My Rating ~ Three and a half Stars
RELEASE DATE: 7 January 2019
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Welcome to QualityLand, the best country on Earth. Here, a universal ranking system determines the social advantages and career opportunities of every member of society. An automated matchmaking service knows the best partners for everyone and helps with the break up when your ideal match (frequently) changes. And the foolproof algorithms of the biggest, most successful company in the world, TheShop, knows what you want before you do and conveniently deliver to your doorstep before you even order it.
In QualityCity, Peter Jobless is a machine scrapper who can’t quite bring himself to destroy the imperfect machines sent his way, and has become the unwitting leader of a band of robotic misfits hidden in his home and workplace. One day, Peter receives a product from TheShop he absolutely, positively knows he does not want, and which he decides, at great personal cost, to return. The only problem: doing so means proving the perfect algorithm of TheShop wrong, calling into question the very foundations of QualityLand itself.
Thank you so much to Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy of Qualityland in exchange for an honest review!
In Qualityland, your social rank determines everything you can and can’t have. From your job, to your relationship, to every product available. The algorithm is so clever, it even knows all your preferences and exactly what you need. Probably. Because machines don’t make mistakes. Peter Jobless is absolutely certain his profile at TheShop is wrong. It has delivered him something he did not want and he’s going to return it. Which seems like an easy feat, but, the algorithm does not like to be wrong. It is never wrong. And Peter finds himself drawn into a battle to prove that Qualiityland does not have the perfect system everyone thinks it does.
The first thing I think you need to know about Qualityland is that it is satire. Very much, tongue in cheek, satire. Because without that knowledge, many parts of it can come across as a bit offensive towards all sorts of groups. Even though I was aware it was satire, I still felt a little uncomfortable reading some of those parts, which gave me the impression that it was satire that just missed the mark a little in parts.
I am a big fan of humorous fantasy, in fact it is one of my absolute favourite genres, do I did find myself comparing this book to some of my favourite authors that write under this banner. It could just be a personal preference, but I much prefer my comedic fantasy (and all comedy consumption) to be of the self depreciating type – to poke fun at the narrator themselves, not at other people around them. Aside from this, I really did enjoy the story. I’m loving all the books focusing around the world being controlled by a rating system – and the downfall of that flawed system, at the moment. There were AI machines with hilarious personality issues and most of the characters were just a lot of fun. The interspersed news stories (and subsequent comments under them) were such a great addition to the book, as were the advertisements from TheShop. Qualityland is quite clever and if you’re a fan of comedic fantasy (or have been curious to read one) put this one on your TBR list!
Photo from my Instagram account