Full synopsis of
Quick summary: Enthralling, psychological and unpredictable.
I read Slated for the first time when I was about 14, and I don’t think I fully appreciated it. When I came back to this book, and finished the whole trilogy this year, it held a stronger poignancy and solemnity that I completely missed last time. With the dystopian undertones that hit close to home, this series was disturbing, intense and highly enjoyable!
As a Brit, the idea of a book being written about a society based on a new Republic that capitalised from a struggling civilisation after they left the European Union is something undeniably intriguing (yep, @brexit…)
Slated is set in England, and so for anyone who knows the areas around London, it’s great fun to follow Kyla around familiar territory. This series geographically stretches across the country and certainly made me want to add a couple of places onto my To-Visit list. The strong grounding in the English countryside makes the world wholly real and believable to me, and worked right into that quasi-escapism, quasi-oh-wow-this-could-really-happen that I LOVE about Dystopian novels.
Not only was the setting well developed, but so were the plot and characters. There were twists at almost every page, which means you can’t put it down… (literally, I finished the second and third books in a day each!) Characters you thought you could trust took you on a whirlwind of loving them one minute and then feeling betrayed by them the next. The character development of key characters such as Ben was clever and so well written… love a good character arc! The enjoyment of the novels increase tenfold as a result of deceptive and complex characters; the reader gets to really journey with Kyla because we don’t know who to trust or who is the enemy, just as she doesn’t. I think this really keeps the reader on their toes, and ultimately is what makes the novel a page-turner.
(slight spoiler ahead!) The relationship between Ben and Kyla was something I had mixed feelings about until the second or third book. I know that they, having been Slated, were more susceptible to innocent and arguably naive relationships. I’m part hopeless romantic, part skeptic and so I spent pretty much the whole of the first book feeling conflicted about whether I believed and rooted for their relationship or not. However, as I read the sequels, I became hooked on this relationship; Kyla began to question her own emotions and Ben’s motives was intriguing and led to thrilling twists and turns throughout.
The first time I read Slated, I treated it as a standalone. However, in my opinion, the trilogy only got better as it progressed, and I think you get so much more out of it when it is read as a whole. This was only confirmed by the fluidity of the story – you did not feel you were reading separate books, but more a story as whole, making it a really functional and enjoyable series.
Ultimately, I think the reason I so loved this series was because of how psychologically plausible it was; the relationship between Kyla and her mum, sister, Ben, Dr. Lysander and others created a web of connections that made the novel deliciously complex. It was thrilling and slightly creepy – not usually my style, but I turned out loving it (as you can probably tell by this point!)