Boy 23 by Jim Carrington

Boy 23

Boy 23 | Jim Carrington | Bloomsbury | 19 Nov

About the Book

Boy 23 isn’t in My Place any more. He can’t see The Screen, he can’t hear The Voice. Boy 23 is alone.

One dark night, Boy 23 is thrown in the back of the van and driven out of My Place – the only home he has ever known. He is abandoned in a forest with a rucksack containing the bare essentials for survival. Before the van drives away, a voice tells him he must run as far as he can. His life depends on it. Boy 23 has never known another human. Boy 23 has never even been outside. So who is he? Why do people want to kill him? And more to the point, who is the voice that wants to save him?

A hugely fast-paced dystopian page-turner which by the end will leave you in a state of shock. For fans of Chaos Walking and Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror.


A couple of years ago, I read Jim Carrington’s Drive By, and Boy 23 sounded so different to that one, that I knew I just had to read it. It was obviously meant to be, as just a few days after requesting it on Netgalley, a copy also dropped through my letterbox!

The set up in the blurb, promises a breathless chase; as our main character Jesper aka Boy 23 attempts to evade capture, and try to survive in a world he’s never been part of… however, and there’s no real way of discussing this without spoilers, so look away now, if you want to avoid them… Not that long after being left alone, that chase comes to an abrupt end, as events conspire to means Jesper stays in one place for a good section of the novel.

That is not to say, the story grinds to a halt, it just changes pace for a bit, and so isn’t the mad scramble all the way though I was expecting. (the Chaos Walking comparison is likely the main culprit behind me expectations!) There is plenty going on though, connections to make and information to uncover. It’s here that he meets Carina, a girl who is also staying at the same place he ends up, and who has an interesting story to tell as well.

And then… the accelerator is slammed down and doesn’t let up, until the end of the book. So yes, it was as I thought, a totally different feel to Drive By, and while it wasn’t quite the story I was expecting, it was one I really did enjoy, and was also I felt a fresh take on a YA dystopian world.

My copy of Boy 23 by Jim Carrington was provided the publisher for review purposes.