Release Date: 14th March 2012
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
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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!