.