Chase Stern, a Proxy Review Officer (PRO) has been assigned the regulation of the Proxy Industry, an industry that has been charged with the care, education and cultivation of the countries children, allowing the adults to “Maximize” themselves unhindered.
In this dystopian setting, Chase finds himself plagued with guilt and is determined to dedicate his life to righting the wrongs the “Maximization” system has created, a system he no longer identifies with. Insightfully, the author exposes the vast differences between poverty stricken Suburbs, where the lost and often dangerous youth reside and are “proxied”, to the Inner Cities, where privileged youth receive distinct advantages in care and education. In his quest, Chase is forced to expose the Governments cover-up of a horrible consequence of “maximization”- widespread child abuse and neglect.
In a radical reform of the existing and failed system, a new plan is effected, one involving the removal of all children under the age of eighteen to remote facilities in an attempt to reprogram and indoctrinate them for a better, more functional society. Children from the suburbs are conjoined with privileged children in an attempt to level the playing field, so that no child would have an existence without opportunity. Fast forward three years later, these children are expected to return home, but with an unforeseen outcome.
This is a powerfully told story that raises many social issues familiar to all of us. In the telling, it’s also brought home to the reader that there are no easy answers to any of these issues. The characters are well developed, the plot unfolds brilliantly, ending with an unexpected twist. Definitely a thought provoking read and one I would highly recommend.