A Too-Real Dystopian // REVIEW: Numbercaste by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Title: Numbercaste
Author: Yudhanjaya Wijeratne 
Publication Date: December 5th 2018
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: HarperCollins India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Flipkart
Blurb Description: When Patrick Udo is offered a marketing job at NumberCorp, he packs his bags and leaves for Silicon Valley. After all, the 2030s are a difficult time, and jobs are rare.
Little does he know that he's joining one of the most ambitious undertakings of his time. NumberCorp is hell-bent on building a new world order - one where everyone's social circles are quantified, their activities examined, and their importance distilled into the all-powerful Number. A society where everything from your home, to your education, to your job depends on an app that shows exactly how important you are. A utopia of truth and order.
As NumberCorp rises in power and in influence, the questions start coming in. What would you do to build the perfect state? And how far, exactly, is too far?


A novel set a few decades in the future where a number that calculates everything you are, especially your social influence online, determines your lifestyle, job, restaurants you can eat at and where you live, to say the least? Told through the eyes of a photojournalist and content writer who worked at the company that revolutionized society, for better or worse? SIGN ME UP.

If you can’t already tell, I absolutely loved how exciting the premise of Numbercaste sounded and I dove in as soon as I could. Starting in 2030, and following the rise of Numbercorp for a decade and a half, this book felt more real than dystopian because, well, WE ALREADY LIVE IN A WORLD SIMILAR TO THIS ONE, at least at the beginning.

There were a lot of things I really liked about Numbercaste and other things I didn’t like too much. Let me break it down:

THINGS I LIKED:

1.       THE PLOT: HOLY WOW. The plot of this novel or, rather, the concept behind it was REAL AND ALSO SLIGHTLY INSANE. It was so strange to read about a system in the future like it was a dystopian while also realising that we are probably a few automatic software updates from getting to where a number controls your life.

2.       THE PHOTOGRAPHY: As a photography student, I loved how important this was to our main character and content writer at Numbercorp, Patrick Udo. I loved how he described what he felt while looking through the lens, and also about the photographs he took

3.       THE WEB-SERIES: This was probably my favourite part in the series, when the idea to create a webseries to show the power of the number truly came out. The pace picked up, and I could see some inspiration driving Patrick Udo, not just going along with whatever the job through at him.


THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE SO MUCH:

1.       THE PACE: THIS BOOK WAS SO SLOW. It felt more like I was reading a long LONG article, rather than a dramatic dystopian book. I loved the concept of the book, and because of that, I expected the pace and writing style to be completely different. This was sort oft old through flashbacks and journalist pieces, but despite being in a company that was slowly  
taking over the world, Patrick Udo’s narration of it all was JUST SO DULL.

2.       DID I SAY THE PACE?

3.       THE PACE (!)

Would I recommend this book? I would’ve been giving this a five star rating if this was paced better, and the writing left for things to be more dramatic – AT LEAST A LITTLE – but I’d recommend that you borrow this one instead

Yudhanjaya Wijeratne
Yudhanjaya Wijeratne is a data researcher and a former journalist. He's run news operations, designed games, and fallen off cliffs (most of these things by accident), but he's known in his native Sri Lanka for sparking political commentary under the Icaruswept moniker.

What are some of your favourite dystopian novels?
Have you read a book like Numbercaste?
Let me know in the comments below!
 

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