*This review is Spoiler Free*
Proxy by Author Alex London is the first installment in a Young Adult Dystopian duology. The novel follows Knox, a Patron and Syd, his Proxy. In this dystopian society the wealthy do not have to pay for their crimes. Anything they do that is punishable, from the most trivial of childhood transgressions to acts as horrible as manslaughter, their Proxy has to take the repercussions of their actions. So when Knox causes the accidental death of his friend in a car crash, Syd is the one who is sentenced to death. In an unbelievable sequence of events the boys’ lives become entangled as the story progresses. Both Knox and Syd learn things about themselves, each other and the society they live in. Not much of what they have grown up seeing and believing is the actual truth and we the reader get to join them on this quest for truth and redemption.
Knox is initially an incredibly unlikable character. He’s spoiled, entitled, self-involved and self-centered, but as the story is concluded it is undeniable that his character has the most growth. The author does a superb job at executing Knox’s character development and up until the very last page of this novel his character consistently surprised me. Syd is not a bad character, he’s also a great character in this novel, but he was much more ‘aware’ from the beginning of the story so at some points his character’s growth does not seem to have as much impact as the other main character.
This novel will make you feel all sorts of feels. The unjust and unfair structure of this society is astounding and at times hard to read without seeing parallels to the world we live in. This novel breaks your heart and your spirit in parts, but it is so very beautifully and purposefully executed that I can’t even be angry at the author for all the pain he put me through lol. Another aspect of this novel that I enjoyed is that everything is not always okay. So many times in YA fiction, the story is so neatly and sweetly wrapped up, which is completely unrealistic when you take into account the climate of the world the novel is set in, but Alex London does not spare our feelings. Although the climax and conclusion of the story are far out there I still have to appreciate what the author tried to accomplish.
I really enjoyed this novel, I will note that I did NOT enjoy the second installment in the duology as much as this first book. The second book, Guardian, fell flat in so many areas such as, world building, character development, the believability and consistency of the stroyline, and the fleshing out of the side characters. So, just keep that in mind if you decide to pick up this book….there’s a possibility that you may not love the series as a whole. I would recommend Proxy to YA dystopian lovers, especially if you are not all that interested in reading another book that feels like a re-write of The Hunger Games or Divergent. Overall I give this novel a rating of 7 out of 10 Unicorn Horns. Also, Syd is gay, so if you are looking for a novel with a gay main protagonist outside of Contemporary/Realistic Fiction this is a worthwhile read.