Book Review: The Thousandth Floor


Written by Natasha Effendy

The Thousandth Floor

Author: Katharine McGee

Publication: Harper Collins, 2016

The Thousandth Floor is the first book in a series of the same name. The second book (The Dazzling Heights), came out on 29 August this year but it may be long before we can see the book itself on our local shelves. It follows the different perspectives of 5 different characters: Avery Fuller, Leda Cole, Eris-Dodd Radson, Rylin Myers and Watt Bakradi. All of them live in the future of 2118, in this glorious tower that brims with a lot of handy technology.

The first time I ever heard about this book was when I was on YouTube, hunting for decent books to read. The Thousandth Floor was among them, and the novel was sitting casually in a YouTuber’s hand, glittering with its gold-on-black cover. I instantly fell in love, for 2 reasons: the first being the exquisite cover. The second reason being because the Youtuber said that if you liked the show Pretty Little Liars, you would like this book too. Pretty Little Liars is one of my favourite shows and now that I think of it, both the show and the book share similar aspects: friendship, secrets, relationships, tons of drama, conflict, and 5 different characters. With a touch of murder too. The second I laid my eyes on the book at a mall, I instantly snatched it up to purchase it; I’m not kidding!

Since the story is told from different perspectives, you can never get bored of the story as it progresses. It gives us different views on the characters’ lives and how they will eventually cross paths later in the story. For example, Watt Bakradi and Avery Fuller develops a potential relationship, only to have it flushed down the drain because of her unconditional feelings for someone. However, I also thought that the characters lacked development, which I hope the second book will work on as well as clear up some loose ends.

I also love the way how McGee conjures up the technology applied to the characters’ daily lives. They are so advanced that I sometimes wish they were real. Hovercrafts which could transport you through the air in short distances; polyethylene glass that could withstand the strongest winds; electropulsers that could straighten your hair within seconds; and micro-laser surgeries that could leave skin unscarred. These “innovations” are incredibly creative, and considering how far technology has come in 2017, it’s actually possible we can have them in a few years.

As a poet, I tend to have an eye for the way an author writes her books. McGee has woven her words in such a way that it’s breathtaking. A description is added to every inch and corner, be the subtlest changes in a character’s demeanour or a luxurious penthouse. Her descriptions are as rich and smooth as ice cream, leaving you hooked and wanting more. My favourite aspect is how the writer chooses the craziest plot twists, all of them enough to make you stay in your seat until the last page.

I love it when stories include a societal issue, and The Thousandth Floor is one of them; when we think of wealthy families, we see a picture-perfect home with a happy family. Little do we know, they’re still human, with a bundle of their own issues. For example, in the story, Leda Cole has been struggling with her rehabilitation history and drug abuse in terms of her friendships. The theme of social class differences has been prominent here and applied to each of the characters’ lives. McGee has included both the rich and poor, somehow creating a sense of equality among her characters. This fancy-looking novel doesn’t just portray affluent lives, but also tells the stories of the less-than-privileged lives that reside in the cheaper rooms of the lower floors of a hotel compared to those who live on the presidential suite on the top floor.

If you’re looking for a way to get a fix after the Pretty Little Liars’ finale, then this book is the one to cure your hangover.

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