The Killables by Gemma Malley: So much potential

I was expecting this book to be better than it actually was. Not that it was bad – it just wasn’t as good as the blurb had led me to believe it would be. I feel as if it could easily have been a couple hundred pages longer. I felt certain aspects were rushed, and I had to read back over a few portions of the book because I didn’t get what was going on the first time round.

I must say, the cover is brilliant

The Killables follows Evie, a young girl (seventeen maybe?) who doesn’t quite fit the part of the “good citizen”. She lives in The City, where everybody is given a label, A, B, C, or D, based on how good they are. When they’re born, everyone in The City has the part of their brain that makes them evil taken out, in the aim to make everybody “good”. However there is another label – K. If you’re labelled a K that means that the evil part of your brain has grown back, and you’re taken away from everyone you know to have the operation again.

Or are you?

Evie is due to marry Lucas, who is a perfect citizen. She has a good job, and is a solid B. However, she keeps having dreams about a strange protector, and she fears that she isn’t as good as she’s trying to be. She doesn’t quite fit in with The City’s idea of “a good citizen”. She doesn’t really get along that well with her mother and she sneaks out of her house at night to meet up with Raffie – Lucas’s brother and “bad citizen”.

She’s a pretty okay character. I mean there’s not that much in the way of character development, but she’s not too bad to begin with, so it’s fine. She was an interesting character in the way she behaved kind of differently from how the main character usually behaves in Dystopian novels. Usually the character isn’t really challenging the regime at the start of the novel – they eventually figure out something’s wrong or something shocking happens that forces them into action. There are so many books in which this happens, like Divergent by Veronica Roth, or Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. However, contrary to the usual way of doing things, in The Killables, Evie is actually dissatisfied with the system form the start. It’s quite refreshing actually.

So who is this Lucas?

Lucas is the person Evie is due to marry, or “matched” to. He’s a model citizen with a high up government job, and he’s an A, even though his father was labelled a K when he was a child. Word is that Lucas actually informed The City of his father’s misdeeds, causing him to be taken away. He doesn’t really get along with his brother Raffie, and is constantly putting him down to others.

He may not seem like a very nice character, but there’s actually a lot behind his stony exterior. In fact, I would have to say that Lucas was my favourite character in the book. I won’t spoil anything, but let’s just say you if you look up character development in the dictionary, you get a picture of Lucas (after The Mayor and Davy Prentiss that is).

Perhaps the opposite of Lucas, however, was his brother Raffie. Raffie never really got over the fact that Lucas sold out their father, and he’s really bitter. He’s seeing Evie behind Lucas’ back, and this causes quite a bit of friction initially, then it seems to die down for a bit, and then near the middle of the book it resurfaces again.

Raffie, for me, was the worst character. He was completely one-dimensional, there was absolutely no development at all, and he was, to put it bluntly, a really boring character. At the beginning of the story he seemed vaguely interesting, but the angry brooding can only go on for so long before it gets old. I felt myself hoping that the writer would kill him off, he was just so insufferable.

As for the plot, it was actually really good, though as I said before, the book could easily have been another two hundred pages longer. I felt like there were a lot of things that were a bit rushed, and certain scenes could have been a lot clearer if they were longer, as things would have been explained better. I know “filler” scenes aren’t always a good thing, but when the pace started to pick up in The Killables, it never slowed down again, so maybe some filler would have helped.

All in all The Killables was good enough, though the story had the potential to be so much better. The love triangle was completely unnecessary, and really I think the story would have been better without it. I would give it 3/5 stars.


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