Thursday, 27 September 2018


Title: We See Everything
Author: William Sutcliffe
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens, Bloomsbury Publishing.
Release Date: 9th August 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
Lex lives on The Strip – the overcrowded, closed-off, bombed-out shell of London. He’s used to the watchful enemy drones that buzz in the air above him. 

Alan’s talent as a gamer has landed him the job of his dreams. At a military base in a secret location, he is about to start work as a drone pilot. 

These two young men will never meet, but their lives are destined to collide. Because Alan has just been assigned a high-profile target. Alan knows him only as #K622. But Lex calls him Dad.


I fancied reading something from a dystopian genre and found this book set in a divided post-apocalyptic London. When you think about all the security cameras in our present society, this really makes the blurb of this book not such a fantastical idea. I mean camera’s watching your every move, monitoring everything you do, who you speak to, where you do your shopping, what you buy etc.

I have seen two different covers for this book so far. I have pictured them both below and commented on each cover, it would be interesting to see who prefers which one. Both of the covers feature an eye prominently on them.
The palest cover is in a cream colour and everything within the eye is orange as if the sky is on fire! There is also a figure caught within the eye on what seems to be a background of ruined buildings. There is also an aircraft of some sort in the orange sky. All of this makes perfect sense when you read the book.
The other cover which I initially said I preferred has the main colour of orange, and is more simplistic to the other cover and seems to make more of the eye symbol. The cover still features the eye and the person within it being watched.
After reading the book, I do like both covers. I think they are both eye catching and would stand out on a bookstore shelf well. Though I should admit after reading the book my favourite cover is the one with the white background. It represents the book and its contents down to the little details featured on the cover.
The genres I have seen listed for this book are Sci-Fi, Literary fiction, Teens, YA and Dystopian which all fit well. I would also add that it has post-apocalyptic elements too.

The city is a very dangerous place to live and the government have divided London. On one side there is Lex whose dad is suddenly becoming more important to the rebels who are planning some sort of revolt. Lex being trained as a messenger for The Corp. His job is to deliver messages from one Corp member to another, he doesn’t ask questions and he has to quick on his feet. He must learn all about different routes to take to throw those who are watching off his trail. and he should never ask questions about the messages. Messengers should not speak about the messages they deliver, or whom they deliver them rom and to. They are also not supposed to speak to other messengers. Though in one part of the book, an older, more experienced messenger talks to Lex and gives him tips to make money by selling contraband goods. It’s whilst selling these goods, which happen to be highly sought after cigarettes that Lex meets Zoe whom he feels immediately drawn to. Zoe is working on the patch Lex begins to sell his cigarettes. It’s a busy section of road, with traffic lights, so when vehicles stop the “vendors” literally pounce attempting to sell various items to them. From the cigarettes Lex sells, to Zoe’s Lollipops, there is even a guy washing windscreens trying to make some money to live on. Lex should have permission for the man who runs this patch but because he is a Messenger for The Corp, so to an extent he is “untouchable” and so permitted to sell wherever he wishes.

On the other side of London and “life” is Alan who works at The Base. He operates the drones. Alan still lives at home with his mother who doesn’t seem to approve of where he works anymore. His mother doesn’t want her son operating a drone, observing people. When she learns that he has been promoted and chosen to control an armed drone she begs him to stay at home, to not go to work, to change his job. However, Alan is all caught up in the camaraderie within the Base. He also has his eyes set on a female he has seen at the base who he would like to impress. You can safely say that Alan is somewhat carried away with the importance of his job and hasn’t really thought through that whenever he presses that button he will kill real people, its not just a video game, or a boring people watching, observation job. He may press that button and could not only kill his target, there could be collateral damage and deaths. Alan becomes quite attached to the man’s family whom he has been watching and reporting on. Alan knows the man whom he only refers to as a number in his reports is a member of The Corp, who wish to revolt against the government. It is part of Alan’s job to gather evidence of where the rebel meetings are held, as well as how the individual rebels communicate with each other. Alan accepts that he may be the one who presses the button and kills the man, but he hasn’t fully thought out the fact that when he is ordered to press the button that delivers the bomb that kills the man he may also be killing this man’s family whom he has become so attached to. This man has a son, who looks around Alan’s age, he also has a wife and daughter. Can Alan press the button that launches
the bomb that will kill them and anyone around them too?

I enjoyed looking at the two differing views on the same city and what life is like for both Lex and Alan. Lex and Alan may be working for opposing sides but as you read more about them you are surprised to learn they have a lot of similarities such as inexperience and lack of confidence with girls. They both have jobs where they have to do as they are instructed no question asked. They perform duties without questioning, or knowing why or what the end result is and how it will affect everyone.
At one point in the book Lex has to choose whether to listen to his father and stay close to home or to keep his date with Zoe. His decision over what you may think is a trivial choice ends up drastically changing what could/should have been.

I really liked both of the main characters, although Lex and Alan are on opposing sides of this “war” I feel in a different setting they could possibly have been very good friends. Both Lex and Alan are, in my opinion victims of circumstance and of which side of the divided London they live on.

At the end of the book there is an “after the event” catch up with the characters which I found quite interesting and enjoyed reading. I loved that this was a story of one place, London. It is a London divided and as the reader we hear the two sides to the story and the divided London through Lex and Alan.

I felt the book was a little stilted in places but perhaps it was meant to be that way. The book was certainly thought provoking and had me making possible similarities between the book and the possibilities of this actually occurring in our present day. I suppose I am trying to say this book is eerily realistic fiction!

Which cover do you prefer?

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