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3.26  ·  Rating details ·  3,757 ratings  ·  662 reviews
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
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published May 24th 2018 by Orbit (first published May 22nd 2018)
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Average rating 3.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,757 ratings  ·  662 reviews

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Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I would know this book was written by Claire North if I was to read only one page of it. Her style is so unique and distinctive. Sentences are left unfinished, sometimes words and phrases just pile up on themselves and yet it always makes perfect sense. Did I mention that she is one of my favourite authors? In my eyes she can do no wrong but I can understand why some people find her hard to read.

84K is set in a dystopian near future in England. The country is in a sorry state since the Company j
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really had to debate between giving this a full five stars or the four, but ultimately it all boils down to whether or not the heavily ambitious tale was pulled off in spectacular flavor or whether it must remain a disquieting tale with an end that will either leave a bittersweet taste in your mouth or leave you anxious.

I personally think it'll be a bit of both.

I'm reminded of a bit of Les Miserables and a bit of Charles Dickens in this one, which is either odd or awesome when you consider tha
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars. I’m so bummed. I love North’s book “The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August” and had high expectations for this one. But sadly, I find myself very disappointed - this is another perfect example of a book that has a unique and interesting premise but falls completely flat on execution. First, the writing style leaves much to be desired. Incomplete, repetitive sentences that just trail off. Over and over and over again. It wasn’t dreamy or poetic; it was frustrating and clumsy. Second, ...more
Emily B
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I really liked the idea of this book. However I found the writing difficult, particularly the sentences left unfinished and the jumps in time and flashbacks which often confused me. However this style of writing may appeal and entertain a lot of people but not me unfortunately.
Liz Barnsley
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Easy 5* for me. EASY. Claire North writes so beautifully and in such a unique way sometimes I think it doesn't matter what story she is telling, it is all in the way she tells it. As it happens 84K has a brilliantly engaging theme and the whole thing is just wonderful. And a bit scary.

Full review nearer to publication.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
Very, very, dark. This isn't unexpected from Claire North, as her view of the future in previous books has always been slanted in that direction. But 84K is definitely her darkest vision of our near future world yet, written in a form that edges on experimental fiction.

North's work has always been infused with politics, and 84K is no different. What makes this book so chilling to read is that, particularly with the state of the world now, with the apparent strengthening of the right wing agenda,
This was a dark book, a what-if story, taking the idea of privatisation of all sorts of public services to an extreme though logical conclusion, with government and one, all-encompassing company in bed together while they destroy a country together.
While the narration of the audiobook is good, I found my attention wandering frequently. And with the multiple storylines going back and forth in time and the frequent repetition of phrases and ideas, I kept tuning out, partly because of the repetitio
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Another masterpiece of heart and genius, this one dark and sad, not an easy read but very rewarding. North creates a living, plausible, even probable world in which greed has triumphed. Everything has a price, every crime a monetary indemnity. The rich can do what they wish, and escape with only a fine. Even murder is excused for £84,000, more or less.

This story of the near future is a clear warning about the 1,000 year Tory dream: Lords in the castles and the rest of us dead or naked in
K.J. Charles
Sep 24, 2018 marked it as pass
Shelves: dnf, dystopia
My second DNF of Claire North, one of my favourite authors, which is disheartening. In part it's the bleakness. This is a very plausible dystopia where all crime is punished by fines, meaning the rich can do anything while the poor are sent into slavery to work off debts for small offences. It's incredibly dark and depressing and I just don't feel like being any more miserable about the world than I am.

That may change with my mood, but also the narrative style is kind of exasperating. We jump f
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
An innovative and clever thought-experiment. A dark, dystopian future. A world in which we pay for our crimes with money. Every crime has a price. Pay it and you're good to go. Yes, even murder.

What makes this a difficult read is that North chose a style depending heavily on fragments. It's somewhat jumpy and didn't read as nicely as some of her other books.

A must read for Claire North fans, but not the one I'd recommend to readers new to her work. Please consider reading The First Fifteen Lives
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I've just read the first five chapters of this new book by Claire North - a pre-publication teaser - and now can barely wait to get hold of the full book. I haven't learned a great deal about the story beyond what's in the blurb, but I want more!

So far I've liked everything by this author that I've read, and 84K looks to be no exception. The author quickly establishes the setting as London; a London that is kind of familiar, but somewhat disturbing in certain aspects. It's a place where public s
Aug 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Claire North’s first book, was the best book I’d read in years. The concept and the writing style immediately hooked me, and I had to see what else she had written. The Sudden Appearance of Hope and Touch were similarly really strong, original concepts with well-written, robust plots. Without question, I bought The End of the Day when it came out and found it to be vapid, lacking any plot and devoid of the charm and originality which characterised North’s ...more
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

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 de
lucky little cat
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
You'll always remember this as the one where Claire North leaves a multitude of sentences unfinished
and that's
We wouldn't have it any other
Naturally North isn't going to do dystopia like any

But it's worth it. North's near-future England is finally so completely privatized that entering the Cotswolds (here a bastion of thoughtless 1% entitlement) requires the proper border permit.

The 1% are firmly in charge, and they keep the less privileged 99%, that horde of hapless, unconnected nobodies,
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

What is the value of a human life? Well, honestly, it varies, are you young? Are you old? Are you a benefit to society? Are you a burden to society? Are you valued? Will you be missed? Do you have the potential for future greatness? Will you always wallow in mediocrity? Are you a somebody?
ashley c
I am a sucker for two things - first of all, anything written by Claire North, which basically encompasses this whole review, but I do want to touch on the second thing as well which is character-driven plots. Also a third thing - the ability for an author to pen down the complexities, beauty, and ugliness of the human condition in its multidimensional state into a 2D paper world.

"You were, in fact, a moral vacuum. Oh, not in a spectacular way. You were no more or less evil than anyone else
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm so very disappointed. I love Claire North, I automatically buy her books regardless of what they're about. She's unique in her writing and ideas and I love her books. Usually.

Except this one.

There's this thing happening where she writes unfinished sentences. I get that she has her own writing style but this was just irritating and confusing and just too quirky. Yes, if it's explained it can add to the story but this was just half sentences with no context or explanation.

I was really looking
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A clever and challenging read with a great premise - every crime has a price. This is a world in which only the poor are guilty. While this is probably my least favourite of North's novels, largely due to its fragmented and jumpy style which meant I couldn't engage with characters or story as much as I would have liked, this author continues to astound with her imagination and ambition. Full review to follow closer to publication on For Winter Nights. 3.5 stars. ...more
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, dystopia
As in every book by Claire North that I've read, I was delighted with this premises: a dystopian London, where public services were privatized and the Company owns almost everything (ex. even the emergency ambulance service asks if you’re insured, tries to upsell the service, and if you’re not insured, they don’t help you). Human rights have also been abolished and the crimes are paid for in fines determined by the Criminal Audit Office: kill a person and you pay 84k credits for a patty line wor ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
High-concept SF premise marred by style-over-substance execution.
Full RTC
The Nerd Daily
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on The Nerd Daily | Review by Jess Magee

What if every crime had a value? And as long as you could pay up, you were a free man? In a world abolished of human rights and the rich can get away with murder, literally, we follow Criminal Audit Office employee, Theo Miller. His job is to catalogue every offence and make sure the crime matches the payment, discounts are even offered for circumstances such as if a ‘lowlife’ was the victim or the offender turned himself in. If anyone is
Maja Ingrid
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, dystopian
While not as great as The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, it's definitely better than Touch and The End of the Day.

North's writing alone makes her books deserve 5 stars because her style is so unique and beautiful. With that I mean half sentences, repeated words and at times lack of punctuation and sentences beginning in the middle of the line. It might sound bad but it's actually really good.
It's a love or hate kind of style. I love it to bits.

84K is one of North's books where my rating o
84K is the fifth novel by British author, Claire North. Theo Miller (not his real name) works at the Criminal Audit Office. When a crime has been committed, his job is to calculate what the cost to the guilty will be. It can be a little complicated, but he has formulae and algorithms to guide him. It’s a job. He hasn’t given much thought to what happens to those too poor to pay.

But then, from his deep past, when he wasn’t yet Thomas Miller, comes Dani Cumali, wanting him to help her find her dau
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book is a Dementor in text form; it basically sucked the joy out of my life while I was reading it, and most of the time it felt like a punishment. It’s well written enough, and I enjoyed one of North’s past books enough, that I pushed on through to the end, hoping for something that might make reading this feel worth it. That did not happen, and, quite honestly, I now wonder if anything could.

Certainly the characters couldn’t. When your main character is a man whose entire personality, li
Richard Becker
Dec 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
It's not just that Claire North's favorite literary technique is
is just

There are many more annoyances in a book that become a boorish slog than that technique. First and foremost, there is nobody worth liking in the bleakest of all possible capitalistic futures — one where corporations have created the ultimate monopoly and made everyone slaves of a system called ...

This thing
Let's call it
It's blatant exploitation.

Even those who are down and out suffer from the symptoms of chronic greed,
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
3.5 that I'm rounding up. This was a bit of a rough one to listen to; the ever changing timeline was hard to grasp at the beginning, but it became clear soon enough (plus wonderful narration). The real issue was that this is a dark book, one that is scarily plausible - not much of an escape in this day and age! If you like Claire North's other books, you'll probably like this one! ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
May 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi, dystopia
DNF'd @ 10%

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is one of my favorites so I had really high expectations for this, but this one just wasn't working for me. Still looking forward to trying more of her projects though.
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
84K was my first foray into the writing of Claire North, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. The description intrigued me, though, so I decided to give it a go. And wow.

This book made me angry. It made me despair. At times it almost made me lose hope, but there was always a thread of hope running through the text. In short, I loved this book.

The most frightening part about this book is that we aren’t really sure the time period it’s set in. It’s at least the future in England and probably t
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
A startingly unoriginal book from a startingly original writer.++

For me, Claire North is one of the few writers whose books I buy automatically. And one of the things I always appreciated most about them is how different they are to anything else published today. Not only does she have a truly unique voice, but the premise of all her novels has always been something new, exciting, innovative. The stories are timeless, but always told from a different angle, like being seen though a lens not only
Aneta Bak
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is told from the perspective of Theo Miller, and is told in many different time lines. At times, the different time lines seem to blur together, but I think that made me want to read it even more. Theo Miller works in the Criminal Audit Office, where he evaluates crimes and puts a number to said crime. If the “criminal” can pay, they are free, if they cannot they go to the “patty line” where they practically become slave workers. Essentially, if you are rich, you can do anything you wa ...more
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Claire North is actually Catherine Webb, a Carnegie Medal-nominated young-adult novel author whose first book, Mirror Dreams, was written when she was just 14 years old. She went on to write seven more successful YA novels.

Claire North is a pseudonym for adult fantasy books written by Catherine Webb, who also writes under the pseudonym Kate Griffin.

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