84K by Claire North

84kcoverTitle: 84K
Series: No
Author(s): Claire North
Publisher: Orbit
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 22nd 2018
Pages: 496
Genre(s): Science Fiction
ISBN13: 9780316316804

Claire North, also known under the names of Catherine Webb and Kate Griffin, brings us a brand-new dystopian sci-fi story with 84K. Although I’ve only known her for her huge success upon releasing The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August—which I have yet to read myself—this introduction to her mind has been truly eye-opening. The world she creates in this story comes to life thanks to some of the most meticulous world-building and attention to detail. It easily sucks away any sign of happiness fancied in the near future, and I simply love it for being able to achieve such a result. In 84K, readers are bound to be shaken up by the ideas explored with razor-sharp rigor, but also by the hauntingly mesmerizing writing style that Claire North utilizes to mold her story.

What is 84K about? This is the story of Theo Miller, an employee of the Criminal Audit Office. His job is to assess every offense that is put onto his desk and make sure that every criminal in question pays his debt to society. Debt as in time in community service? Time in prison? Capital punishment? No. In this world, each crime has a value and once those indemnities are dealt with, as in payed in full, the criminal is free of any charge against him. While Theo Miller lives his life trying to stay as irrelevant as possible to society, a figure from his past suddenly emerges from the dirty corners of his memory and flips his life upside down by dragging a past he has always tried to detach himself from back into his reality.

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In this world, human rights are abolished and the rich reign with countless privileges under their belts thanks to their very deep pockets. Imagine a place where those who have the money can get away with anything, including murder. Anyone who is unable to pay their debt are however sent down to the “patty line” which essentially comes down human slavery. This whole premise alone strips this world down to an extreme form of capitalism and hammers in a whole new array of values and priorities in individuals. The story in essence explores humankind’s one true treasure in the most cautious and subliminal way possible: choice.

While Claire North blankets her world in an eerie and depressive coat, she repeatedly assaults the readers attention by playing around with the writing and the timeline. This is not a linear story whatsoever. It is fragmented into multiple timelines and sometimes a same chapter can contain two different events and invite readers on a transcendent experience through the mind of Theo Miller. The writing style also contributes highly to the experience by playing around with the formatting and the sentence structure. Certain sections are pervaded with page breaks that messes around with the formatting, while sentences are sometimes cut short and free of punctuation or capitalization. These moments are often dealt in rapid-fire and quickly grows on you. In fact, you’ll find yourself accustomed to it and identify it as part of this story’s signature; it easily compels you to enjoy this story not only as a simple reader of words, but as an analyst trying to piece the events together.

Claire North’s latest novel is a truly original and cleverly-crafted piece of literature. Its take on capitalism is astounding and effortlessly stimulates the reader’s critical thinking. There are moments in this story where it pauses to reflect upon society in such a convincing tone that you can’t help but reflect for a second on the role of money, the value we attach to it and the structure of the society we live in. Just look at how much importance we accord to money and how society is built upon one business’ success after another. 84K is not an easy story to read, but it a sublimely scary dystopia that should be sought by readers.

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Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada and Orbit for sending me a copy for review!

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆
Have you read it yet? Do you plan to?
What do you think about 84K?
Share your thoughts with me!
Till next time,

lashaansignature

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49 Comments Add yours

  1. Tammy says:

    Awesome review, Lashaan! I’m actually reading this right now, and her writing style really is mesmerizing. It seems a bit slow in the beginning and I’m a bit lost with all the time changes, but I know once I get into the rhythm it will pick up😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tammy! Her style really sets the mood perfectly and helps visualize everything with so much ease. I totally understand the issues with pace and especially how challenging it at first. I wondered if I was even reading the right book for a moment too hahah Hope you enjoy your read!! 😀

      Like

  2. Priyasha says:

    Great review😚😍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fab review! This sounds like quite a read! I loved Touch one of her earlier books, but have struggled with a couple of her later ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Nicki! Wow. I just looked up what Touch was about and am truly intrigued hahah Have you tried The Fifteen Lives of Harry August? It would be the next book I’d prioritize from her to be honest.

      Like

      1. I tried Harry August and couldn’t get into it but loved Touch.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds awesome! I find North can be hit or miss with me, I’ve loved some of her books to bits but there were a couple I couldn’t get into. I’m planning to read this soon and hoping it will be in the winners camp 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really like the world she designed for this story. It sets up a truly intriguing vision of a totally conceivable society. I do hope your own experience with this one will be glorious though! Thanks for reading, Mogsy! 🙂

      Like

  5. Excellent review, very informative about what to expect! I didn’t know the formatting was so euhm special though and I don’t know if that works for me but I do like the concept, it’s very intriguing! Thanks for your review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Inge! Oh yes, I didn’t know either until I cracked open the book hahah I then understood that this was not going to be an easy read and that it would most likely go into some nice themes. It is my pleasure! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bookstooge says:

    If this is the same “Kate Griffin” who wrote Madness of Angels, I wouldn’t read this if my life depended on it.
    But really, from your review I can tell this is not the kind of book I would voluntarily read anyway 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is her alright hahaahahah Do you have a review of it somewhere in your catalog? I totally want to read your thoughts, as short as they may be (I couldn’t find it through the search bar on your blog)! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bookstooge says:

        https://bookstooge.wordpress.com/2009/05/01/april-09/

        The fifth entry into that monthly list. It’s no surprise you couldn’t find it yourself. I didn’t include the first name, so “Kate Griffiin” would turn up zero hits, etc, etc.

        And it is for this exact reason that I’m trying to make this blog presentable 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow, it sure does sound really dark. You and UF have a really interesting relationship. 🤣

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Bookstooge says:

            Yep, I just don’t click with it for the most part 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh I’ve never heard of this book! It sounds really interesting though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is my pleasure to shine some light on it for you then. 😉 It most definitely is a fascinating one with a really nice premise to work with!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes! I posted mine today as well. It sounds like we were on very similar pages here and equally impressed. This was my first book by her, but surely not to be my last. Stellar review as always Lashaan! So fun to read your thoughts right next to my own 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Danielle! It was definitely intriguing to read your thoughts on it too. This is so not a typical book with a super clear story too hahah Hope your next experience with her work will be just as good. 😉

      Like

      1. Hope we both enjoy our next encounter equally! I think dystopian reads that are too clear actually disappoint me a tad. This one made me work for it, which was exactly what I needed 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This does sound interesting, but I just recently finished another Dystopian Sci-Fi and realized this may not really be the genre for me right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, that’s unfortunate news. Hopefully you’ll find a good time in your life where you’ll be in the mood for these again!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great review, Lashaan! This sounds like an amazing read and I love that cover.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Raven! It really is and it really does have a beautiful cover. Simple and hypnotizing!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Brilliant review! I like dystopias, so I’ll have to check it out for sure. This kinda sounds like the notion of wergild, or blood price. Except that concept has no place in a capitalist society…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Glad to hear it has piqued your interest. It has the same vibe as a lot of classic dystopias out there too. Might go down as one in the coming years (i.e. The Handmaid’s Tale, 1984, etc.). And yes! Wergild! That is a great comparison. And come to think of it, a nice reference to further understand the premise of this book. Thanks for reading!!

      Like

  12. Fantastic review as always. I was interested in this novel when I first came across it, but the Goodreads rating is pretty low (I know I shouldn’t base if I read a book or not on, but alas such is life). I think I might pick this one up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nadine! Hahah no worries. I’m not going to lie, but I do ponder my own decision to read some books (even new releases with few reviews) based on their Goodreads rating 😂 It’ll just take more (like being recommended by trusted readers) for me to check it out. This one is definitely not an easy read and is clearly a hit or miss type of book, and hopefully when you get the chance to try it out it’ll be a hit! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. With books like this I like to get them at the library, so if I don’t like it I won’t have buyers remorse. I’m becoming stingy in my old age 😛
        Fingers crossed!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Great review Lashaan, and this sounds like an incredible book as well. I’m glad Claire North managed to live up to her hype and write another brilliant story. The idea of money being attached to crimes the way it is here is such an intriguing concept, and it seems like the author really did it justice in this book as well. 🙂
    Again great review! 😀 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Beth! This sure did give me a nice first impression of what she is capable of. And yes, how you can get away with murder or any other crime by paying its associated $$$ is an excellent premise and it all worked out for the better! Thanks for reading!!! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow amazing review!! Honestly if the book is half as good as this it’ll be stunning!! The format and style sound like they contribute significantly to the story. It sounds very intriguing and thought provoking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all, I missed you. HAHAH It’s been like forever since I last heard from you and I do hope you haven’t been too overwhelmed in the past few weeks. With the amount of content you keep on dishing out, I can’t imagine how busy you kept yourself OUTSIDE of the blogging world too! Thanks for dropping by and for reading these!! And yes, this is exactly that. Thought-freakin’-provoking. Not a style that a lot will enjoy, but I greatly appreciate its complexity and how the author explores the dystopia!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hehehe I’m so sorry! I was actually gonna apologise at some point when I realised just how far behind I was on your posts (still going through them!!) I’ve just had a lot on, so I’ve not been able to bloghop or reply to comments as much. So yeah definitely been a bit crazy! No problem- I always love your blog! Like I said I’m just sorry I haven’t been around as much lately. That sounds amazing!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahaha don’t be. You just got to do what you got to do. 😉 As far as I’m concerned, I’m always going to be here and the door is always open hahah It was great to see you drop by anyways! Take care. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  15. This book sounds awesome. I’m all about dystopian SF at the moment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is, as long as you’re ready to indulge its fragmented awesomeness! The genre needs more stuff like this nowadays.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Intriguing review… I have read a few reviews of 84K thus far, and you’re the first person to convince me I might want to read the book! I am certainly intrigued by the timeline jumping and the formatting exploration. These are things I love about more modern and experimental literature. And yet, this book doesn’t sound all too experimental. That said, the fragmentation might also lead me to be distracted… Did you find it easy to get used to the format?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is an honour! It really is a hit or miss type of deal, but it reminds me of some great dystopia classics (as you might have heard others mention) that it was just so refreshing to read. I like things that challenge me and get me to think to the nth degree after all. 😂 It is somewhat experimental just because its writing style is not traditional. The format will eventually grow on you and you’ll understand the tempo of it. Fun stuff really! 😁 Hopefully it’ll be a fun experience for you if you ever get the chance to read it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like things to challenge me, but I need to be in the right mood for this. Hm. Okay! I will shelve it accordingly for a day when I’m looking to be challenged. And, as you’ll see by my post scheduled for tomorrow, Summer is not a time for Jackie to read challenging books. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Sounds like a story of our times. So true though how money seems to have become such a god to us all, globally. Simplistic as it sounds, having “a lot” of money had become somewhat of a goal
    because it equates to “leading a life” we are led to believe we can have. We are hostage to our own myth making way of living. Sure, one can say it is really power , but again to have power, you have to have money. Why have we placed such a high value to power? If you really want to be simplistic, you might answer that question by saying because we think we know better than the next person. Do we impose our beliefs on them by making up the rules we get to make cuz we got the powah, cuz we got the moolah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. It’s why it’s so fantastic, relevant an eye-opening. It takes the path a lot of us are on and looks far, far ahead. The result is terrifying, and amazing. Makes you wonder where everyone’s priority will be at and if some of the more fundamental values will ever survive the onslaught of values like money, power, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I love dystopia! YAY! I am a little curious why 4 Stars?! It sounds all good from your review… maybe you didn’t enjoy the character as you didn’t say much about him? I agree with Jackie though this is one seductive review! 😉 I love meticulous world building because when that works I don’t even really need to love the character to enjoy the book. Now I need to read Danielle’s review too! (I’ll probably be double whammied!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You always wonder about my star rating hahahahah It isn’t a 5 star book cause I wasn’t completely immersed in it from the start, and all kinds of little things like that that took away a tiny part of a star each. 😂 Hopefully Danielle’s point of view on it will complement mine then. 😉

      Like

  19. Awesome review….as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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