Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review: The Killables

Author: Gemma Malley
Release Date: 14th March 2012
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon / Book Depository
Everyone accepted that people were different physically. But inside? Inside, they were different too. You just had to know how to tell, what to look for.

Evil has been eradicated. The City has been established. And citizens may only enter after having the 'evil' part of their brain removed. They are labelled on the System according to how 'good' they are. If they show signs of the evil emerging, they are labelled a K . . . But no one knows quite what that means. Only that they disappear, never to be seen again . . .

The basic premise reminded me a bit of Delirium... only completely opposite. In Delirium, people are cured of love by an operation to their brain. In The Killables, it's the same scenario, but with evil being the object of removal from a person. Every child at birth is forced to undergo the operation which removes the part of their brain that is said to be the source of evil - of corruption and ill desires. Citizens are ranked with a number - A, B, C, D or K. You want to be as close to A as possible, because they're the good ones, those who follow the rules and haven't allowed for darkness to overtake them. But labels can be changed. People can move up or down on the scale. Those moved down are outwardly shamed and ridiculed. But are they really as evil as the 'Brother' claims? Those labelled a K are too far gone, completely overtaken by evil and they're never seen again. Where do they go? Evie is about to found out... but is it her or someone close to her with the dangerous new label? I guess you'll have to read the book to find out!

There is a fair bit of 'info dumping' in the first quarter. I know some people have a problem with that, but I actually like it because with these type of societies, I'm always wanting to know more about the history and science of their world. I found it helpful to have all the information laid out for me early in the novel, so we know the kind of twisted environment Evie has grown up in and why it's affected her in the way it has. She's heavily under the Brother's influence and believes there is evil festering inside of her, so she works hard at trying to suffocate those dangerous thoughts. But she can't change who she is, much as she tries, and as the novel progresses we see her slowly break free from her beliefs. At times I wished she had more inner fire and strength, but she obviously can't change overnight. Her entire world and belief system has been turned inside out. She does grow a bit stronger by the end of the novel, where it's clear she's a changed girl. But there's still plenty of opportunity for growth in the sequel.

Raffy is the main love interest, but I'm afraid to say he got on my nerves most of the time. More often than not he's hostile and sarcastic. I can definitely understand where his anger stems from, he's been treated unfairly his entire life and there's been so much hate and rage building up inside him. Understandably, he's wary of certain claims and actions his seemingly emotionless brother has made, trust is not something that comes easy to him. But his attitude and constant cynicism made me want to kick him. A lot. And I can't say I really feel the chemistry between him and Evie, especially for having such a long history together. Moments he shares with her when he's more tolerable, they just didn't have the desired impact on me to make me believe in their love.

Lucas, on the other hand, is the brother who intrigued me the most. At first, you'd be forgiven for not giving him a second thought, but as you learn more about him, carefully hidden layers rise to the surface, and he pulls you in deeper and deeper. You want to know what moulded him into the person he is, what emotions truly lay behind those cold, blank eyes. Is he really as robotic as he appears? He's probably the one I'm most looking forward to seeing in the sequel, because there's complexities to his character I want to explore more. Not to mention I'm hoping he becomes even more central in Evie's life. Although his age was kind of jarring, I thought he was younger than what I discovered halfway through!

The plot did engage me, not once did I set it aside because I was bored or uninterested. But there was just something... missing. I think maybe I didn't form a complete connection with Evie (and certainly Raffy). I can't really pinpoint it. I enjoyed it, I just didn't love it. And that's probably why I rated it a 3.5 rather than a 4. I see 3.5 as more like than love. But I still absolutely recommend it! The Killables presents a fantastically crafted world, Gemma Malley transports you right into the heart of this twisted, futuristic society made real by the solid foundations she's built it on. Horrifying truths come to light as Evie explores beyond the Brother's reach, but can she and her new friends right the wrongs he has inflicted upon the City? Layers, mystery and a touch of romance, The Killables makes for an engaging addition to dystopian shelves!

 3.5/5 Golden Apples!


  1. I hadn't heard of this before! I'll definitely be putting it on my wishlist because I think I'd enjoy it. I quite liked Gemma Malley's book ''The Declaration'' though it's been a long time since I read it.

    Thanks for the review :)

  2. This is only the second time I've read about this book but I am really intrigued! I like that you mentioned that it was hard to connect with the main characters, that's often a let down for me too.

  3. I haven't heard of this book yet either, so it sounds like you must be one of the first ones to be posting about it! It sounds creepy. Call me a cynic, but I'm not sure I'd trust any governmental organization anywhere near my brain with a scalpel...

  4. Oh my gosh, that's so cool! I never thought of it like that before -- it DOES kind of sound like the opposite of Delirium when you tilt your head the side and squint (which just sky-rocketed this up my TBR pile)! x) And even though Raffy wasn't your favourite, I'm already intrigued about Lucas!

    Amazing review, Brodie! <3 You really have a gift for making me want to read books that I've hardly heard anything about before! I know what you mean about some books being torture to rate, but in the end, it's always the convincing stuff inside your review that make me want to read it! :)

  5. I've never heard of this book before! Not until I saw you reading it in Goodreads and found the picture in your blog! This actually sounds awesome and I like the premises although it's sad that Raffy gets on your nerves even though he is the main love interest! Like Mimi, I'm intrigued by Lucas too!

    FANTASTIC INCREDIBLE AWESOME FABULOUS review Brodie! LOVELOVELOVELOVE IT! I might read the book when I have the time! :) <3

  6. It's unfortunate when something is 'missing' from a book. But glad to hear you still enjoyed it. Anyway great review (it's actually the first review I've read for this book) as always!

  7. Uh... wow... I swear this is the first time I've seen you not LOVE the love interest... no good :S

    Booooooo, this sounds dissapointing... intriguing, and the concept fantastic, but... yeah... I mean, if it's dystopian, and you, my go-to dystopian recommenderer weren't 100% sold... this is saaaaaad :(

    Bah. At least it was still good, and you liked it :D
    You know I loved your review... like always XD

    Also.... SKITTLES! I don't know why... it just seemed like it'd be fun to say/add on there...

  8. Awesome review, Brodie! I'm really looking forward to reading this one, it sounds so good! But I'm now a little bit wary of the issues you came across. I'll see how it goes. Thanks for the review!

  9. I am seriously curious about this one! It just sounds so good, but I'm kind of disappointing you felt as if something was missing. I always hate that in a book. :/ And it sucks that the love interest got on your nerves. o: That's not good. Even so though, I'm quite sure I'll have to pick this one up of curiosity anyway! Great review, Brodie!

  10. OH GOOD. So I'm not the only one that tends to not mind info-dumping most of the time. I always want to know MORE about the world and the history and all of that, so info dumps are usually great ways to satisfy my curiosity :P

    Aww, it's a shame you didn't like Raffy. I don't think too much of him either from how you described him (sympathetic as I may be) but who knows... you're pretty convincing LOL. Lucas sounds wonderfully complex and mysterious! I love trying to figure characters out and Lucas sounds like a real challenge :D

    The plot for this one definitely sounds fascinating so it's a shame you didn't LOVE LOVE LOVE the characters. Great review! <3


  11. This is such a balanced review, the in between ones are always the hardest to write. I feel as though I might like Raffy...but then I haven't read it yet. I do absolutely hate a lack of chemistry between the love interests though so I can totally understand that this aspect was disappointing. I'll stillread this one before I make my mind up I think =] Totally agree about info-dumping, it works really well in dystopians because I always want to know more about the world!!

    The Cait Files

  12. Well...I read your first line and went " DELIRIUM!? HECK, I'M SERIOUSLY READING THIS!" But the fact that there is a lack of chemistry between Raffy and Evie..kinda..turns me off :S And it doesn't help that you didn't exactly like Raffy; since we usually like the same guys (& end up declaring war on each other, but that's not the point ;P) I probably won't like him either :S Ehh...might try this when I have time! Still...at least it sounds like the world-building was fantastic! I'm glad you liked this despite the fact that 'something' was missing...Great and honest review Brodie!!

  13. I have to say I am not deterred by "hostile and sarcastic" :P. I do worry about the lack of chemistry though, I'm always disappointed when the characters don't connect with each other. Definitely love the premise here, but not entirely sure how much I'll like the book as a whole. Glad you enjoyed it even if you didn't love it - I'm definitely intrigued!

  14. I am really looking forward to reading this as Malley is one of my favourite authors. From your review it doesn't sound quite as good as some of her other books, but I guess I'll just have to find out! :)

    Maree @ Maree's Musings


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