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Thursday, June 27, 2013

FRACTURED by Teri Terry

WARNING: This review is of a second book in a series; I've done my best to avoid spoilers, but some may have escaped my notice.

FRACTURED by Teri Terry
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Dystopia/Thriller, 432 pages
Published April 4th 2013 by Orchard Books (in the UK. Late this year in the US - I think)
How do you know where to go when you don't remember where you came from?

Kyla's memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

Or so she thought.

Kyla shouldn't be able to remember anything. But she can - and she's beginning to realise that there are a lot of dark secrets locked away in her memories. When a mysterious man from her past comes back into her life, she thinks she's on her way to finding the truth. But the more she learns about her history, the more confusing her future becomes...

Set in a disturbing future world, FRACTURED is an engrossing, fast-paced read that establishes Teri Terry as a master thriller writer.

Much of what I said for the first book, Slated [review], still applies to Fractured - Kyla is still this intriguing little enigma of a person, and the book is still compulsively readable, with a very skin-crawlingly plausible (as an extreme) basis for a dystopia.  As the series goes on and the reader is given more information and more of an insight into what's really happening, everything gets a little darker and more worrisome in a really interesting way. The more that is revealed, the more questions there are to ask.

I love the layers Teri Terry has presented in this story. There is intrigue, terrorism and patriotism, politics and science and double-crosses, all muddled up together into a full, tension-fraught, scarily real world. These elements play off of each other, each heightening the next and creating more tension and anticipation for what is to come - there are so many places things can start to go wrong, and the reasons things have come to this extreme are both horrifyingly believable and just-enough over the edge as to be almost too much. Kyla is an excellent representation of all of this; she is all these different people, stacked one in another like matryoshka. She's naive and innocent, but also strong, smart and uncanny. She's incredibly vulnerable and broken, but fierce and seemingly unbreakable. The things that have been done to her - and not just the Slating, but the layers and layers of things, which are hinted at in book 1 and explored more in book 2 - have created in Kyla quite an enigma, which doesn't quite fit anywhere, but has pieces of every aspect of this intricate world reflected in her.

The more Kyla understands about her world and herself, the more intriguing and dangerous everything becomes, and I love it! Of course, it helps that Terry's writing pulls you along at high speed. As with Slated, I Didn't intend to read this in a day, but I damn near did. Terry just makes it so easy to keep flipping pages; I had to know what Kyla was going to remember next, or how she was going to get out of every predicament. As the series progresses, new characters pop into Kyla's life with greater frequency, and who they are and their motivations are always suspect. With each new interaction, the stakes are raised, and you're left constantly wondering how things could possibly end well. And the beauty of the book?
Sometimes they don't.

That may sound strange to you, but think about what a beautiful thing that is, to not have everything clean and nice and tied up with a bow. Life isn't always clean and nice; life is hard. Sometimes things suck. Sometimes good people get hurt and bad ones keep on doing the hurting, and very little adds up or makes sense or feels right. That's life. In a dystopian society? It should be just that, but more. Things should be heightened, danger should be real, and it should feel as though maybe there just isn't a Happily Ever After.  That's the only way I can really buy in, and I'm so glad that Teri Terry gets* that and doesn't cop out and wave a magic wand so that everyone comes out unscathed and perfect**, happy and whole.  I appreciate that so much.
I appreciate the danger and the questions and the tension, and just GAH! is it time for book 3 yet?!

*So many italics!! in this review.
**But as I write that, I have to admit, there is one instance of some pretty serious magic-wand-waving where a character really does seem to come out of something unscathed. However, the other ways in which the scenario goes wrong make it work, so I'm okay with that. But it bears mentioning.


  1. I keep trying to avoid adding one more dytopian to my pile, but then here you come with this.

  2. I've been hearing great things about this series and to be honest it looks pretty amazing. I will have to check it out sometime. Thanks for the review!


  3. AND I WILL NEVER STOP, ohmagichour...
    (There's another one coming in a few days. More post-apocalyptic, though.)

    You definitely should, Mari!


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