I WAS SENT A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK BY THE AUTHOR IN RETURN FOR AN UNBIASED AND FAIR REVIEW
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?
What I thought
Going into this book I didn’t know what to expect, I love books set in a dystopia world that is clearly collapsing in on itself and I love ex-cop redemption stories (although I haven’t read any for ages), this one combined both of those aspects and I was looking forward to reading it. Especially because it’s a genre that I haven’t read for a while and it’s always nice to flip things up a bit and read something different.
This has the pacing of a YA with vital differences, there is still plenty of time put towards world building and to seeing how society reached this point. A lot of YA books are like riding a roller coaster as they go from one thing to another without breathing room, and while there were plenty of twists, turns, and flips there were still moments to rest before it started up again. But brilliantly those moments were only just long enough, you have a second to grab your breath and then have to hold on tight for the next set of loop-the-loops.
Hogan is a wonderful character who is a lot more complex than he looks as he desperately tries to hold onto some sort of moral code in a world where you have to be willing to do anything to survive. As an ex-cop with PTSD his options are limited so the offer to train for the National Security Council is a massive deal and when the recruits are told that only one person while pass it turns the camaraderie into animosity when they realise that they are all rivals. Where basic training is supposed to teach you how to work as a team, this one spins that one its head; yes work as a team but you still need to look out for number one.
And the tests are hell – these are tests which are designed to fail. If you are only taking one person on you don’t want tests where most people will pass them, you want tests where most people will fail them so you can cut down the numbers quickly.
I’m struggling to work out what to say about this book that isn’t a spoiler but what I can say is it’s full of conspiracy theories and who the ‘good guys’ are is constantly changing. It forces you to look at your biases which can only be a good thing. Hogan’s ‘downfall’ in this book is the fact that he’s an independent thinker and isn’t someone who just takes orders. He has everything the National Security Council is looking for and is quite clearly one of the best candidates but he’s smart enough to look for different ways out and to not just take things at face value. But he’s also desperate which allows him to turn a blind eye if that will help him reach his goal. He grows over the book and his morals only get stronger the more he learns.
In a sci-fi dystopia it’s normally morals and fair laws that are the first to go, it becomes about survival. ‘Kill Code’ starts at that point but also includes hope and the belief that it is possible to control the crowd and the desperate. Where it ends up however… … but this isn’t a blog that includes spoilers so I’ll just leave it at that 🙂
Why I read it
I was sent a free copy of this book for review but I was interested because I’m a sucker for dystopian/pre-acpolopytical crime stories. Seriously I don’t read anywhere near as many as I used to but there is just something about people trying to keep order when the world is going to shit that I love. Also the scale of how badly humanity can screw it up is always impressive.
I really enjoyed the twists and turns and how I was constantly having to evaluate what I thought was happening as I learnt more about what was going on.
If it was a film (and I think it would work well as a film) it would be edge-of-your-seat gripping and you wouldn’t be able to look away from the screen to blink for fear of missing something. Just like the world it is set in Hogan’s a much more complex character than he first appears and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for him in the next book.
Also Hogan’s two biggest contenders for the place on the National Security Council are 1) an arse and 2) a badass woman who isn’t willing to take any shit from the arse or anyone else.
Did I enjoy it? Yup
Would I read it again? Probably, I definitely want to read the next in the series.
Am I glad I read it? Yeah, I would necessarily have discovered its existance if I wan’t sent it, and that would have been a pity.
Would I recommend? Yup. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but if this review made you at least a little bit interested then I think you should definitely give it a try.
PopSugar: Should be turned into a film, two word title.
Thanks to Clive Fleury for sending me a copy of his book, I’m looking forward to reading the next one and definitely think this would make a good film in the future. I want to see Hogan on the big screen.
Let me know what you think or if you’ve read any similar books. This is a sub genre that I want to get back into again and Kill Code just reminded me how much I enjoy crime/thriller dystopia.
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P.S The next review is ‘Super Awkward’ by Beth Garrod