Lex is 16. He lives in the city that we would call London, but in Lex’s world, the capital is now merely known as The Strip. The Strip is a self-contained wasteland ravaged by bomb-dropping drones where nobody is allowed to leave or enter. Times are hard, food is scarce, and joy is a distant memory. We first meet Lex as he is trying to escape across the patrolled border to sell berries for money only to find himself dragged home by his furious and terrified father. Luckily, his father’s choice to track his son means that he is late for a meeting of the Corps – the resistance group of The Strip - and he narrowly avoids being killed in a mass assassination.
Meanwhile, Alan, a talented former gamer, is happily proving everyone in his life wrong. Long thought to be wasting his time focusing on gaming, Alan’s talents have secured him the coveted position of drone pilot. He’s new to the game, but he has his sights firmly on his target known only to be #K622. Alan’s life couldn’t be more different to Lex’s, apart from the one thing that they have in common. #K622 is Lex’s dad.
Sutcliffe’s descriptions of life in The Strip draw unavoidable parallels to real life conflicts that will resonate long after you finish reading. The story’s real masterstroke, however, comes with its unflinching take on the effect that living in two opposing worlds has on its two young protagonists. One is determined to survive at any cost, even if it means merging criminality with the fight for freedom, whilst the other finds his self-worth inextricably tied to a belief that his acts of violence are perpetrated in the name of justice, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. Most importantly, Sutcliffe never lets you forget that his main characters are boys, not men, struggling with adolescence against a backdrop of a conflict that was not of their making but nonetheless rules both of their lives.
In We See Everything, NYT bestselling author Sutcliffe has created a jarring, socially relevant tale that will appeal to his old fans whilst earning him some new ones. A must-read for anyone with an interest in world events who’s ever wondered about the other side of the story.
WE SEE EVERYTHING / AUTHOR: WILLIAM SUTCLIFFE / PUBLISHER: BLOOMSBURY CHILDRENS / RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 21ST