Monday, 23 July 2012
Review: Slated by Teri Terry
Publisher: Orchard Books
Released: May 3rd, 2012
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?
Slated is a fantastic futuristic debut novel that still has me thinking about it a week after finishing it. It's full of thought-provoking ideas and possibilities that could easily come to fruition in the future, and that's what makes it such a compelling read. I really couldn't put it down once I'd picked it up and, even though the page count is a decent size, I finished it in a matter of days!
Right from the first page, Slated had me hooked. Sixteen-year-old Kyla's memory has been erased, her personality completely wiped clean, and she is sent to live with a new family. The government are responsible for this whole process - reserved for criminals, terrorists and threats to society - and call it slating. This book takes place in our future, but the ideas still seem like they're a possibility. I can see something like this happening in the future, maybe even sooner than we think. *shudder*
Each slated person has an implant in their arm called a levo, so the government can keep track of their emotions. So, for example, if someone who is slated is happy, their levo levels will probably reach seven or eight. If they're angry or threatening, levels will drop and the levo will cause a blackout. I absolutely love the idea of levos and slating - it's really captured my imagination. I wouldn't like it to happen to me, though!
In addition to a very strong female lead, Slated also features a brilliant array of secondary characters, including Kyla's new slated sister Amy, her friend Ben and her doctor from the slating hospital, Doctor Lysander. There isn't one single character that failed to hold my attention; I wanted to see more of every one of them. A few of them are shady and questionable but I'll leave you to discover that for yourselves!
Although not directly related to the story, I do think Slated has some editing issues. A lot of commas seem to be in the wrong places and I found it off-putting as it interrupted my reading flow. I know it's probably not important, but I had to mention it. It drove me a bit mad when I was having to re-read sentences and fill in my own pauses. Hopefully it will be corrected in a future printing, but don't worry, it doesn't detract from the book.
Slated is part futuristic thriller, part action. It's really non-stop right from the beginning and it doesn't let up for a good long while. It explores a lot of themes and issues like loyalty, truth, and terrorism to name just a few, and it leaves your head spinning for days after. It made me wonder what would happen to me if my memory was wiped, and that's what Kyla faces here. She starts to uncover the truth about her life, and that's perhaps the most interesting aspect of her story. Of course there's a cliffhanger and many questions left unanswered, but a few do get answered very satisfactorily. I can't wait to find out what comes next!
Slated is a gripping, realistic and captivating novel from an exciting new British author. It raises many questions, introduces new ideologies and is basically perfect for a school syllabus. I'd love to study it and really get to grips with everything the author has imagined - what a clever, terrifying world to live in!