Slated by Teri TerryAuthor: Teri Terry Website|Twitter
Published: 3 May 2012 (Orchard)
Buy the paperback: Amazon|BookDepository
Buy the e-book: Kindle|Kobo
Source: Freebie from Books With Bite at Leakycon London
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.
She’s been Slated.
The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?
So I grabbed a couple of books that were being given away free at Leakycon London. This book was actually one my friend picked up and gave to me, because she's awesome like that. Slated follows the story of Kyla, who has had her memory wiped - a process known as Slating - and must now re-enter the world with a new family and very little clue to who she truly is.
I didn't know a whole lot about this book before I started it. I'd vaguely heard of the title and was very excited when I found out it was a dystopian. I actually chose to read this putting it up as an option on Twitter of what to read next so thank you to those people who persuaded me! Because I absolutely loved it.
I instantly fell in love with the premise of this book. It's set in a futuristic version of the UK run by the Central Coalition, who have brought in Slating to control youngsters who have committed crimes. Kyla is one of those youngsters and we meet her just as she's about to leave hospital after recuperating from the Slating procedure. It made for some great world building because Kyla is having to relearn absolutely everything about her, and I loved how that information was teased and revealed over the course of the book. It took a long time to really learn everything and so I was hooked whilst there was still that mystery. I thought the idea of the Levos - devices used to control and monitor the mood levels of those people who have been Slated - was really clever. As the levels dropped or got higher, it ramped up the tension in the story.
The book opens with a prologue where Kyla is being chased and captured, and throughout we get little snippets of Kyla's past experiences such as this through her nightmares. I thought this was a great way to convey the little bits of her life before so that you feel that connection and get invested in what's happened to her, and it added to the snappy pacing. Overall I was really impressed with the writing style which felt really punchy.
Kyla herself was definitely intriguing. All the time there's that feeling that she's special and that she has an important role, but of course the reader, and Kyla herself doesn't know why. You can see it in the the way she's treated differently to other characters, for example her sister - not by blood, but a fellow adopted Slated - Amy. I really loved her curiosity at how it drove the story forward. I liked that we get to see her discover little bits about herself, like her passion for drawing. As I mentioned before, the amnesia made for a really great introduction to Kyla and her world. Even though she's patronised by those around her, I never felt so sorry for her in a way that made me look down upon her. I always had this great respect for her as a character and found myself rooting for the real Kyla to come through.
Slated definitely has moments where it feels like a thriller. There's a constant build up of suspense, with all these people involved in the government who are majorly creepy. The Lorders who keep terrorists at bay were particularly unnerving. I loved how you had these different layers of people who were involved with both the government and the resistance at different levels, from the high up officials to people like Mac who Kyla gets to know, who helps her discover a little bit more about the world she's found herself having to relearn.
I think the only part of Slated that left me a little disappointed was the ending, because I was hoping to have found out a lot more. It's the first in a series so obviously there'll be some more detail in the later books, and I'm really excited to read those and find out the answers to those questions I still have left over. Needless to say I'll definitely be recommending this one in future. The premise was so clever and it brought together all the elements of dystopia and thriller novels that I love, into one suspenseful exciting read.
What to read next: Fractured by Teri Terry
Books like this: False Memory by Dan Krokos, Delirium by Lauren Oliver