Since reading Julianna Baggott’s novel, Pure, I seem to want to devour every dsytopian novel I can get hold of. Is this my mid-life crisis talking to me, reaching out into the future in the desperate hope that I might live long enough to witness it? Or, in reading fiction aimed at young adults, is my old age creeping in before its time, as my deteriorating brain cells try to convince me that that I’m still wrinkle free?
Either way, then I’ve progressed from ‘Pure’ to Gemma Malley’s ‘The Killables’.
The story centres around two teenagers, who find their imaginations stifled by the ruling regime. A formidable leader called the Brother has somehow managed to convince the entire population of his walled-in city that they must conquer the evil within themselves; in other words, any hints of passion, emotion or creativity that might make them strive for freedom. Any resident who deviates from the expected standards of conformity runs the risk of being cast out at the city gates, ready to be devoured by the true Evils – the ones so devoid of any goodness that they have to fend for themselves.
Sounds familiar? The book was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2012, so I’m almost certain, unless Malley is a soothsayer, that the Brother wasn’t intended to be a representation of Donald Trump, building his imaginary wall to protect the citizens of the USA from the voices on the other side!
This is a thought-provoking book that will evoke numerous comparisons with real-life societies, past and present. One only has to consider the profit-making model of the capitalist workplace to ask oneself whether Malley’s ‘brutal world of brutal souls’ lie on the outside or within!
Which to read next: ‘Fuse’, Baggott’s sequel to ‘Pure’, or ‘The Disappearances’, Malley’s sequel to ‘The Killables’ ? Unfortunately, I don’t have either of these sequels on my bookshelves, or in the piles of still-to-be-read books next to my bedside.
So please, Waterstones, be generous. Send me a free copy (‘Fuse’ first, please), and I’ll be happy to write the review!
Copyright owned by Jay Cool, August 2019
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