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The pulse-pounding sequel to Proxy! Inspired by The Whipping Boy and Feed, this adrenaline-fueled thriller will appeal to fans of The Maze Runner and Divergent.

Once a proxy, now the figurehead of the Revolution, Syd is a savior to some and a target for others. His bodyguard Liam must protect Syd with his life but armed Machinists aren’t the only danger in the post-Jubilee world. A horrible disease is infecting people and since Guardians are hit first ...

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The pulse-pounding sequel to Proxy! Inspired by The Whipping Boy and Feed, this adrenaline-fueled thriller will appeal to fans of The Maze Runner and Divergent.

Once a proxy, now the figurehead of the Revolution, Syd is a savior to some and a target for others. His bodyguard Liam must protect Syd with his life but armed Machinists aren’t the only danger in the post-Jubilee world. A horrible disease is infecting people and since Guardians are hit first the government does nothing to help. Syd decides it's up to him to find a cure. . . And what he discovers leaves him stunned.

This heart-stopping thriller is packed with volatile action and breathtaking heroics that will have readers racing to its epic conclusion.

“Off-the-charts amazing.” —Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy
“Nonstop action and breakneck pace characterize this exceptional thriller…thought-provoking and breathtaking.” —VOYA

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Jamie Hansen
In a former life, Syd (Sydney) Carton was a proxy, a nonperson with a name selected from an old book, forced to repay his crushing debt by serving as the whipping boy for a spoiled, wealthy young patron. Now the old system of credits, debts, and tech has crashed, leaving a post-Revolution dystopian society where the sinister Advisory Council rules, young Purifiers maintain order, and cultist Machinists plot to revive the technology-rich past. In this bleak and broken world, Syd, now known as Yovel, has become the reluctant symbol of the Jubilee. His enigmatic bodyguard, Liam, can protect him from armed Machinists but is powerless against a horrific disease spreading through the population. First to fall victim are the Guardians, heavily bio-engineered enforcers of the old system. As the government refuses to seek a cure, the disease spreads to the old elite class and threatens to become a pandemic. Syd decides he must act to find the cure. Nonstop action and breakneck pace characterize this exceptional thriller. London provides his audience with an intricate plot, enriched by fine world-building and believable characters. The ample backstory will enable readers to enjoy Guardian without having read Proxy (Penguin, 2013/Voya June 2013), although most will want to read these in sequence. This thought-provoking and breathtaking novel belongs in all collections serving young adults. Reviewer: Jamie Hansen; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—London creates an intricately high tech world in which the heroes find themselves on an action-packed quest to save humanity from a zombielike illness and thoroughly corrupt government. After the Jubilee and change in governments, Syd reluctantly finds himself the icon of the Reconciliation with a lovelorn bodyguard, Liam. Syd and Liam race against time and villains, all the while falling in love. This dystopian Detroit has the usual trappings of science fiction—hovercrafts, new ecosystems, gadgets—and the ideals of growing one's own food, communal property, equality, and the evil of debt. Much like Mao's Great Leap Forward (complete with a bedridden gangster leader and illegal "covetous" thoughts), people suffer while the government knowingly feeds off their misery. The message lacks subtlety: absolute power corrupts absolutely. This maxim is illustrated by the Council wittingly allowing people to die of the zombielike illness because the cure requires the rebuilding of the machine that once held them captive to corporations. The Council will destroy themselves if need be; they refuse to return to the old ways. Yet Syd and Liam are willing to fight to the death. Regrettably, Syd seems to have lost some of his moxy, and both characters are fairly two-dimensional, but Proxy (Philomel, 2012) fans will be satisfied with the constant action and the conclusion to Syd's story.—Laura Falli, McNeil High School, Austin, TX
Kirkus Reviews
It's a grave new world when the revolution a reluctant hero inspired could mean the death of everyone he tried to save, including himself. In this sequel to Proxy (2013), radical groups form in the wake of the Jubilee. The Reconciliation staunchly endorses tech-free purity, while Machinists demand a renaissance of the networks. Reluctant 16-year-old hero Syd is paraded as a political puppet, labeled a savior by supporters and marked a target by the opposition. His importance as a mascot for the Reconciliation necessitates a bodyguard, 17-year-old Liam. Liam is strong (he has a killer metal hand), silent (too shy for vocal eloquence) and will do anything to remain near Syd for reasons other than professional integrity. Amid political upheaval, an illness begins to spread, rendering victims' blue blood black and diminishing their mental faculties. Syd has been a hesitant political figure but knows he is the only hope for ending the illness. Proxy should be read first to fully comprehend this sequel's complex conflict and characters. Though Book 1 established Syd's homosexuality, he experienced only unrequited crushes. Here, Liam's affection for Syd and Syd's reluctance to perpetuate emotional attachment ("everyone I ever cared about has died") is more foreground than back story. Don't assume for a second that romance takes away from the volatile action and high-stakes tension. Corrupt powers, budding romance, an epidemic and grisly action synthesize to sate sci-fi fans. (Science fiction. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399165764
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/29/2014
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 91,949
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

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 him at or follow him on Twitter @ca_london.

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Read an Excerpt


At night, they disposed of the bodies. There was no ceremony, no ritual, no remembrance.

“They’re human,” some argued.

“They were human,” said others. “Now they’re meat.”

“We have to study the infection,” said the doctor.

“We have to contain it,” said the counselor and gave her orders. “Burn the bodies.”

A work detail was tasked with the burning. One by one, in the dead of night, green uniforms with white masks hauled corpses to the pile. The corpses were webbed with black veins, their entire network of blood vessels visible through the pale skin. Dried blood obscured their faces and each had a single hole in the temple by the eyes, where the killing bolt went in. They were put down like livestock, burned like sacrifices.

As the bodies crackled, the doctor watched the flames, her face half in shadow, half dancing in firelight. “I believe there is a cure for this,” she said.

The counselor, standing beside her, nodded, but did not turn to look her way. “Your cure is worse than the disease.”

“You believe that?”

“It’s the truth. Your way is treason.”

“You’re in denial,” the doctor said. “This is going to get worse if we don’t stop it.”

“It’s a new world, Doctor,” the counselor replied. “We can’t turn back the clock.”

“Even to save people’s lives?”

“These”—the counselor gestured at the bodies—“are not people.”

“If it spreads?”

“Is it spreading?”

The doctor watched the young members of the work detail tossing the bodies on the pyre. They moved with the assurance of youth, the kind of attitude that allowed them to stare infection and death in the face and believe it would never touch them. “I don’t know.”

“It is your job to know.”

“I can hardly understand it. The blood turns against the body. Itching, burning. Then, expulsion. Half of them bleed out.”

“And the other half?”

The doctor clenched her jaw. “They haven’t bled out yet.”

“They are in pain?”

“They can’t communicate, but we have to restrain them to keep them from scratching their skin off with their fingernails.” The doctor sighed. “So, yes, they are in pain.”

“Put them out of their misery,” the counselor ordered.

“But, we can still learn—”

“Those are the orders.” The counselor walked away, two green uniforms trailing her into the jungle. The doctor took off her white smock, pulled the blue gloves from her hands with a loud synthetic snap, and stood before the flames. She watched her latest failed experiments turn to smoke and ash in the bonfire, every bit of blood boiled away, with all the information it might have contained.

She had ideas, dangerous to share; but if she didn’t find a way, she feared, this sickness would go further than any of them could imagine. She would record a message in case she failed. She hoped that someone would still be alive to receive it.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014


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    Posted September 5, 2014

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