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THE TEN PERCENT THIEF by Lavanya Lakshminarayan.

THE TEN PERCENT THIEF by Lavanya Lakshminarayan from Rebellion Publishing #BookReview #SciFi #Dystopia #Dystopian

THE TEN PERCENT THIEF by Lavanya Lakshminarayan.

Rebellion. h/b. £16.99.

Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins.

The front cover for The Ten Percent Thief by  Lavanya Lakshminarayan. The bottom half of the page is blue and the top half is yello. There is a tree on the right hand side. The roots are down in the dark blue and are a lighter blue colour. The tree leaves are in the yellow part and are dark blue.

Apex City, where Bell Corporation governs through a system of meritocracy. The Twenty Percent is what John is aiming for. He has been schooled and shaped for tonight by Op.He.Li.aA, who has guided and administrated every change to his beliefs, preferences and lifestyle, ready for this chance. Promotion will put him into society’s elite… finally.

The Population Catastrophe led to national collapse. Cities separated. Natural resources were enhanced or replaced by Bell Corporation’s Hyper Reality. Life changed. Anita thrived in the Top Twenty. However, this life requires effort, and the merit system does not take personal tragedy into account. Anita fell. Now, in danger of becoming an Analog, she must use the limited technology she still has access to in order to begin the steep climb back to success.

Meanwhile, there rises a champion of the Analogs, that lowest Ten Percent of society where people live in squalor, unplugged from technology, eventually to be harvested for the good of their betters. The ten percent thief has taken a seed from the Virtual world and planted it in the Analog, and with its growth will come a revolution.

The Ten Percent Thief is a tapestry of the many lives, analog and virtual, who populate what was once known as Bangalore. From social risers to influencers at the top of their game, from school children getting their first glimpse of the Analog outcasts to child prodigies and technological geniuses, Lakshminarayan gives us a poignant portrayal of a frighteningly plausible future view of our continued technological journey.

This is a world with echoes of Nineteen Eighty-Four, where every aspect of its inhabitants’ lives is controlled by the state and, in this case, through technological developments. It is not just outward appearances that are enhanced and manipulated but internal sensory processes and behaviour. Success in society is gained through a merit system where effort and compliance are rewarded, and technology drives and forecasts life choices. Its people are even more reliant on digital devices and social validation than we are now, and it brilliantly depicts the ugliest outcomes of human advancement and the consequences of choice.

A stunning and thought-provoking read.

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