Sunday, 10 August 2014

Review || Slated by Teri Terry

Slated (Slated #1) by Teri Terry ★★★★☆
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?

Everything The Program should've been, but better.

When you use memory loss as a plot device in books, you have two choices: show the before so the reader knows what's going on even if the main character doesn't OR let the reader figure things out with the main character.

Now, either method has things going for it. I, for one, am a huge fan of the first situation as a plot device. But when The Program did it, it fell really flat for me. Slated goes with option two and it is so much stronger as a novel because of it.

With Kyla, you slowly start to see how this world is different from ours. At the beginning, things seem to be fairly in keeping with what you'd expect. Aside from the Slating procedure itself, it looks and feels very much like our world.

But as Kyla starts to notice things, so do you. And everything is not as it seems.

Slated paints an intriguing and not unrealistic portrait of a tight fisted government rule. And man, I love me some government crackdown in my dystopias. Through the course of this book, you (along with Kyla) start to understand how we got here and what the norm is now.

The pieces of the puzzle are arranged carefully by Terry, enough so that you tend to figure things out just before Kyla. Which was refreshing in two ways. Firstly, because sometimes I feel like there aren't enough breadcrumbs in books that are trying to be mysterious. A sudden plot twist or deus ex machina hits you out of nowhere and it's jarring. That is decidedly not the case with Slated. The other refreshing bit is that Kyla is smart. Sure, you can put things together a few pages before she does, but it's not as if you're waiting chapters upon chapters for her to finally figure things out. It was a nice change from some decidedly dense protagonists I've dealt with in the past.

That said, the ending of this book got a little wonky for me. There was a major shift in one of the characters and suddenly things were spiralling out of control really fast. And then they were ended just as abruptly. If there's one flaw to this book, it's that it definitely does not stand on its own. There is so much left unfinished, so many new questions and problems raised in the last handful of pages.

Like with Proxy, though, that just made me want to go out and get my hands on the sequel. Which isn't a bad thing. There are a few recent developments that have me a little wary, but I'm more interested to see how it all gets tied in.

Definitely recommended!