Book Review: Proxy by Alex London

Note: This review is part of the 2016 Summer Reading Diversity Spotlight.

Proxy by Alex London
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Publisher: Philomel Books
Genre: Young Adult Sci-fi
ISBN: 978-0399257766
Source: Library
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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.


Proxy was every bit of fun as I had hoped it would be and having never read Alex London’s work before this, it feels pretty good to say that. I can’t wait to read the sequel which if it’s as action packed and thrilling as Proxy, it’s already a winner to me.

So in Proxy, we follow Knox and his proxy, Syd aka the rich, privileged boy who does whatever he wants with no consequences and the poor boy who gets punished every time Knox does something reckless. The world building was wonderful and there’s nothing I love more than when a concept and world completely deliver.

I also loved loved loved the exploration of the themes of social class and inequality. Knox and Syd were great representations of their worlds and watching the dynamic between the two as their worlds converged more than ever before was even more exciting. There’s something so thrilling and fulfilling about seeing someone be as vulnerable as they can possibly be with another and seeing another perspective being opened up right before your very eyes. Proxy does that beautifully, told in third person through both Knox and Syd’s point of views.

Along with the exploration of class, Syd identifies as gay so readers get to see how a member of the LGBT community fits into this fictional world which was really gratifying here because this is an #ownvoices story in this regard so you know that you’re getting an authentic perspective from the author. Not only is he gay but he’s also a POC so yay for diversity because gosh, that’s so rare to see a POC LGBT character which is baffling in the world that we live in.

Other things that I loved about this book? All of the characters had such distinct personalities and really jumped off the page. Each character felt like they were a very distinct representation of the people of this world and each one triggered such specific emotions and that’s not easy to do. And while there was plenty of action to keep me turning the pages, there was also quite an air of mystery and there really truly never was a dull moment. Which brings me to the ending. I can’t say that I was surprised with how things played out (possible spoiler: It’s your typical sci-fi sacrifice twist, twist) but I was still satisfied overall and I can’t wait to see what becomes of this world in the sequel.

So if you’re looking for a captivating adventure this summer, crack open a copy of this book!

Proxy by Alex London is available today.