Recently I finished reading Fractured, a 421 page science fiction novel written by Teri Terry. Terri Terry had an interesting life before she became an author. Her early career started off with being a scientist, followed by a lawyer, and then a optometrist. Another interesting fact about Terri Terry is that she has lived in many foreign countries including France, Canada, Australia, and her favorite, England, which is one of the many reasons why the Slated trilogy takes place in London. Because she has seen so much of the world through her different careers and travels, many things have inspired the ideas of her books and have made her books so inspiring to others. Fractured is the second book in Teri Terry’s only trilogy, Slated, starting with Slated as the first novel. Although Slated won many more awards, Fractured has also received some awards after being published in 2013. These awards include The Rotherham Book Award and the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for UK and Ireland. The reason I read this book was not only because it is in a series, but also because Slated was left on a huge cliffhanger that it was hard not to read the second book.
Fractured starts off right after Kyla, the main character, beats up and defends herself against a creepy yet curious guy, Wayne. Kyla had some very interesting encounters with Wayne in the first book that caused him to be seen as an enemy. Kyla was slated, she should not have been able to do this, yet somehow she did. When kids under the age of 16 are slated, usually all their memories are taken away and replaced with a chip in their brain. This chip allows them to have a second chance at a non-criminal life with a clean slate. The chip is connected to a bracelet, a Levo, on the wrist that controls levels of emotion on a scale of 1-10. Whenever the person is sad, angry, or scared, the levels drop and anything below a 3.2 is lethal to the slated. Because of the Levos, slateds are prevented from doing any harm to themselves and or other people, which is supposed to keep peace throughout the communities. After beating up Wayne, Kyla notices that her levels are at a perfect 6 which is quite unusual. She then goes on to have this conversation with her conscience trying to figure out who she really is. She wants to know why beating up Wayne caused this spark of memories to come flooding back. She also wants answers, but she can’t ask around because people might be suspicious and report her to the law and order agents, Lorders, where she would be killed. She knows she has to do something so she goes to the anti-government army, Free UK, run by her “substitute teacher” and seeks answers. The only problem is that by being seen with the Free UK, Kyla would be killed, but she does it anyway. She finds out that she was originally part of the Free UK before she was slated and that her “nightmares” were actually small fragments of memories. Throughout the novel Kyla’s yearning to find her boyfriend/friend, Ben, get stronger and stronger especially when she finds out Ben’s parents were murdered. All she knows is that right after Ben cut his Levo off in order to join Free UK, he passed out from the pain and he was taken away by Lorders, never to be heard from again. Kyla wants to find him except she has no idea where to start. As a result, she seeks out her sister’s boyfriend’s brother, Mac, for a secret meeting. Mac is part of the MIA, missing in action, and with the help of his illegal computer he helps people find their loved ones when they “mysteriously” disappear. After a while of searching Mac’s friend finds some information about Ben. He was seen running on a track outside some school a couple of times. The only problem is that from the outside it looks like a school, but it’s like it doesn’t exist on any GPS maps or anything. Kyla then takes this information and secretly goes to meet Ben, except he doesn’t know who she is anymore. From this point on, Kyla knows that whatever the Lorders did to him, she was going to get her revenge, even if it meant joining Free UK all over again.
In the novel, I liked the way Teri Terry built up suspense. There were many times where the reader felt like a situation was going to go one way, but then the author included a huge plot twist that totally changed the story line. I’m not a fan of books or TV shows where you can predict the endings, so I think that is why I like Teri Terry’s style of writing so much because the story is always changing. A lot of the story is about how Kyla grows as a character while she discovers her strengths and weakness. Because she can remember things about her past life, she remembers the type of person she was and tries to change because of it. The author also included suspense by ending almost every chapter with cliffhanger. There was many times that I could not put the book down and I ended up reading for hours.
In addition, I’d say the theme of this book is that your past does not dictate your future. Like I said before, this novel was a lot about Kyla finding herself as a person. Although she only has some of her memories back, she does know that throughout her life she has been three different people in the same body. First she was born as Lucy, a naive little girl who did not know about the terrors of the world and what a scary place it can be. Then there was Rain, a member of the Free UK, a strong ruthless fighter, and a possible murderer, who vowed to overthrow the Lorders no matter the cost. And finally Kyla, a sixteen year old girl that was slated and then got her memories back and realized that there was still a lot of Rain left in her. Now, she really doesn’t know who she is. She wants to overthrow the Lorders because of all the trouble they’ve caused her and her country, but she is also still cautious about the innocent lives that would be lost in the cross-fire. Towards the end of the book Kyla finally realizes that whoever she was before she was slated, she’s never going to be that person again. She is going to be the person she wants to be, not the person other people tell her to be.
One thing I was surprised about was that Kyla actually had a phobia of blood. It made wonder if Kyla has always had this fear and if so, how was she able to kill so many people in the Free UK before she was slated? Unless, everyone including her “substitute teacher,” Nico, was making this up to confuse Kyla and see if she still had the phobia after slating? It also made me wonder what Kyla would be like if she didn’t have the fear? Would she be able to kill no matter the costs just like Rain used to do? One thing is for sure, the story would have taken a completely different turn if this was the case.
In conclusion, I was struck by the following passage. In this passage, Kyla finally has the realization, because of her mother’s speech at a governmental ceremony, that she is the person that results from her actions. She realizes that it’s up to her who she wants to be and what she does from that moment on. He action could have both negative or positive effects on her life and she needs to remember this. “Who I am is what I chose to do. Just like Mum. Who she is, at her core, is made up of the decisions she makes. She did what she thought was right: pushed the boundaries of what she said, but not too far. To protect us… She couldn’t do anything to put us in danger, no matter what she thought. I couldn’t hurt her either” I really enjoyed this passage because it really highlighted the way Kyla was feeling ever since she found out the truth behind her memories and this caused her to change as a character. I also liked how the author included short sentences to really show the meaning behind them.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, which is why I’m giving it a 10/10 and I look forward to reading the final book in the series!