To survive you need people watching you, following your every move. That’s the only currency now: being interesting, being liked … And, of course, you have to update every fifteen minutes. It means everyone knows where you are, what you’re doing; it means that there are no secrets…
Everybody watches everyone else; nothing is hidden. And for those who fail to ‘update’ every fifteen minutes, the consequences are deadly. Evie and Raffy may have escaped the City but they still fear for their lives. Now the only person who can help them is Frankie, a total stranger, the most popular girl in the world, watched every second by millions of people. But Frankie has other ideas…
And all the time, Lucas is waiting desperately for word from Evie, word that she is coming back to him.
Raffy has betrayed his friends, allowing Thomas to take Evie, Linus, Benjamin, and himself captive. They are taken to Paris, to the headquarters of Infotec–the company that controls the world. Infotec watches everyone, and everyone watches everyone. The more Watchers you have, the richer you are. Only, if someone forgets to update every fifteen minutes, Infotec gets nasty. Start updating about matters Infotec doesn’t want anyone knowing about, and they get even nastier.
Thomas has all but total world domination, and Linus and Raffy are tasked with building Thomas a new System that will help him reach that goal. But when Frankie, most watched girl in the world, socialite, and former serious blogger, gets an anonymous message claiming that the U.K. isn’t really the nuclear wasteland that everyone thinks it is, everything starts to change.
I liked the way Malley applied modern day obsession with social media in Infotec’s futuristic world. Being popular is the only form of currency, and having a low Watcher number means not only being less popular, but not being able to afford nice things either. It also took on a new level of Orwellian creepy because everyone is required to update every fifteen minutes so that Infotec can check in on where they are and what they’re doing.
Raffy was a little bit difficult for me to figure out in this book. After reading an entire book where he was jealous, angry and childlike (and having him betray everyone he cares about at the end), it seemed implausible that he would have a change of heart, but I think a lot of his jealousy just came from his fear of losing those around him. He tightened his grip and lashed out at everyone, and then realized he lost everything, so he did what he could to do the right thing.
Frankie was a really interesting character. She has all these different sides; she comes off as incredibly confident, even rude because she’s used to having everything handed to her, sometimes she can seem vapid and naive because she’s just a silly socialite, but deep down, she’s really an incredibly independent girl who’s still struggling to find herself.
Evie was a little hum drum in this book. All I really got out of her was how much she wanted to get back to Lucas. Vice versa, all I really got from Lucas was how much he missed Evie. Then when they reunited, FIREWORKS. I thought this could have been developed a little more.
The System was a great conclusion to Malley’s The Killables trilogy. It was very engaging and kept me interested through the end of the book, and I would recommend the entire series to anyone who loves dystopian novels and science fiction. I give this book four out of five stars.