Title: Kill Code by Clive Fleury
Published by: TCK Publishing
Publication date: 5th December 2018
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian
It’s the year 2031. Our future. Their present. A world decimated by climate catastrophe, where the sun’s heat is deadly and the ocean rises higher every day. A world ruled by the rich, powerful, and corrupt. A world where a good man can’t survive for long.
Hogan Duran was a good man once. He was a cop, forced to resign in disgrace when he couldn’t save his partner from a bullet. Now Hogan lives on the fraying edges of society, serving cruel masters and scavenging trash dumps just to survive.
But after four years of living in poverty, Hogan finally gets a chance to get back on his feet. He’s invited to join the National Security Council, the powerful paramilitary organization responsible for protecting the rich and powerful from the more unsavory elements of society. All he needs to do is pass their deadly entrance exam, and he’ll be rewarded with wealth and opportunity beyond his wildest dreams.
But this ex-cop’s path to redemption won’t be easy. The NSC are hiding something, and as Hogan descends deeper and deeper into their world, he starts to uncover the terrible truth of how the powerful in this new world maintain their power…and just how far they will go to protect their secrets.
In a world gone wrong, can one man actually make a difference, or will he die trying?
Thank you to TCK Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Kill Code is a gripping dystopian story that offers a glimpse into what the world will be like in 2031 after it has been decimated by climate change. With 80% of the world unemployed and struggling to survive, people will do anything to earn money and put food on the table. It was a scarily accurate view of what it could be like living in a world ravaged by climate change and something that should serve as an eye-opener for today’s society.
The main character, Hogan Duran, is a former cop who’s ravaged by guilt over not being able to prevent the shooting of his partner and friend, Max, which left him in a wheelchair and unfit to work. He quit his job but pretty soon after he regretted it as he struggled to get by and support himself and Max. Ultimately, he finds himself living in poverty. In order to survive, he has to take any job he can find and root around in garbage hills. But when he’s offered the opportunity of a lifetime – to work for the National Security Council (NSC) – he puts himself through gruelling trials to earn his place among the elite. The plot definitely became more exciting when Duran arrived at the NSC to complete his trials, which were pretty gruesome and not something I could stomach. They were certainly something, ranging from a lie detector test to staying in a crate for as long as was bearable.
It’s no surprise that I’ve read a fair amount of dystopian books as it has managed to remain a popular genre over the years and each book has a different spin on what the world will be like. Kill Code caught my attention because, as mentioned above, it’s set in a world where climate change was never taken seriously and it has unfortunately reached the point of no return with ocean’s rising and the heat becoming unbearable, causing some regions to become inhabitable. There’s a strong contrast between the poor and the elite – millions of people are living in poverty, while the rich are living a life of luxury. This is all covered at the start of the book and although it was summarised pretty well, I still found myself wanting to know more about what happened leading up to it. The author mentions, for example, that the then-president considered climate change a hoax and pulled out of global climate treaties. However, I’d like to know more about whether any other leaders tried to prevent this from happening and what happened when everyone realised it was too late. Furthermore, I’d like to know what happened when the economy crashed and if governments just fell apart? I still had a lot of questions at the end of the book and craved a more detailed explanation about how climate change was handled worldwide.
Duran was a pretty interesting character. He’s painted as heroic, but he’s also incredibly flawed. We were told a few times that he’s a good character, but I didn’t really see it until towards the end. You’re not necessarily good just because you work for the police – it’s your actions that matter the most and ultimately paint a picture of who you are as a person. This is something that I didn’t feel was covered very well at the start and Duran’s time as a police officer could have been explored a lot better. All I know is that he couldn’t save his friend from being shot and has felt guilty ever since. That being said, he’s redeemed towards the end as he realises the NSC are not quite what everyone has been led to believe. If he manages to succeed in the NSC trials, he will be wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, however, that doesn’t seem to matter to him when he uncovers how the NSC really secures and maintains their powerful position.
I really liked the ending of the story and I hope there will be a second book as, like I said earlier, I still have a lot of unanswered questions and I’m also curious to see what Duran will do next. Ultimately, Kill Code is a compelling dystopian novel with some interesting twists and a unique take on what will become of a world ravaged by climate change.
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