Proxy by Alex LondonProxy by Alex London


byAlex London

Paperback | May 1, 2014

see the collection LGBTQ+ Sci-Fi & Fantasy

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“Put down what you’re doing and read this book. Right now. The complex characters, intricate world, and blistering pace are off-the-charts amazing.” —Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy

Syd’s life is not his own. As a proxy he must to pay for someone else's crimes. When his patron Knox crashes a car and kills someone, Syd is branded and sentenced to death. The boys realize the only way to beat the system is to save each other so they flee. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test the boys' resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay.
This fast-paced thrill ride of a novel is full of breakneck action, shocking twists and heart-hammering suspense that will have readers gasping until the very last page.

This edition includes a exclusive bonus story featuring Syd and Knox!

“Looking for an awesome YA summer read? Look no further than Alex London’s Proxy.” —

Whipping Boy + Blade Runner with a sprinkling of The Hunger Games (plus, of course, a dash of A Tale of Two Cities) = a treat for teen SF fans.” —Kirkus Reviews
Alex London writes books for adults, children and teens. At one time a journalist who traveled the world reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, he now is a full time novelist living in Brooklyn. You can visit Alex London at
Title:ProxyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.13 inPublished:May 1, 2014Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:014751133X

ISBN - 13:9780147511331


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Colour Me Impressed I'm not one for diatopians but I thought this was a cool twist and a fun adventure, the Charcters where fun and the ending was unexpected and touching. I will definitely be reading Guardian.
Date published: 2018-05-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from A Swing And A Miss I'd suggest just reading this for a good laugh. In that respect, it's hilarious. If you're going to read it seriously, on the other hand, it's just hilariously bad. The writing leaves something - sorry, a lot - to be desired. The plot starts off confusing, progresses to just plain weird, and ends up frankly ridiculous. The characters aren't even two-dimensional, they're straight up 1D with over the top dialogue that just makes every ludicrous event even more absurd. I read some snippets out to my sister as I was working my way through this and couldn't get through a single one without laughing my ass off. She enjoyed it. Honestly, just save yourself the headache and the time.
Date published: 2018-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from definitely recommend i went into the book not knowing much about it. honestly, i had bought the book because it was on sale and had a shiny cover (i know, i know, never judge a book by it's cover), and after bringing it home, it sat on my shelf for probably a good year... as do most of my books do nowadays. however, as soon as i started it -that year later- i couldn't put it down. i loved the dystopian aspect of the book, as well as the main character being gay, but it not being a huge part of it. it was mentioned, acknowledged, and then they moved on. so many books focus on the gayness and soon enough the book is just about them and their sexuality, and while books like that are needed (definitely for lgbt+ youth), it's nice to see a book that doesn't just focus on the lgbt aspect of it. you're not going to pick up the book and read it because it's a "gay book". no, it's a book with a gay protagonist that doesn't focus on his sexuality, or even romance in general. it's not a romance novel, or a gay novel. it's a sci-fi dystopian novel that's highly well written and feature lots of diversity, and has an amazing plot.
Date published: 2017-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good Enjoyed this way more than i thought i would
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quite good I liked this more than I thought I would. I liked the characters and the plot. Overall...gouda!!
Date published: 2017-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unique and Enjoyable I've been a huge fan of young adult dystopian for the past few years now, and there seems to be a sort of an inescapable formula involved from one series to the next--mostly involving the practically mandatory love triangle. This book was a refreshing deviation from what I've come to expect. Proxy delivered an original story that focused more on the friendships between the main characters, world building, and the overall tale at hand. I absolutely loved it, and highly recommend it. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great and Different 4.5 I thought that this was great. It was a diverse, interesting dystopian. I loved that the characters were diverse without the whole book being about that. They were just people who also happened to be gay, or black, or hispanic. I loved that the plot (while still being a dystopian with a chosen one) felt fresh and different, and the world felt really original. This book surprised me and I really recommend it.
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Finished it in one sitting The book is exciting and with a refreshing lack of romance and more of a focus on unlikely friendships. (although the second instalment does but I loved it just as much anyway) the story itself is unique with all sorts of emotional ups and downs somehow making me hate and then love a character within the same page of a book. I love that everyone in the story is deeply flawed in their own right, becoming more of a focus in the second book, but somehow making them more likeable and realistic.
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! I really enjoyed this novel, I will note that I did NOT enjoy the second installment in the duology as much as this first book. Both of the main characters are very well developed, the world building is intriguing until the very end, and it's also great to have a queer main character in a YA fantasy novel. I would totally recommend this to others! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Good I think this is one of my favourite futuristic dystopian novels. I loved the contrast between the lives of the two main characters, and the fact that they both wanted the same things but for completely different reasons. I also really liked the fact that is had a religious undertones but it wasn't a religious book... its hard to explain, but it really worked! I know that there is a sequel but I honestly think this book was perfect on its own.
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Concept The dystopia presented in this book is really amazing, and you just find yourself swept right into it because the very idea of a world where debts are paid by being punished in place of another person is a very new and fresh idea that haven't been explored. However, I felt that the first six chapters were actually kind of slow, as the trigger incident was descibed over those six chapters, and you learn the trigger incident from the summary. But once the speed of the book picks up and you become involved in the lives of the character, you just cannot put it down because it was very fast paced with a lot of interesting juice. You get to see Syd treated just like normal person despite his sexual orientation and Knox making hilarous comments. I also feel like the ending of the book is very suitable in keeping with the theme of paying debts. Overall, it was a good book that I enjoyed greatly, however I do wish that they restock some more in store because I am not a fan of online shopping and there are no more copies in a store near me for me to purchase a copy for a friend's birthday.
Date published: 2016-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved it! i bought this book a while ago and i really liked it. the characters personalities are very realistic despite the distopian future setting. I also really liked that the author didn't make Syd flamboyant and that his sexual orientation wasn't focused on; he was described and treated by the other characters like a normal person and i really liked that. Other than that, the story itself its pretty interesting and there's many plot twists but it all fits together in the end. I can't wait to read the sequel.
Date published: 2015-01-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Kinda Meh I'm surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. I'm not even sure that I did enjoy it. I loved the concept, loved the idea of it. A world where debts are bought and sold in exchange for people getting away with murder by way of a Proxy. It was different, a unique story, and I loved that idea. I loved the characters- Sid was so real. He wasn't the stereotypical Hollywood gay man, he was the gay men sitting beside you on the bus who you wouldn't really know was gay unless he told you. And he made an amazing hero. He was a coward where a normal person would be, being someone who balked at the injustices of his society. He was afraid of what would happen to him when his patron did something so awful that he would be asked to pay up a major amount for his crimes. He was selfish in a horribly human way, and it made me truly enjoy reading about him, and his story. However, what has me confused is the writing. The story was amazing, the characters so fundamentally brilliant that I was able to see them as real people, but for some reason the writing made me want to hate this book. It actually took a few days AFTER having finished it for me to wrap my head around things entirely, and I'm still not sure I actually liked the book. But this title is definitely worth giving a shot. Maybe I'm just feeling off about it because I'm not a teenager, and it was written for teens. Pick it up and form your own opinion of it.
Date published: 2013-09-06

Read from the Book

PROXY    By Alex London         “Both were being denied their childhoods: the prince by a smothering excess of privilege, [the whipping boy] by none at all.”—Sid Fleischman   “In the… landscape ahead, you will either create the software or you will be the software.” —Douglas Rushkoff1 Even a perfect machine wasn’t built to go this fast. Knox knew it, but still he pressed harder on the accelerator. Ripples of heat blurred the air around the car, and the girl in the passenger seat squealed. Terror? Delight? Did it matter? He took a turn too sharply, felt the stabilizer engine straining. His windshield lit up with warnings: lane markers flashing red, speed indicators blinking. Sweat beaded on his upper lip, but the car held the road. “R U glitched?” popped up in his datastream in translucent green letters. He could see through them to the pavement, but they were impossible to ignore. He glanced at the girl, giggling to cover her nerves. They curved up the speedway, slicing like heat lightning over the slums of the Lower City, past the blast-barriers and security fences, rising higher and higher. There were parts of the Mountain City you just didn’t go if you were lux, parts you didn’t even see. The city below them blurred. The city beside them gleamed. Knox accelerated. “srsly?!” blinked double-sized in front of Knox, each letter wiggling and changing colors. The font was chunky; the y swished like a cat’s tail. Very retro. Probably custom made for her by some trendy for-hire coder. Her hands waved in the air in front of the windshield, swiping out another text.“ :) ” she added. Suddenly, her smiley face vanished. “Reduce Speed…Reduce Speed…Reduce Speed…” scrolled in front of Knox in an unfriendly industrial font. All the road signs and advertisements now said the same thing: “Danger Danger Danger.” Knox waved off the Augmented Reality hook up. You weren’t supposed to be able to turn it off, but Knox had yet to find a security system he couldn’t hack. AR driving was for amateurs and accountants anyway. He gunned the car forward. The speed pressed him against the auto-cooled leather seats. “You even know how to drive?” the girl cried out loud, her voice shrill and excited. Knox didn’t say a word. He liked to let the growl of the engine do the talking. He also couldn’t remember the girl’s name. Amy? Pam? Something old fashioned. He shot her another glance, his emerald eyes flashing mischief. He smirked. That usually did the trick. She was new in Mr. Kumar’s History of Robotics class, a transfer from home schooling. She liked the animations Knox hacked onto the public display on top of their teacher’s scowling face. Sometimes Knox gave Mr. Kumar devil horns or a top hat or made it look like he was lecturing them from a seedy strip club in the lower city. The girl had complimented Knox’s work on her first day at school. Mr. Kumar never had any idea his image had been hacked. He just talked away from his wood paneled office at EduCorp. He couldn’t figure out why the kids always laughed so hard at his lectures. Not that he could do anything about it. They were all paying customers and could laugh all they wanted. That was a perk of going to a top-tier Patron school. The customer was always right. Knox had a knack for hacking datastreams, but school wasn’t really his thing. He could do the work when he wanted, when he had the right motivation, but grades weren’t it. A girl, any girl really, now that was good motivation. Curvy, skinny, smart, dumb, Retroprep or NeoBuddhist, Causegirl or Partygirl, it didn’t matter to him. They all had something beautiful in them. He loved finding out what it was. And they loved letting him. Knox knew his assets. With a few little hacks of a holo projection or two, a green-eyed wink and a lop-sided smirk, he could get most girls to do anything. Well, almost anything. Absolutely anything would take this drive in the borrowed silver CX-30 and an after-hours tour of the Patron’s Zoo on the edge of the city. Girls loved extinct animals, didn’t they? Scare them with a few hairpin turns, show them a live polar bear and some real penguins and then, cue the melting into his arms. This wasn’t his first time down this road. “You ready to meet a polar bear?” he asked her. She giggled again. “What’s so funny? Polar bears were deadly creatures. Carnivorous, fearless, and wild. You have to be careful around them.” “Sounds like someone I know.” “Me?” he feigned innocence. “I’m harmless as a puppy dog.” “Yeah, but are you housebroken?” Oh yes, Knox liked this one. Emily? Ann? Sue? He couldn’t ask her now. If they were at one his father’s parties he could introduce her to people, get her to say her name to the Vice President of Birla Nanotech or something. But it was just the two of them in the car and it would be just the two of them at the zoo. What did names matter, anyway? Knox didn’t plan to do much talking. He swiped through his datastream, clutching the wheel with just his palms, and locked onto a holo of a long-faced puppy, its tail wagging and its little pink tongue hanging out. It bounded to her side of the windshield and licked her in 3D. She laughed. It was an old stock pic; he’d used it a thousand times before, but it never failed him. She waved her fingers around the glowing projection in the air and tossed a text back to Knox. CUTE, lit up on the windshield in front of him. She wasn’t just talking about the puppy. Knox half-smiled and bit down on his lower lip. She noticed. He was watching the road, but he knew that she noticed. Alice? Debbie? Her mother was on one of those Benevolent Committees. Saving the orphans or matching organ donors or something. Maybe both. They’d go well together. Her father was a mining executive for one of the big firms, data not dirtware. The real value was in data. He was a client of Knox’s father’s company, but that didn’t narrow it down much. Everyone was a client of Knox’s father’s company. Her father was bald, right? Knox thought he remembered a shiny bald head when he’d met the man. Must be nostalgia, like her old fashioned name. No one with money needed to go bald. He was probably a history buff. Or was that the last girl’s father? It was hard to keep these fathers and their hobbies straight. Charming fathers was so much more work than charming their daughters, with so much less reward. The girl’s family must have some cred. You couldn’t get into their high school without paying for it, no outside sponsors allowed. And you couldn’t get eyes like hers without some serious biotech. They practically glowed purple. Her dark hair also had a hint of purple, probably designed to match. The DNA install for that kind of work must have been a nightmare for the coders who wrote it. Very lux. Knox eased on the straightaway. He was way above the suggested maximum speed, and he was way below the suggested minimum age. He’d stolen company property from his father’s private lot; he’d violated the restricted speedway, violated driving regulations. He planned to do some more violating before the night was over. In the end, someone would have to pay for it. Everything costs. But really, who would set the access code to a brand new CX-30 Roadster as 1-2-3-4-5 and not expect his son to take it for spin? If anyone was to blame, it was his father. Knox was sixteen. He was just doing what came naturally. Like the polar bears. And look where that got them. “What’s so funny?” the girl asked, seeing Knox chuckle. “Just thinking about polar bears,” he said and he reached over to squeeze her thigh. That was his first mistake. The next two came in quick succession. The car swerved slightly toward the guardrail when he took his right hand off the wheel. At that speed, on manual drive, it took both hands to keep the vehicle straight. He’d have known that if he had ever taken a manual driving class. He hadn’t. He overcompensated for the swerve, jerking the wheel toward the center lane. That was his second mistake. His heart skipped a beat as he felt himself losing control. If he hadn’t shut off the augmented reality driving, it would have taken over right then. These cars drove themselves if you let them. Instead, he tried to brake. Mistake number three. An alarm sounded. The car jackknifed, spun sideways, and flipped over at 162 mph. Airborne. The stabilizer engine screeched helplessly at the sky. Or maybe that was the girl. He felt the car hit the ground and roll. The entire universe shattered into blinking lights and screaming metal. He heard a crunch, a snap of bone. He felt like he’d been punched in the throat. There was heat, an intense heat, and an invisible fist pulled the air out of his lungs and ripped the sound from his ears. He couldn’t hear anything now, no screaming, no screeching, just the blood rushing to his head. He thought he was upside down. Twisted metal pinned his arms to his sides. He felt the urge to laugh. There was a warm wetness on his face and he tasted something metallic. And then darkness.

Editorial Reviews

Rave Reviews for Proxy“I fell in love with this story from the first sentence to the final, epic page. London is a force to be reckoned with.” —Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy “A fast-paced dystopian novel which should appeal to readers of the Hunger Games.” —VOYA “Not only is Proxy an edge-of-your-seat literary thrill ride, it’s an important and groundbreaking novel as well…London has crafted a true tour de force.” —Matt de la Peña, author of Mexican White Boy  “A big twist and heroic ending will leave readers eager for more” —Shelf Awareness “Offering intriguing moral dilemmas amid breakneck action…The matter-of-fact presence of a gay lead [Syd] in an action driven story is welcome and overdue.” —Publishers Weekly “An action-packed thrill ride.” —SLJ