The One Percenters
By John Podgursky
Source: Review copy received from the author
My Rating: 3 / 5
Here is the book summary from Goodreads:
Natural selection has become unnatural. Having dealt with the vicious murder of his wife, Edward Caine takes his rightful place as a One-Percenter, eliminating those not fit for the human race. He must fight his instinct to use his role for revenge; he is after those who live on only because of money and medicine. The weak-gened are not fit to breed, and it’s the job of Edward and his brethren to see that they don’t. But can he finish the job before his own mind betrays him? He is an agent of the Earth. He is a One-Percenter.
I was intrigued by the idea behind this book. It turned out to be a quick read, but I just couldn’t get into it the way I wanted to. I found it very difficult to connect with Edward, possibly because of the first-person narrative. Edward has some views on the world that I don’t particularly agree with, such as his constant use of the words ‘slut’ and ‘bitch’ when talking about women.
While there are other characters in the book, they come and go pretty quickly, and so the only character the reader really spends time with is Edward. If you like him, that might not be so bad, but I simply couldn’t sympathize for or connect with him.
I think the author wanted to challenge the reader’s way of thinking about our modern society – or at least, Edward Caine wanted to. I appreciate a different point of view, particularly when it makes me look at things differently myself, but Edward didn’t seem to be walking the talk. While he believed that he had a true purpose and was ridding the world of those who he saw as unfit to breed, it seemed to me that he was randomly killing people and as such, it was difficult to get behind his cause.
That said, there were things I liked about the book. For example, there are twists to the story that I didn’t see coming, and I appreciated that the book wasn’t predictable.
While the story didn’t really hook me, it was very well written. In particular, I liked the scene early on that takes place at a lake with a friend of his. The descriptions are very well done and although the book is short, the writing does not feel rushed. Every now and then I would read a line that was so well-written, I would actually pause and think, Wow, that was good.
While this book may not have been for me, I think it will definitely appeal to people who like psychological thrillers and social commentary. If that’s you, I would recommend that you give this book a chance.