The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
I picked this book in large part due to that cover and despite the message in this story being that you can’t judge on appearances it did work for me as the story was every bit as stunning and perfect as that cover.
It’s a fast paced and exciting story with one heck of a hook that keeps you guessing until the very end. There’s a great mix of characters and a few different plot lines which all converge to an edge of the seat finale.
A fantastic start to an enthralling new series.
Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.
A thousand-storey tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible – if you want it enough.
A hundred years in the future, New York’s elite of the super-tower lie, backstab and betray each other to find their place at the top of the world. Everyone wants something… and everyone has something to lose.
As the privileged inhabitants of the upper floors recklessly navigate the successes and pitfalls of the luxury life, forbidden desires are indulged and carefree lives teeter on the brink of catastrophe. Whilst lower-floor workers are tempted by a world – and unexpected romance – dangling just out of reach. And on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all – yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.
So when a young woman falls from the top of the supertower, her death is the culmination of a scandal that has ensnared the top-floor elite and bottom-floor. But who plummeted from the roof? And what dark secrets led to her fall?
Friends will be betrayed and enemies forged as promises are broken. When you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down…
This is a book that starts with a bang, or to be more accurate a fall from a great height, as a girl plummets from the top of a thousand-storey building. It certainly makes for a dramatic beginning and had me instantly hooked. Who was it and why? These questions plagued me throughout the story as it jumps back to a short period before, and the events leading up to it, leaving you guessing throughout just which character takes that fateful tumble and why.
As a hook it’s definitely effective but it wouldn’t work as well as it does if not for the fast moving plot and diverse mix of characters. The story is told in the third person from the point of view of five characters, Avery, Leda, Rylin, Eris and Watt, who despite being very different all have their own issues and problems. I have to admit with this number of main characters and alternating chapters between them I did initially find it a little bit confusing but honestly I have problems with remembering peoples names in real life so it’s most definitely a me issue rather than a book one.
A substantial element of the story is the social hierarchy which is illustrated incredibly well through the use of the tower. Only the richest and most successful can afford the hugest most luxurious homes at the top of the tower with the lower floors occupied by the poorer citizens. This is a society where everyone seems to be out for themselves and will do almost anything to work their way up to the higher floors and those on the top floors will do anything to protect their position.
This type of society doesn’t necessarily make for the nicest or most relateable characters and this is true for pretty much all of the main characters. If you get at all annoyed by rich and beautiful people complaining about their problems this might not be the book for you but I love this type of story. Everyone seems to have a secret, is working their own agenda or is even just trying to survive and maintain their position and reputation. There’s blackmail and betrayal but there are also some nuggets of real friendship, romance and working out what’s really important.
If I have any criticism of this story it would be the frequent mentions of futuristic technology. I know it’s science fiction and therefore kind of necessary to have some tech but in my opinion the constant references were overkill. After the first few mentions of the super contact lenses that doubled as smart phones I kind of thought “yep I get it, move on please”. I am not however a particular fan of science fiction, for pretty much that reason, so again this is a me issue rather than a story issue. I’ve heard a few sci fi lovers say how much they loved the tech.
Overall therefore, I’d say it’s a great story that really draws you into the world the author has created and I can’t wait for the next installment.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. The Thousandth Floor is out now.
6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee”
I am going book hunting for this tonight!!! Lol.
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I saw this at Barnes & Noble recently, and I’ll admit I put it back on the shelf without any interest–but clearly I need to reconsider! It sounds more complex and (hopefully) nuanced than I originally assumed it’d be. Great review! =)
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It’s described as a kind of futuristic gossip girl if that helps. I wouldn’t necessarily say there’s a lot of depth to it but it’s definitely the kind of book I enjoy.
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Neat! I’ll look forward to picking it up. =)
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