Pages - 439
Published in May 2012 by Orchard Books
All right, I haven’t got much experience on which to base this judgement. I may be sixteen and I’m not slow or backward and haven’t been locked in a cupboard since birth – as far as I know- but Slating does that to you. Makes you lacking in experience.
It takes a while for everything to stop being first. First words, first steps, first spider on the wall, first stubbed toe. You get the idea: first everything.
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?
When I first received this to review, I must admit I had mixed emotions: excitement about reading my friend’s YA debut and anxiety that it might not be so good and then what would I say?
I needn’t have worried.
Slated is a tense thriller set in an all-too-credible near future, Wisely the author explains very little at outset, leaving the puzzled but curious reader to find out. She discloses information little by little through the events in the story and through dialogue. This ratchets up the tension throughout the book as we wonder what can have happened.
Our heroine, Kyla, is as much in the dark as we are as readers. Each time more of her past is revealed we become increasingly anxious for her safety and that of those around her. Who can she truly trust?
Add in a political dimension and a delicately drawn romance and you have an intriguing story with a wide range of appeal.
This is more of a slow-burn psychological novel rather than an all-action quick read, though there are moments of violence and a deep underlying sense of threat. ‘Slated’ will suit readers who want to tease things out for themselves, and explore a future world with disturbing similarities to our own. The first of a series, it will be interesting to see the developments in ‘Fractured’ (published Summer 2013).