84K by Claire North

By Claire North
Publisher: Orbit
Available 5/22/18
ISBN: 9780356507378
Pages: 480
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopia


What if your life were defined by a number?

What if any crime could be committed without punishment, so long as you could afford to pay the fee assigned to that crime?

Theo works in the Criminal Audit Office. He assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full.

But when Theo’s ex-lover Dani is killed, it’s different. This is one death he can’t let become merely an entry on a balance sheet.

Because when the richest in the world are getting away with murder, sometimes the numbers just don’t add up.

My Thoughts

84k was my first experience with Claire North’s work. It is my understanding this is her pseudonym used for many of her adult fantasy stories. She has also published a collection of YA titles under her real name Catherine Webb and has works published under Kate Griffin. Quite honestly, I am still attempting to sort it all out. One thing is certain though, her writing speaks to me in a way I have missed. She has a firm working knowledge of dystopia and presents that to her readers on a very specific level. You can learn more about her and her work here.

The skinny..

The man called Theo works in the Criminal Audit Office. His days are spent crunching numbers. In a world where every crime has a value, he estimates the incurred fees of each criminal act. Pay the costs and you go free. Your debt to society has been paid. But when an old friend Dani is assassinated, he finds the math increasingly impossible. Something is just not adding up. In his efforts to find more worth in her death, he uncovers something much larger. How far is Theo willing to go to set wrongs right?

“The man whose name was sometimes Theo Miller had been twenty-two years old when they abolished humans rights. The government insisted it was necessary to counter terrorism and bring stable leadership to the country.”

What I appreciated..

  • An alternative reality setting that is eerily familiar. This allows for full immersion on the reader’s part while maintaining that necessary level of discomfort that must be achieved in dystopian tales.
  • North’s writing offers a unique and defining prose that supplies the warranted air of bleakness and struggle. It carries her story with what feels like a triumphant victory.
  • Themes that explore the worth of human life and challenge societal structures and hierarchies.
  • Solid character evolution that reminds us to look behind curtains. Change can often come in the most unlikely form and when least expected.
  • A steadfast reminder to never lose sight of human rights and be ever diligent of our surroundings.
  • Brilliant transportation of emotions from page to reader.

“I can prove it. I can prove they broke it. They broke everything. They broke the world.”

Challenges some may encounter..

  • This is a heavy read that at times can almost feel tiresome. North asks the reader to think and work for it all. I have come to appreciate and expect that in true dystopian stories.
  • The narrative is often supplied in incomplete or abrupt thoughts that while effective can feel disjointed and require an adjustment period.
  • There are a several graphic (violent) but never gratuitous scenes.

84K delivers a certain level of difficulty and the dismal that is reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World. It makes no promises of being an easy read, nor should it. And for that, it is ultimately incredibly effective. Delivering a pertinent and powerful theme, it succeeds in capturing and supplying the necessary elements of true dystopia. Equally intelligent and challenging, it is a brilliant addition to the genre that will surely leave a notable mark.

*I would like to thank Orbit Books for this advanced copy. The above review is my own, unbiased and honest opinion.

tea cup


Pairs well with a nice cup of English Breakfast and small splash of milk.

Grab a Copy: Amazon.com Book Depository

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission for purchases made through them. Click here for details.

Happy Reading,

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram



Small Health Break

Small Health Break

It is that time again where I must make the decision to unplug temporarily. My body has been screaming at me for days and limits have been reached. I am taking a small health break this week and will be limiting screen time to work. Thank you for all of the wonderful shares, support and comments! I will do my best to respond when I return (very soon).

Please feel free to reach out via email (booksvertigoandtea@gmail.com) if you need to contact me during my time away regarding any upcoming commitments or questions. And for those of you who have enquired about the You Choose, I Read feature, I will include a post with information on linking back when I return.

Much Love,
Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

Sunday Sum~Up

Sunday Sum_Up (1)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer that I am linking my Sunday Sum-Ups with. Stop by and say hello!

This post is being drafted ahead of time due to a somewhat busy weekend ahead.  So there is not much to report in terms of what is going on. Today is Mother’s Day here in the U.S. So Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms reading! May you have a wonderful and relaxing day.

I did decide to finally start season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale and wow! I am taking it in small doses. It is, as expected, a heavy hitter. It does not look to disappoint. I shared an interesting article on my Facebook page this week that discusses the issues related to merchandising the series and it hits on a lot of valid points. I am linking it here as it is worth a read for anyone interested.

I am failing miserably with 1Q84. I am suffering a spurt of mood reading and cannot blame the book by any means. For now, it is on my nightstand and being read in very small increments. I may have to shelve it until my enthusiasm returns.

Recent Reviews


The Nowhere Girls

Currently Reading

the_lonely_heartsThe Lonely Hearts Hotel
By Heather O’Neill


With echoes of The Night Circus, a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans in love with each other since they can remember whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one’s origins. It might also take true love.

Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen.

Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city’s underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes after years of searching and desperate poverty the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.

With her musical language and extravagantly realized world, Heather O’Neill enchants us with a novel so magical there is no escaping its spell.

Other Happenings

It has been a nice week and hopefully by the time you read this, I will be spending my Mother’s day in a local bookshop or sleeping in, as those were my only real requests. I would admit that I do not need more books at this point, but let’s not be silly!

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” 
~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

How did you spend your weekend?

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram