84K by Claire North

January 2022

Like Doggerland, this was another book I went into completely cold, having no idea what it was about or what to expect. And like Doggerland, I was surprised, engrossed, and ultimately quite moved by it.

I was reminded of several different things while reading 84K: The Children of Men, The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again, Snow Crash, even 28 Days Later. The book’s deeply dystopian, soggy post-Brexit Britain vibe chimed with those works in various ways.

The world it depicts seems almost comically exaggerated at first, but it soon becomes increasingly and terrifyingly believable. The book is fairly grim and miserable, and it takes some very dark turns indeed, but it’s also got an adventurous spirit and a heart, and the ending was surprisingly satisfying. I wasn’t entirely convinced by some of the stylistic choices, and the structure of the narrative required a bit of pondering on my part as well, but overall I was impressed and really enjoyed reading this.

Further reading…