________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 41. . . .June 20, 2014


Slated. (Slated Trilogy, Book One).

Teri Terry.
New York, NY: Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Young Readers Group (Distributed in Canada by Penguin Canada), 2013.
346 pp., hardcover, $19.00.
ISBN 978-0-399-16172-8.

Subject Headings:
Memory-Juvenile fiction.
Identity-Juvenile fiction.
Family life-England-Juvenile fiction.
High schools-Juvenile fiction.
Science fiction.

Grades 8-12 / Ages 13-17.

Review by Andrew Laudicina.

*** /4


Fractured. (Slated Trilogy Book Two).

Teri Terry.
New York, NY: Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Young Readers Group (Distributed in Canada by Penguin Canada), 2013.
330 pp., hardcover, $19.00.
ISBN 978-0-399-16173-5.

Subject Headings:
Memory-Juvenile fiction.
Identity (Psychology)-Juvenile fiction.
Terrorism-Juvenile fiction.
Dystopias-Juvenile fiction.
England-Juvenile fiction.
High schools-Fiction.
Science fiction.

Grades 8-12 / Ages 13-17.

Review by Andrew Laudicina.

*** /4



I grasp, and look down: A thin line of red drips down from a knife clasped in my right hand.

Amy bounds in. “Oh no! Kyla.”

Mum turns and clucks under her breath. She grabs a sheet of paper towel.

“Press it against the cut, don’t bleed everywhere.”

I do as she says, and Amy rubs my shoulder and looks at my Levo: 5.1.

“Doesn’t it hurt?” Amy asks.

I shrug. “A little,” I say, and it does, but I ignore the jagged heat that throbs through my hand, and stare, fascinated. Bright red soaks into the paper towel, slows, then stops.

“Just a nick,” Mum says, peeling it back to look. “The nurse can check it later. She’s all right, Amy. Run or you’ll miss the bus.”

Mum wraps a bandage around my hand as Amy bounces out the door.

Mum smiles.

“I forgot to mention, Kyla. Knives are sharp. Don’t hold them by the pointy end.”

So many things to remember. (From

I blink at the sudden tears. “Ben’s house, his parents’ house. It burned down. Tori watched. She said they were inside, screaming, but Lorders stopped anyone from helping.”

He shakes his head. “Think: what is the date?”

“November fifth.”

“The fifth of November. Guy Fawkes,” he says bitterly. “This was not the only burning tonight. Reports were coming in when you called. Lorders have taken this day that used to belong to us.

...I gasp as a series of images flood my mind. Fireworks. Raids. Bonfires! Guy Fawkes: Over four hundred years ago, there had been a plot to blow up Parliament. We had used the day to remind the Lorders that their power was not absolute. To remind the people they had a voice.

Now the Lorders used it to remind us he was hanged for his trouble.

“To think they dare act so openly against the people they should serve! Things are getting worse. The Lorder grip is tightening. Soon none will dare stand with us against them. The time of reckoning is nearly at hand.” He stops at the bottom of our road. “You need to keep your eye on the bigger picture. We’ll talk about this some more after school tomorrow. Now go.” (From


Familiar YA dystopian elements, paired with a highly original premise, create an undeniably intelligent and suspenseful plot in books one and two of Teri Terry’s “Slated” trilogy. The story revolves around 16-year-old Kyla Davis, recently slated (a medical procedure which permanently induces memory loss) and assigned to a new family. Her life is precarious, having to relearn the most simple of tasks and behaviour amid government Lorders which take issue with even the slightest deviations or inquiries against law and order. Electronic bracelets (Levos) monitor the emotional state of all slateds, especially Kyla, as a means to promote compliance and ensure that undesirable behaviour is never acted out.

      Early in Slated, readers come to learn that Kyla is unlike the other slateds, possessing an unnatural immunity to pain, an inquiring mind, and exceptional observational skills and aptitude. Most peculiar of all, Kyla suffers from recurring nightmares which hint at a past life before her procedure. She, of course, keeps such recollections a secret, but she is compelled to find out who she once was. The disappearance of classmates forces Kyla, along with boyfriend Ben, to investigate deeper into the practice of slating, Lorder abuses, and the reigning Coalition Government which rules with impunity over both slateds and ordinary citizens alike.

      In book two, Fractured, an old acquaintance of Kyla’s surfaces and fills in the details Kyla has yet to piece together herself. With her darkest suspicions confirmed, Kyla joins anti-Coalition Government forces, but all that she can think about is the well-being of Ben who has since been taken by Lorders. However, her inability to reconcile the differences and intricacies of her multiple past lives (and current reality) complicates matters, leaving her to reconsider her role in the upcoming rebellion.

      The opening book, Slated, is perhaps the stronger of the two novels despite possessing any real trace of a conventional plot and a wide-open ending. Interest is maintained, nonetheless, through the gradual unraveling mystery of Kyla’s peculiar past. Secondary plot lines round out the story giving both the breadth and depth expected of a trilogy. Momentum carries into Fractured with hardly a pause, although, opening chapters do make mention of previous plot points, almost exclusively by the way of Kyla’s own (first-person) musings and remunerations. While subtle and brief, these expositions make any reading of Slated almost entirely unnecessary. More so than the series opener, Fractured employs a steady flow of twists and character reversals all of which deftly complement the escalating plot and violence.

      Even though Fractured addresses many of the unanswered questions first posed in Slated, several uncertainties still linger. Of these loose ends, the most significant for the story moving forward all seem to revolve around Ben, his whereabouts, and whether or not he is too far gone to be saved. This seems more than appropriate, considering the prominence given to Kyla and Ben’s relationship throughout. More likely than not, however, readers should expect more of the same: a balanced approach to themes which includes romance, but also extends to notions of identity, a sense of belonging, family, politics and morality. With a future England as the setting, government agents dressed in black, and repeated references of Guy Fawkes and his fifth of November Rebellion, the dystopian world featured is convincing, yet all a bit too commonplace for the genre. Otherwise, a well executed series thus far, made all the more impressive knowing that Slated is author Terry’s debut work.


Andrew Laudicina, a MLIS graduate from the University of Western Ontario in London, ON, currently resides in Windsor, ON.

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