Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blog Tour: Proxy by Alex London

Looking for an action-packed dystopian that's different than what's already out there?  You'd do well to pick up PROXY then.  

The synopsis: 

Knox was born into one of the City's wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death. 
Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own. 
Then again, neither is Knox’s. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be repaid.
My thoughts:

It's sorta funny that I read this right after putting up my post about animal death in fiction, because PROXY kills off a bunch of zoo animals and some poor horses.  I was able to keep reading though, because although the animal death wasn't entirely justified, it was understandable in the context of the brutal setting. The action flows really well and Syd is relatable and someone worth rooting for.

Even if I didn't 100% buy it from a characterization standpoint, the ending is a great example of poetic justice and sets up some interesting questions for the sequel.

And now, here's the author to talk about the book!

Proxy excerpt: 

“‘…why else do you think I hired you?’
‘Because I have small hands and I don’t steal.’
‘These things are all true,’ Mr. Baram answered. ‘But that doesn’t make them my reasons. Perhaps not even I know my reasons.’
‘I’m sure your reasons are as noble as your visage.’ Sydney joked.
‘My visage, eh?’ Mr. Baram chuckled. ‘You’ve been reading through my library.’
‘You should password protect better if you don’t want readers.’
‘Oh, I want readers, my boy.’ Mr. Baram sighed. ‘A world of readers, I want, and yet, all I have is you. You want information, mere data, just like everyone else. That’s not reading. Wisdom? Inspiration? Phfft! Their time has passed, eh?’ He waved his hand in the air. ‘You cannot nourish the soul with data!’”
– page 35, PROXY

Alex London on the best aspect of the society in Proxy: 

I suppose the technology they have in Proxy is pretty great, but it is also that technology that isolates people from each other and from the context in which they live. If you can afford it, you can do or get or be anything you want anytime you want it. Some might say that kind of freedom is ideal. There are no laws-- only corporate regulations, agreements and contracts. It's an entirely free market, where you get whatever you can pay for...and nothing more.

None of this sounds very good does it?

I suppose the good side of that is, that in that society you are free to be awful and to exploit your neighbors and abuse your proxies--no laws will stop you--but you are also free to be kind, to be generous, to be a boon to those less fortunate than you.

Of course, one of my main characters chooses to be like that and one most decidedly doesn't, but they are both free to change. Exploring that, how much of what they think and know comes from the society around them and how much they can defy its expectations is the crux of the Syd and Knox’s journey. I suppose that's true of everyone growing up, in a bleak imaginary future, or now, in our society, in our time. We all have to decide who the best version of ourselves is and how much we are willing to do to become it.

So the best aspect of the world of Proxy? The people in it, just like our world.

About Alex London: 
Alex London writes book for adults, children and teens. At one time a journalist who traveled the world reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, he now is a full time novelist living in Brooklyn.

You can find Alex London on twitter and his website.

Find the next stop on the Proxy blog tour on The Compulsive Reader tomorrow!


Beth F said...

The idea of a proxy is pretty horrifying if you're the proxy...

Liviania said...

Nice! I've got this one on my TBR and can't wait to finish just a couple of more books so I can read it.

Christina said...

Wahhhhhh, zoo animals and horses? *blubbers*

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I really liked this book a lot. I found the animal deaths bearable because we didn't really have a connection to them-it's not like it's a dog who is the boy's best (and only) friend and then the dog is killed.