Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book


Rate this book
A deadly virus. An over-populated world. An impossible decision. The clock is ticking to the end of the world; and we’re already at 10:59.

The most important book you’ll read this year. An apocalyptic thriller with a difference, 10:59 by NR Baker will have you questioning everything – and everyone – you thought you knew.

If you held the lives of those around you in your hands, who would you save? And could you live with sentencing others to certain death?

When teenager Louis Crawford is asked to come up with an idea that will change the world, his answer is both shocking and simple. And it is a solution that will change everything, forever.

Louis finds himself thrust into the middle of an organisation that has the power to save the world. But are its motives pure? And can he live with the price that humanity must pay?

Kindle Edition

Published August 7, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

N.R. Baker

1 book9 followers
Niki Baker is an explorer. She doesn’t have Sherpas or a frozen moustache, she’s just got incurable wanderlust. Whether it’s the mountains of Albania, the islands of Indonesia or the jungles of Guatemala, she has always been happiest when she’s far off the beaten track.

Niki also loves exploring the power of words and spent much of her childhood up a tree in Somerset with her head in a book, either lost in the worlds created by authors like C.S. Lewis, or writing truly awful tales of her own.

Since then she has earned recognition for her travel writing, poetry, lyrics, flash fiction and short stories. She now lives in rural France with her soulmate, who is also a writer. '10:59' is Niki’s first full-length novel.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
73 (60%)
4 stars
30 (25%)
3 stars
15 (12%)
2 stars
1 (<1%)
1 star
1 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 41 reviews
Profile Image for The Cats’ Mother.
2,042 reviews121 followers
May 10, 2021
10:59 is a stunningly original genre-blending novel about a global conspiracy to save the planet from irreversible degradation - by eliminating half the human population. But wait, you say, that’s what Thanos tried to do in that Avengers movie - and he was a bad guy! This turns that idea on its head by presenting reasoned arguments that overpopulation is at the root of all that’s wrong with the world, which happens to be something I’ve believed for decades, and turning them into an entertaining thriller told from the view of a very engaging teenager.
I’m trying very hard not to buy new books, but something made me grab this during a promotion three months ago, and during a fit of pique at my never-ending ARC list, where I decided to read something just for me, the intriguing title and cover image jumped out at me from my kindle app. I didn’t really know what to expect but was rapidly completely entranced.

Louis (with a “wiss” not a “wee”) Crawford, a thoughtful young final year school student who feels he’s never fit in with his peers, enters a competition run by an International eco-corporation called the Phoenix Foundation, to find ideas that will change the world. Blessed with “super-logic” rather than conventional academic gifts, Louis recognises that the key to climate change, plastic pollution, the housing crisis, mass starvation and countless other problems is very simple - reduce the number of consumers. His entry introduces him to the leaders of Phoenix, who persuade him to join their cause - but when he discovers that their plan involves a killer virus rather than mass education and contraception like he had in mind, he must decide whether the end justifies the means - can it right to allow millions to die, to save billions of human lives and all the other species whose extinction we are causing?

Told mostly from Louis’ first person past POV, but also introducing various other characters from around the world, this cleverly shows both the consequences of our exponential reproduction, and bluntly demolishes all counter-arguments to the idea that it has to stop. There are bad guys (American of course) trying to achieve the same goals by covert operations in other countries - the American President concluding that killing off millions of poor foreigners may be uncomfortable, but is still preferable to telling voters to stop making babies. This made for sometimes difficult reading as we, along with Louis, are gradually persuaded that Phoenix’s Plan B is the only answer. It’s deeply ironic that this was published during the middle (?) of the Covid pandemic, but written, according to the afterword, two years earlier - but Baker’s killer-flu is considerably more efficient. For all the devastating effect that Covid-19 has had on the world, the (current) 3.5 million people lost to date are being replaced every ten days by new births, and rates will probably actually increase globally due to lapses in contraception campaigns.

For all this, it’s not a depressing book - there are plenty of funny moments, characters to cheer for and others to hiss at, and you really don’t know how it will turn out, but I liked the ending. While I’ve shelved it as Post-Apocalyptic, it doesn’t really belong to that genre, and YA, but it’s a story for adults as well as teenagers, part political thriller and part coming of age drama.
Unfortunately the people who are going to read this are probably not the ones who need to, and no doubt some will be offended by the author’s message - whereas I feel liberated to read someone saying what I’ve long felt. I’m not saying I approve of their methods - I certainly wouldn’t want to have to make that choice - and nor do I blame people for choosing to have children, I’m just eternally grateful I didn’t do it myself. I’ll be thinking about this one for a long time. 5 try this if you dare stars!

July 30, 2020
If you are going to read any book this year, 10:59 has to be a must-read.

It follows the story of Louis, who, in his childhood could only be described as a mis-fit. However, he finds himself hand-picked to join a major environmentally-friendly focussed company, having won a school competition for world changing ideas.

Louis soon realises he was not just employed to eradicate simple environmental issues, but instead becomes embroiled in a project which, although terrifying and despite initial reservations, he accepts as a monumental and desperate attempt to reverse the destruction the human race has put upon this planet.

In a race against time, Louis is forced to make decisions to save not only himself, but those around him he cares about, from the inevitable and devastating solution.

The momentum of the book increases with every page and the tension gradually builds to such a pitch, it leaves you breathless at the end. It is a thriller with agonising truths and encourages reflective thinking.

10:59 encompasses all the problems we face in modern day living to save the environment and ultimately live a sustainable life. The foresight of this author, bearing in mind the pandemic we are currently experiencing, leaves you questioning every aspect of life behind the scenes, to go about your business, looking over your shoulder.

Niki Baker is truly remarkable in her writing. Her ability to allow us to relate compassionately with her characters, the wit, the sadness, the sheer understanding of the current climate we live in, has resulted in a book I can only describe as magnificent.

If you are at all concerned about the general decline of the world as we know it and care for the future generations we leave behind, read this book. If you are complacent and are happy with life as it is, read this book. You may very well change your mind. Either way, this is a thriller you cannot and must not ignore.

Profile Image for AliceF.
1 review1 follower
August 7, 2020
I have read lots of thriller novels and this is by far one of the best ones I’ve ever read. It kept me intrigued throughout and was very informative about the population crisis the Earth is facing today. All together this was an amazing book and I would definitely recommend it.
1 review
July 24, 2020
I absolutely loved this book. Thank you for allowing me to have an advance copy. Good pace and a fascinating, very familiar subject particularly in light of the recent pandemic. Although, I personally know for sure that this book was written well before COVID-19, the parallels are scarily accurate! I also enjoyed the author’s wit with some very amusing one liners to make you smile despite the very serious subject matter.
The opening chapters give you a taste that all is not well with our planet and by the time you are introduced to Louis you are hooked. It has very much left me wanting to know more both about the very relatable Louis and the future of the planet! Louis is a slightly awkward teenager who comes into his own once he starts working for the enigmatic Phoenix.
My only complaint would be that I wanted more information about the sub plots! Thought provoking, compulsive and horribly believable, I would highly recommend this book to anyone from teenagers to adults. It is very hard to put down and leaves you wanting more. Fantastic debut book. Looking forward to the next one! Right off to “yell at some cows”.
1 review
July 30, 2020
Niki Baker’s first book is the most extraordinarily prescient ‘10.59’.
Exploring the most current of current topics, through fully rounded characters including the amazing Louis and with a storyline that grabs you and holds your attention with it’s details of the macabre as well as glimpses of joy.
The story is easily the most enjoyable I have read in a long, long time.
It’s straight forward and dare I say, simple to read, in a non arty farty way that is fun for any age group, including young adults, which considering it’s main topic is of great importance, as they are the ones who are going to have to makes the tough decisions of the future.
I’m delighted to have read it, delighted Niki wrote it and look forward to many more on tough topics enwrapped within a great tale.
Profile Image for Andrew Dahms.
Author 1 book5 followers
July 27, 2020
Some reviews say this book is prescient, and having read it from cover to cover, I can only agree. It's a story for our times, filled with themes and questions that strike very close to home in the current climate.

The main story thread takes a little time to pick up speed, but once it does, it's off and racing. There's action, humour - a touch of romance - and plenty of engaging twists and turns and enough suspense to keep you guessing right up until the end. Overall, it's an easy read filled with some delightfully relatable characters facing big stakes, with a number of touching and poignant moments in between.
1 review
July 24, 2020
This book is so thought provoking. It forces you to challenge your thinking on a topic we should all be talking about. The characters are believable and likable and take you with them to discover the main event in the book which then makes you question whether you should like them at all!
The authors talent to tell a story is exceptional and I regularly got lost in the text when I should have been doing chores! N.R.Baker has the ability to draw you in and take you on a journey from beginning to end. I do not often comment on things but this book is a MUST read.
1 review
August 10, 2020
I just finished 10.59 - what an amazing book, I couldn’t put it down! NR Baker addresses subjects that are considered taboo in our so called ‘forward thinking, free’ society. The plot takes the reader on a thrilling, compelling and sometimes uncomfortable moral journey. The tension builds through the book, storylines cleverly intertwining, all the while continuously moving towards an ending that is inevitable, but not predictable. I was gripped and inspired by this book.
Profile Image for James Marx.
Author 2 books6 followers
September 23, 2021
A gripping, frightening, thought-provoking, essential read!

The blurb on the back of this book states “Everyone’s going to be talking about this book. If they’re not, they should be.”
Never have I agreed so much with such a sentiment.

Sure it helps that it is an entertaining and interesting story, extremely well written by Niki Baker and with excellent characterisation. But at its core is a diamond hard nugget of truth and a solution to a real problem that many will find at best controversial or possibly even mind-numbingly horrific and abhorrent.

The main character we follow is Louis (with a ‘wiss’ not a ‘wee’) Crawford, a teenager with what I would describe as an ability to see the truth and what needs to be done, and very quickly I got to really like the guy. There are plenty of other characters too, some you like, some you detest, and plenty of different threads of events that unfold around the world. It’s all well written and in a style that is never intrusive and always engaging and easy to read.

In fact I found the book so engaging it was hard to stop reading at any point. Just one more chapter. And then another. I ended up side-lining tasks I should have been doing so that I could finish the book in one afternoon!
It is rare I decide to do that (except for when on holiday) which should tell you how completely it gripped me.

There were even points in the story that brought me to tears – another highly unusual event (unless animals are involved, ‘cause I’m a real softy that way). And I hadn’t been drinking.

Some people may think that this book is a bit ‘preachy’ but I never found that. The facts are well researched (yep, I cross checked a few after finishing) and are presented as part of the narrative with a deft touch. I loved finding out where the 10:59 of the title came from. Not only is it very appropriate but it gave me chills when I thought about it.

So are there any bad points? Do I have any criticisms?
Of course, no book is perfect, and what I have to say feels almost inconsequential to the point where I hesitate to mention it. But having hinted I have something to say, in the interests of a balanced review I have to include it now. So here goes.
There are a few minor story threads that left me feeling I wanted to know more, or have a bit more depth when finding out what has been going on. Maybe an extra paragraph here or there to add more richness to the flavour of the story. It is also because I wanted the book to continue. I wanted more of Niki Baker’s writing to read.
But that’s it. I did say it was inconsequential.

I have no hesitation in whole-heartedly recommending this book. Just be prepared for it to prey on your mind and get you thinking some very big thoughts.

It might even change the way you try to live your life.

JM – May 2021
Profile Image for Loretta.
264 reviews
March 9, 2021
Amazing!! and bone chilling!! Made even more so while reading this during the pandemic. The author tells us she wrote this a couple of years prior to the pandemic we are presently living through. Well she must have had a premonition because this story is about a world wide pandemic with a potent, deadly virus that spreads at lightening speed! Great cast of characters from evil doers to good doers that bring suspense and thrills to the story. Highly recommended read for everyone!

From the book food for thought:
"And maybe this pandemic was nature's way of restoring the balance"
"Like it or not, we've turned the page on a new chapter in human history, and now it's up to each and every one of us to write that story."
Profile Image for Jen Haken.
10 reviews1 follower
October 29, 2020
I feel honoured to have read the first draft of this book and cannot wait to read the final published novel, out on 7 August. I've just finished reading an excerpt of the published version and feel the exact same sense of excitement as I did on finishing the first draft of the full novel. Excitement because this is an important read, and also a sense of impending doom because its environmental-based subject matter is far too close to reality for comfort. There are lighthearted moments in it, so don't for a minute think that this is a hard read. It's not; it's suitable for teenagers as well as adults.

I'm not saying any more about the plot - you need to read it for yourselves! And I encourage you to do so. It's entirely worth it. The plot is strong and well thought out; the protagonist is real and very likeable; indeed, all the characters are believable, likeable or not. I didn't want it to end, and that is surely the sign of a good book. I'm looking forward to reading lots more from N. R. Baker.
Profile Image for Roy.
2 reviews1 follower
July 30, 2020
If ever there was a book of the moment, this is it - even if it was written well before COVID struck.
Addressing one of the biggest issues of our time, the book is a great read, with a leading character in Louis that I could really identify with. Full of wonderful snippets of humour and moments of "I really identify with that !", 10:59 comes highly recommended.
Profile Image for Richard Ayre.
Author 13 books29 followers
January 1, 2021
Wow. This was so hard to read, but it is an amazing story. It was hard to read because of where we all find ourselves at the moment. The idea behind this story is so relevant that it was difficult to continue. But continue I did, because, although the story is very poignant and complex, the writing is so good that I could not put it down at times (actually finished it just as the New Year fireworks began.) The characterisation is brilliant, and the objectivity behind the story is so obvious, yet so horrifying, that it made my blood freeze at times. What a writer N R Baker is. The real statistics behind the story managed to horrify me, but the story itself is just so great. At the end of the book, the author gives us some statistics, and one of them really hit home, and that is since 1966, which was the year I was born, population has more than doubled. What a frightening thought that is.
I have decided, after reading this book, to follow the advice of the author and try to make some small changes to my lifestyle, starting with cutting down on my meat intake. Small steps, but, as Baker says, if we all take them, it can make a difference.
This book is incredible. I think it should be read by everyone.
Profile Image for Barbara Conrey.
Author 3 books203 followers
December 19, 2020
An age-old question: who would you save if you could only save “some”? Deftly told, page-turning, eye-opening, terrifying. All of these apply to N.R. Baker’s debut, 10:59.

Forced to weigh good versus bad, right versus wrong, moral versus immoral, Louis Crawford, selected by an organization with the power to save humanity from itself, is forced to choose who lives and who doesn’t. A shockingly simple solution to overpopulation, climate change, global catastrophe. The question, of course, is where does morality come into play.

Even the chapter titles are enthralling: 10:59, each chapter moves forward by one second.

Fascinating, even now, especially now, in the middle of our very real global pandemic.
8 reviews
February 27, 2021
This book has you questioning your morals.

Throughout 10:59 you'll find yourself questioning how you would act in the situation the main protagonist finds himself in. I don't want to give away any spoilers but right until the end I found myself constantly switching between my perception of right and wrong, good and evil. It forces you to confront your own morals and make some difficult choices.

But it manages to do it in an absorbing way. The book is written with warmth and humour is dotted throughout keeping it readable and engaging.

It will probably be the most pertinent to 2020 book that you will ever read.
46 reviews
December 8, 2020
An incredibly timely book in the light of what is happening with Covid and the future of our planet's ecological state. Extremely well done and terribly engaging. Should be a must read, especially for our younger generation.
Profile Image for Bob.
6 reviews
August 5, 2020
Wow. This book is not at all what I was expecting. Described as ‘hard hitting and humorous, thought-provoking and inspiring’, I suspected the story was unlikely to live up to my expectations, but in fact it vastly exceeded them.

I won’t describe every detail of the novel as so many reviewers tend to do (if you want to know the story, just read the damn book!), but I will say that the protagonist is both likeable and believable as a character. I saw a lot of myself in him, which is possibly why he was so relatable. His ‘super logic’ is basic common sense but is brilliantly described in such a way as to point out that common sense is, in this day and age, a desperately rare commodity.

It’s possible that some people may find this book a slightly uncomfortable read, but they’d be the same ones who dispute the effectiveness of masks in reducing the spread of germs, or who insist that the Earth is as flat as their heads.

I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of this novel and am more than happy to provide an honest review. Is it a good read? Definitely. The most important book you’ll read all year? Absolutely. My only regret is that I can’t reach more people to let them know about this. Because Lord knows there are enough people out there who desperately need to read it. Believe the hype.
1 review
July 28, 2020
What a chilling story. So believably a possibility. A good easy read! Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Mark McConville.
Author 20 books6 followers
September 24, 2020
10:59 strikes as a tour de force and a book of magnitude and relevance. With the world under strain, it comes as a title which tackles climatic situations. We as humans know the world has a sore exterior and an interior which has taken heavy blows.

10:59 explores themes, it has been written with the utmost care and attention by the exceedingly talented Niki Baker. She weaves words that are lyrical, concise sentences which pull the reader in.

When I delivers it commands attention, it alters perceptions and will change the way we think. As a novel it starts slowly but then it purposely comes alive and enforces it’s intriguing plot upon us.

There’s humour, there’s despair, there’s fine details. And Niki Baker’s writing style is sublime and the original plot lines show she is capable of writing like this for years to come.

10:59 also showcases depth. The characters are all relevant and take centre stage, and there are no loose ends as the book doesn’t suffer from loopholes. Compelling in its delivery, the novel, has all the needed triggers to keep the reader’s interest.

I can’t wait for Baker’s next book as her in depth, astounding wordplay knows no bounds. She knows how to write, she knows how to plot, and she definitely knows how to write books which spearhead meaning and originality.

10:59 should be read widely. It should be praised wholeheartedly.

1 review2 followers
November 2, 2020
Fantastically written, brilliant story & very sobering. Everyone needs to read this.

The world will be a better place if everyone reads this book. It brings home some uncomfortable truths in a very accessible format, but don’t be mistaken - the storyline and quality of writing are phenomenal. The characters are highly relatable and believable, and the scenes are described vividly, while the short chapters make it easy to dip in and out of (if you can put it down, that is). I cannot recommend this book enough.
Profile Image for Ami.
1,631 reviews6 followers
September 8, 2020
10:59 is well-written into a very realistic world much like our own. The world which we have failed to take necessary measures to continue it’s environmental healthfulness throughout history. This novel depicts a very unique and controversial solution to these issues. I believe it is meant to make it’s readers think. I hope it works, for all our sakes. I highly recommend it.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ebook from the author and this is my honest and freely given opinion.
Profile Image for Michael Wooten.
329 reviews
November 22, 2020
Disturbing but needed.

This is a well written book, for all that the subject is so disturbing. And reading it while on safety lockdown, even more so. There is nothing In this book I have not read before. Now 20 plus years older than the oldest character, I will probably not see the predicted foreseen events. However I pray my children and grandchildren will live in a world where human kind woke up.
Profile Image for Laura Smith.
21 reviews
December 13, 2020
Too close to home

Living within the Covid pandemic this book seemed all too real about the world as it is today. We are killing our planet and its about to the point of no return to save it. Read this book and think about it.
Profile Image for Nikki.
272 reviews4 followers
November 27, 2020
Well written, thought provoking. Just a real wow of a book. This one is going to stick with me. It is rare that an author has an impact on how a reader sees the world.
Profile Image for Catana.
101 reviews2 followers
November 29, 2020
From the October 27 issue of the Los Angeles Times Review of Books: "IT SEEMS PERVERSELY easier to tell a science fictional story about a world centuries in the future than the one just a few years away. Somehow we have become collectively convinced that massive world-historical changes are something that cannot happen in the short term..."

10:59 was written two years before the Covid-19 virus made its appearance. Only two years, and it as if the book was written yesterday.

This is the first and only book I'm aware of that faces our population bomb and its consequences squarely in the face without flinching. It's far too important to rate it down one star as I would normally do because of flaws in the writing.

Humans are commiting mass suicide in their refusal to control their own breeding. Unfortunately, they are taking the rest of life with them. Unfortunately, I have little faith that they will wake up before it is too late to save life on earth. I doubt that there will ever be a Plan B, for which I don't know whether to be sorry or thankful.

418 reviews7 followers
December 6, 2020
Realistic and Scary

Well written story about the over population of the world and the deterioration of the earth 's resources because of this over population. A fix could be to lower the population by staging a disaster or a pandemic and several scenarios are described. Great read.
Profile Image for Richard Burke.
Author 10 books18 followers
December 7, 2020
This is one of those books that makes you think. How do you solve the world's over-population problem? The solution in this book is somewhat extreme. At several points, I asked myself what I would do in the same situation.
This was an interesting take on a thorny issue wrapped up in a good story.
22 reviews
February 22, 2021
This book, 10:59 by N.R. Baker was simply chilling! It had me from the first page. Eerily, it was written two years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it echoes it in many ways. What we gave done and are doing to the planet, it’s flies and fauna, and each other is the basis for a possible solution to the world’s problem. However, what helps one may kill another. So true and so frightening.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 41 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.