When I made a post about dystopian posts a while back, one of the series I mentioned was The Slated books by Teri Terry. A series set in a post-Brexit Britain many years before it actually happened, it follows a sixteen-year-old girl called Kyla who has been Slated. In this world slating is a process where teenage criminals have their memories erased and are given a device which means they must always remain calm and must never be violent or they could be shocked and killed.
This was one of my all-time favourite series, so having finally gotten my own copy of the first book from a charity shop. I decided it was about time for a reread.
And, unfortunately, though I can still see plenty of good in it, I’m not sure it’s a favourite anymore!
The first book in the series I couldn’t find much wrong with. The writing style isn’t necessarily one I enjoy much anymore. It feels like everything is written very…correctly, if that makes sense? Like, words aren’t always shortened so it can make the writing, especially the speech, not feel so realistic. It was fairly easy to ignore though and I started to correct it in my head. It just wasn’t something I remembered having an issue with.
But, when it comes down to it, Slated did what it was supposed to. This book successfully drew me into the world. I was learning everything along with Kyla and I was shocked at some of the terrible things happening. The pace of the tension is built up well and when you get to that end…well. It didn’t have such a shock for me, as I’d read it before so I knew. But it’s definitely a good starting point for the sequel.
Once again, there wasn’t anything particularly wrong with this book. I still gave it four stars and with this book being more action-packed, there was definitely plenty in it. You learn more about the characters and I still enjoyed it as much as the first time around. It was easy to get through, but the writing was still an issue for me.
I will say, that when I was reading it, I didn’t find anything wrong with it other than the writing. But thinking back, I did have a few issues. There was a new character introduced who I wanted to see more of. The death of them made sense, so it’s not a true issue, but I kind of wished they’d stuck around. Especially considering the love triangle we get in the third book…it would have kind of made more sense to have this guy involved. But, ah well.
So, this is where the series went wrong. This was one of the books I actually remembered things from. It had been years since I read it, but I knew the location she went and the family stuff and what happened with Ben. No spoilers, obviously, but I remembered a fair bit. And though this was just as easy to read as the other two, I found myself putting it down so much easier. The writing bugged me more and the plot just wasn’t gripping me enough. I was so disappointed to drop this to three stars but I just didn’t enjoy it as much. And I don’t know what it was that just so put me off this one. Everything felt very fast, which I usually don’t mind but…I don’t know. I think it was probably something to do with the relationships, both romantic and familial. They felt kind of rushed and messy in this book but not in a realistic family dynamic. It was just meh.
Either way, something about this just didn’t work for me.
What I Still Love
Honestly, though, I’ll still be recommending this series because the worldbuilding is so good. This book was published in the early 2010s, way before Brexit became the word on everyone’s lips. Back when I first read it, this did all seem impossible. Now I wouldn’t be surprised if the government did try to stop the young from doing things to change the power system. The riots, the lack of imports and the Lorders are all now scarily possible. We all talk about the world being 1984 now, but damn, this seems pretty likely too.
Terry has done an excellent job with building a terrifying but realistic world. Mostly set in small villages, you really get a feel to rural England whilst still seeing the big and scary things you more expect to see in the city.
I still like Kyla as the main character. Mostly. I will say that the stuff about her adopted mum not really being her mum but the mum given to her after she’s slated still counted kind of bugged me? Her adopted mum might not have given birth to her, but she counted more than her bio mum did in her life. But, other than that, I liked Kyla.
I am sad that I don’t love it as much but I’ve still got to suggest you pick it all up for the world-building. It’s not your typical YA dystopian. Just don’t expect the writing to be anything special.
Have you read this series? What did you think?