Books 2 and 3 in the Slated Trilogy, Fractured and Shattered, continue the gradually unravelling mystery of the six identities of Kyla as she tries to discover who she really is, why she was Slated, and why she was so thoroughly prepared for Slating if her capture was as accidental as was made out. She embraces each identity in turn, and the friends and family who go with it, only to find layers of betrayal and lies behind it all and new twists to her history. But when Kyla discovers that innocent children are being Slated her resolve to stop the government is cemented.
The mother-daughter-sister themes are explored further in the second and third books, with the introduction of more intriguing female characters: Kyla-as-Lucy’s mother and grandmother, and a number of potential sister-friends at their boarding house. There’s even a hint of a lesbian character.
The rest of the trilogy continues, and amps up, the romantic angst begun in the first book. Despite Kyla’s secretive behaviour, many of the other characters warm to her immediately and risk their lives for her (boys and men in particular—four of whom are vying for her heart over the course of the three books). The romantic interests affect much more of the plot in the wrap up of the trilogy, so this might irritate readers who prefer a lighter touch in the weak-in-the-knees department and something less neat and tidy than a last-boy-remaining-gets-the-girl ending. But after the tense build-up and numerous bait-and-switches, it is probably a relief that Kyla doesn’t have to live with the what-ifs of making her own choice.
The ending itself is mostly satisfying and quite clever, although with a few loose ends that some might find perplexing. But readers who dislike having everything tied up perfectly will appreciate the minor notes of discord here. Likewise the “message” of the book is ambiguous and not forced down the reader’s throat: idealistically and theoretically, Slating could be better and kinder than the alternative; in reality, corruption and lust for power make it a dangerous tool for control in the wrong hands. But which are the wrong hands? How does anybody know for sure?
The Slated Trilogy is much more violent than Madison Lane, with a few graphic and disturbing scenes and a number of likable characters dying tragically. It is suitable for older teens.