Book Review: Moxyland by Lauren Beukes
The setting of Moxyland is a near future dystopia. It’s a world that’s very easy to believe because the technology and social trends are so similar to our own. It’s not difficult to imagine advertising or mobile phones being used in the ways described here which makes this at times an uncomfortable read. The story is set in South Africa which I am not familiar with at all so I’m sure there were some cultural references that went over my head but it makes for a much more interesting setting than most standard sci-fi distopias.
Moxyland introduces us to four young characters all rebelling in their own way against the corporate controlled world that they live in. You get the impression that these characters are simply bored and are just playing with the idea of revolution, their motivations are not always clear. None of them are particularly likeable but to the credit of Lauren Beukes’s writing by the end of the relatively short novel I had come to care for all of them.
The story is told through alternating perspectives with short chapters which gives a nice pace to the story and always keeps things moving forward. To start with it’s not easy to pin down what the book is about or where the story is going, it appears to be more interested in using the characters to explore the different aspects of the world. I found the middle section of the story to be a little too slow but as the plot moves on the various stories all draw towards each other and culminate in a very powerful ending. Moxyland raises a lot of questions about how we use technology and the length’s corporations will go to get what they want. Like all good science fiction it doesn’t offer any easy answers, simply asking the questions is more important. This book gave me plenty to think about and will stay with me for a while.