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Author: London, Alex
Privileged Syd and his proxy, Knox, are thrown together to overthrow the system.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 159423
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 21.0 Quiz: 64107
School Library Journal (00/08/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/13)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2013 Gr 8 Up—Knox is a "patron," a privileged and wealthy citizen of Mountain City. His only concerns are hacking, scoring with girls, and causing trouble while angering his bigwig dad. His proxy, a person who is contractually obligated to serve out Knox's punishments, is a gay teen. In exchange for working as a proxy, Syd is able to pay off his debts. When Knox accidentally kills a girl, 16 years at the Old Sterling Work Colony is too great a punishment for Syd to bear, so he escapes. An action-packed thrill ride ensues where Syd meets up with Knox, who helps him flee. As the pair dive further into their escape plan, new truths are revealed and a growing birthmark that preoccupies Syd turns out to be a secret message uploaded into his DNA by his father. Proxy is full of plot twists, and London creates a well-developed dystopian world. Initially, readers will have to overlook coincidental circumstances, such as the fact that Syd and Knox meet when their society forbids it and that they both play important roles in their world. However, the story's rhythm and complexities rush readers through these liberties, and London's novel will grab readers. Recommend it to students who are interested in tech-laden, dystopian science fiction.—Adrienne L. Strock, Chicago Public Library - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2013 When spoiled, wealthy children need to be punished, their proxies take their place, in payment for debts accrued during miserable lives of poverty in the outskirts of Mountain City (a futuristic Denver). As the proxy for perennial bad boy Knox Brindle, sixteen-year-old Sydney Carton has endured his fair share of abuse, but now Knox has killed an innocent girl and Syd is expected to take the punishment, including the lengthy prison sentence. Instead, Sydney escapes, and eventually Knox changes sides and makes himself a hostage to aid the getaway. On the run together, the two boys dodge security forces, mercenary bandits, dangerous animals, and rebels out to exploit them. What neither realizes, however, is that Syd’s blood hides a secret that could be the key to bringing the whole social system crashing down, and people are willing to do anything to get it. A science fiction adventure that packs an emotional punch, this novel pairs well-crafted storytelling with solid character development. The true power here lies less in the sometimes slight world-building than in the story’s philosophical underpinnings and the personalities of the main characters. The narrative manages to redeem the seemingly irredeemable and to cast the abused as more than a victim, at the same time creating a gay action hero whose sexuality is only one facet of his character. While the novel draws heavily from the historical precedent of whipping boys and the moral journey at the heart of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, readers unfamiliar with the historical and literary contexts will still appreciate the story’s deeper implications. Additionally, they will be drawn into a poignant story of friendship and self-sacrifice, with a impressive ending without a clear resolution that will leave them anxious for planned sequels. AM - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.