Proxy has been on my TBR list for around a year and I’ve finally got to it. The story sounded really interesting even though i didn’t have much of an idea of what it was about. I didn’t realize that this was a the one kind of story. That said, it followed two interesting characters as they essentially ran for their lives.
If it wasn’t for the concept, I wouldn’t have loved it as much as I did. Too often the characters were irritable. I wanted them to have a bit more levity even if their lives are on the line. It took itself a bit too seriously rather than embracing the world and letting us see how much the debt system ravaged lives, more than just Syd’s.
This was the kind of book that had twists and turns at every corner. Things remained interesting mainly because their situation kept changing so vastly. They were running the entire time, but the introduction of new locations and people made the events rather unpredictable. Sure, there were a few things that you could see coming especially when they were long standing clues. It kept things interesting, especially toward the end one they were out of immediate danger and it was only looming over him.
The main characters are Syd a poor kid from the slum area called the Valve. He hates debt and has done everything in his power to stay off the grid and repay as much of the forced debt that was put on him simply because he wasn’t abandoned as a baby. One of the main ways that he’s able to repay his debt is by acting as a Proxy for the other main character, Knox. Knox is the son of one of the richest men in Mountain City. He’s borderline playboy, but really he’s out to do all the reckless things he can to piss his father off. When Knox gets in trouble for his exploits, Syd is the one who takes the punishment.
The dynamic between Syd and Knox was really enjoyable. Neither of them trusted each other fully, but they had to learn. They truly come from two different paths and if they wanted to survive, they needed to work together. It was really interesting seeing their relationship evolve and how their individual personalities repeatedly clashed. In fact their interactions were definitely my favorite. I wished that there were more moments with Syd and Knox. Their bond started to feel the most genuine, but it never quite finished.
While I see some people calling this a Dystopian, I’m torn. There is clearly a divide between the rich and the poor. It is a society that is even more driven by debt than our current society. However here the disparity between classes and balance of power has been driven to a point where you can’t control. I see how people would classify this as dystopian, but I saw it more of far future science fiction.
The thing that irked me the most about this story was actually the POV. The first few chapters while Syd and Knox were separate were some of my favorite simply because I always knew who’s head we were peaking into. It wasn’t until they were together that things started to get a bit confusing. it seems that this story was told as Third Person Omniscent, but that wasn’t clear until we had the two characters in the room. On some pages we’d switch from Syd to Knox to Marie to Knox again. It would just bounce around giving us inner thoughts for a moment before quickly shifting. Over time I got used to it, but the transitions weren’t all smooth and I found myself losing some of nuances of the story.