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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A to K
A young adult dystopian science fiction novel. It runs for three hundred and seventy two pages, and is divided into twenty four chapters plus an epilogue. And a short piece at the beginning.

It's the start of a trilogy.

Recommended reading age would be thirteen and up, thanks to some mild violence and some adult themes and references.

It's...
Published on 3 Mar 2012 by Paul Tapner

versus
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing YA dystopia
After the world's ravaged by The Horrors, a neurological surgical procedure is developed to abolish evil. The procedure is mandatory for all who live in the City, its citizens then being labelled according to their level of goodness. The A's are the best, the Ds the worst. The most deviant are labelled K, who are taken away for a procedure called the New Baptism and...
Published on 29 Mar 2012 by I Read, Therefore I Blog


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing YA dystopia, 29 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Killables (Killables Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
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After the world's ravaged by The Horrors, a neurological surgical procedure is developed to abolish evil. The procedure is mandatory for all who live in the City, its citizens then being labelled according to their level of goodness. The A's are the best, the Ds the worst. The most deviant are labelled K, who are taken away for a procedure called the New Baptism and are never heard from again.

16-year-old Evie works for the government, changing people's labels according to what the System dictates. She's engaged to Lucas, an A label, high ranking civil servant 12 years older than her who keeps the System running. But Evie loves his brother, Raffy, who's known to have deviant tendencies. When she discovers that Raffy will be redesignated as a K, they have to escape but doing so uncovers secrets that the City will kill to protect ...

Gemma Malley's YA dystopia, the first in a trilogy, is a disappointing tale that does little new with the genre and revolves around two unlikeable characters.

Evie's a passive character who needs to be told what to do - even her escape from the City is engineered for her. Though explainable in the context of the world she lives in, it made for frustrating reading, as she persistently refuses to stand up for herself. The potentially interesting relationship with her mother - particularly Evie's guilt at being such a disappointment - doesn't really go anywhere, with her mother's hostility getting a trite explanation.

The love triangle is dull and a little icky given the age difference between Evie and Lucas and the fact that Raffy behaves like a petulant, possessive toddler. I didn't understand what any of them saw in each other and the idea of the brothers being opposites (Lucas - blond and emotionless; Raffy dark and brooding) felt cliche. I wish Evie had stood up for herself with them rather than being a victim.

Exposition is heavily used to world build, which didn't hold my attention. There's genuine horror in the scenes where Evie discovers what happens to those who undertake the New Baptism, but the moral discussion on how to treat the victims is superficial and I was uncomfortable at the idea that they were prone to homicidal violence.

Ultimately although I've really enjoyed Gemma Malley's other work, this left me very disappointed and I won't be reading on.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A to K, 3 Mar 2012
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Killables (Killables Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
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A young adult dystopian science fiction novel. It runs for three hundred and seventy two pages, and is divided into twenty four chapters plus an epilogue. And a short piece at the beginning.

It's the start of a trilogy.

Recommended reading age would be thirteen and up, thanks to some mild violence and some adult themes and references.

It's good enough to be enjoyed by older readers as well, though.

The piece at the front tells us about the Amygdala. A part of the brain that some claim can have an effect on mental states.

The book then introduces us to Evie. Teenage girl and viewpoint character for nearly all the chapters. She has strange dreams about being brought to a place of safety by a man. She lives in the city. A place where humanity flourishes in a post disaster world. Where the great leader of the city and his assistant the brother claim that's because they deal with the amygdala. And by doing that they stop people being as evil as those who brought about the fall of civilisation were.

Citizens are graded from A to D, depending on how good a citizen they are. Anyone who falls lower than that is a K. But people don't talk about them.

A grade A citizen is Lucas, whom Evie is betrothed to. Evie has a job in government and has been brought up to be a model citizen and not to question anything about her society.

But she's torn between what is expected of her and what she wants for herself. As a result of which, she's caught up in events that will lead to the secrets of the city coming to light...

This takes it's time to set up the scenario and the world in which Evie lives. And once you get used to it, which happens very quickly, it becomes a pretty intriguing read. Throwing in a few good surprises and reveals along the way. There's lots to be learnt about certain characters and all of the plot does arise out of their actions. Many of which will genuinely surprise you.

Evie is a very believable character and you can relate to her easily, and the book is an interesting portrayal of someone being forced to confront and change their beliefs.

It also offers a lot of moral food for thought for the reader, and never lectures, just lets you make up your own mind in regards to the issues raised.

The one minor flaw is that once you get into the final third and all the truth has been revealed about this world what comes next isn't quite as compelling. Although it's still very readable. And it rounds this volume off nicely enough whilst leaving the door open for the story to continue.

A good start to a trilogy, though, and I shall be back to find what happens next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of the same, 20 Jun 2012
By 
Beanie Luck Spud (Cotswolds) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Killables (Killables Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
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First off i wanted to say i absolutely love the cover of this book, there was a little badge glued on the front of mine for the K in Killables, very unique, shame that this was the only unique thing about it.

Set in yet another dystopian world where evil has been forever eradicated, a 16 year old girl Evie struggles to contain her evil feelings whilst having relationships with 2 brothers.

Ive read it all before and ive read better ones.

Its ok, if your 13 - 17 im sure you will love it, but for anyone older than that i would stay away.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An "A" Grade Debut, 2 April 2012
By 
Lovely Treez (Belfast, N Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Killables (Killables Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
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One could be forgiven for thinking that a dystopian setting is compulsory for all YA novels being published at the moment and with the huge success of The Hunger Games both in print and on screen, this is one trend which is staying put. Gemma Malley has already proven her worth in this genre with her excellent Declaration trilogy and she continues to demonstrate her impressive storytelling skills in this, the first of a new trilogy.

I must admit that I was quite worried that this new series would seem too samey and fail to stand out amongst the plethora of other dystopian reads on the market but what makes it shine is its quiet, understated nature - thank goodness there are writers who realise it doesn't have to be all singing, all dancing, all flailing limbs to attract the reader's attention, sometimes less is more.

Our "new world" is The City whose citizens are graded from A to D and (shock, horror!) sometimes K depending on their good citizenship and obedience of the rules established by the System. The head honcho is the omniscient, omnipresent Brother who seems to have your best interests at heart - you really don't want to end up outside the City gates at the mercy of the Evils, an allegedly subhuman species.

There is an intriguing love triangle involving our three main protagonists, Evie, Raffy and his "much" older brother, Lucas. I liked the fact that none of these characters are particularly likeable and you feel like shaking some sense into them most of the time - it's a trilogy after all, they have time to evolve and change, hopefully for the better! I also loved the semi-scientific slant on the new Society where all the good citizens have had their amygdala, the "evil" part of their brain, removed - all done to deliver themselves from evil of course.

Like all first books in a series, a large portion of the novel has to be devoted to world-building but the author has succeeded in also building characters and a plot which engage the reader and will make you want to read on. If you're aged over 13 and you like your dystopian fiction restrained, intelligent and thought-provoking then this is your next stop.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea poor execution, 16 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Killables (Killables Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
This more than anything seemed to me to be a UK based dystopia with firm designs on the Hunger Games market. Unfortunately whilst a great plot idea it fails to convey the tension that a YA version of 1984 should have. The characters are forgettable and we have no real sympathy for either of the star crossed lovers who must hide their feelings as Evie has been matched with Raffy's brother Lucas rather than him.

The idea of this society where people are rated A to D with the mysterious designation K being the worst is intriguing but isn't explored well. Equally Evie's hostile relationship with her mother is given a cliched explanation with no attempt made to explore the emotional fallout.

In short there are far better YA dystopias out there so why waste your money on a mediocre read like this go for Blood Red Road instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Killables, 2 July 2012
By 
Vicki @ Cosy Books - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Killables (Killables Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
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I loved Gemma Malley's 'Declaration' trilogy, which not only had an original and fascinating premise, but was also very British as opposed to the millions of American teen YA dystopia about over the last few years. It was fresh, exciting and thought provoking.

Sadly, The Killables doesn't live up to it's predecessor, in fact there's nothing to make it stand out from the heavily saturated crowd of this genre. I was constantly drawing comparisons to Lauren Oliver's Delirium (a far superior novel) and it felt clichéd, predictable and the story disjointed and non sensical at times. I struggled to believe in a system so heavily ingrained in the society of this book as it was only a generation old. The characters were far too gullible to lap it up, and their reasons for doing so very vague. Then too quickly did main character Evie accept a revolution against the system. I didn't connect, believe, champion or empathise...important qualities for a reader of dystopian fiction, and it all fell a bit flat.

It is easy and readable, down to the lack of depth I suppose. But ultimately unsatisfying and forgettable...there's far better out there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new, but not bad, 29 Jun 2012
By 
Catriona Reid - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Killables (Killables Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
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This is a good wee book, but it's /very/ similar to Delirium, both in concept and in story, at least for the first half. 'Badness' - stemming, of course, from out of control emotions - has been eliminated, and society is at peace. Those who struggle with this undergo something called The New Baptism, but what exactly is this? No one comes back from it...

As I said, very similar to Delirium.

That being said, found the secomd half of the book interesting and surprisingly thought-provoking. The introduction of a new set of characters, many of home have very troubled and dark pasts, is welcome and fresh, and the reactions of the sheltered main characters are realisticly portraid. Mistakes with serious consequences are made, with no attempt made to absolve or make excuses for the characters' actions. (Which is not, of course, to say that explanatioms aren't provided and realisic.)

The writing is at times a little confusing - there were a couple of moments where I felt a bit muddled as to what was going on - amd some of the character naming decisions were pretty poor. That being said, it's an enjoyable enough read, and gripping enough to keep you going past the occasional rough patch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Dystopia, 17 Jun 2012
By 
Sussman "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Killables (Killables Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
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It seems these days dystopian setting is essential for all youth novels being published at the moment. Add the huge success of The Hunger Games; it appears that this is one movement which is staying with us for a while. I have not read the other books by Gemma Malley.

In this book, much time is spent laying out the historical back ground and the reader goes on an instructive journey along with the main characters/protagonists Evie and Raffy and discovers what has really been going on. The reader is given a narrative with unexpected twists and about those who see evil as biological, as if written in your DNA determined by a section of the brain.

Unapproved relationships are illegal. Careers are set by the government. Couples are matched, who said arranged marriages were dead, and where freedom is severely restricted. In our protagonist's society, people are given labels according to how good they are. If you're labelled

A - You're part of the complaisant elite.

B - You're good, safe.

C - You're average goodness, but you could let evil in at any time.

D - You're deviant, to be shunned.

K Well, no one's quite sure what K is because the labelled never come back...

There are unanswered questions and the plot can at times confuse, but I guess this is part and parcel of trilogy books, and one hopes that as book two and three finally arrive we will have our answers.

For me Killables book is a dystopian journey with a little romance and a little thriller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Dystopia., 8 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Killables (Killables Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
Length:: 3:55 Mins

A fairly good dystopia but it doesn't offer anything particularly new.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian Dilemma, 1 Jun 2012
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Killables (Killables Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
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The plot of `The Killables' follows a familiar theme whereby after some apocalyptic "Horrors" there are flawed attempts to build "the City" as a haven inside protective walls, yet there is repression and corruption in the community's administration. This scenario is set against rebelling citizens within seeking escape and heroic survivors outside "the City" combining to bring freedom to a subjected society. Author Gemma Malley has previously written the well-received Declaration/Resistance/Legacy dystopian trilogy targeted at young adult readers, and it appears `The Killables' is the first of a further trilogy of the same genre. Unfortunately the author seems to be running out of steam, yet with so many bizarre incidents and loose ends left from the final chapter and epilogue the weak storyline of `The Killables' is set to continue.

The unconvincing plot is illogical with main characters lacking credibility and displaying unattractively feeble and immature traits, and there are unexplained relationships. Writing strives to be exciting but is simplistic and mundane, and attempts to introduce a love triangle lead nowhere. There is only superficial attention to physical description leaving readers with perhaps too much to imagine, but the main dilemma for a dystopian novel is that ethical considerations are glossed over. There is little that is thought provoking and readers are unlikely to be emotionally involved or enthused. Basically `The Killables' lacks depth - it is only average - hence 3-star rating. Hopefully the series will develop.
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The Killables (Killables Trilogy 1)
The Killables (Killables Trilogy 1) by Gemma Malley (Paperback - 29 Mar 2012)
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