Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Slam by Tash McAdam.

Hey guys! :D

Joe here with another review for you all!

Today I’m going to be talking about the book ‘SLAM’ by Tash McAdam.

Here’s a little bit of the blurb to get us going!
Telepaths, torture, mindwipes ... the Institute has it all, and they use each of their brainwashed children as weapons, the way they see fit. In this story we follow Serena, a young rebel soldier, as she struggles to prove herself in her training program, and on her first mission into the heart of enemy territory. A story about telepaths, superpowers, mindwipes and kidnapping

Serena’s baby brother Damon is one of those children, and these days he’s so altered that he doesn’t even recognize her.

I got an email from the author (Tash McAdam) asking to review her book, so this is an honest review!
SLAM is the author’s debut novel and honestly you wouldn’t think that with the writing style and the way it is written.

To begin with, I really enjoyed this book and I’m not the biggest fan of the Young Adult genre.
I mean, I’ve read a few books in the genre such as Charlie Higson’s The Enemy, John and Carole E. Barrowman’s Hollow Earth and some of the Spooks series by Joseph Delaney, but I didn’t seem to get too enthralled with them.

From the get-go SLAM captured me, it ensnared me and I was dropped into this fast-paced, super-powered, dystopian styled world that just escalates and escalates as the book continues.

We’re in a world were some people are born regular humans and others are born; People with psychic abilities such as telekinesis, telepathy and so forth.
In this world, there are two groups of fighters The ARC and the The Institute.

The ARC wants to help the Psionics, they want to protect them, train them to use their powers accordingly and to help create a safe future for the Psionics.
The Institute are pretty much the bad guys; they abduct the Psionics and place them under a quarantine, which involves tests and experiments done to them.

Though the ARC is fighting for the good of all Psionics; they are the rebels in this story. While the Institute control the governments and the connection between the cities, they are undoubtedly the bad guys.

My all time favourite super-power that I would literally sell my soul for is Telekinesis, so as I was reading this book and every time the main characters did some kind of bad-ass move with their abilities I could really picture it and really understand the whole movement behind it. I was really-really taken aback by the creativity that the author had put into the Psychic abilities the characters had.

I did like the contrast between the Slums and the City. How they were so close together geographically but so far apart economically and technologically; how such little distance can border such a large difference

The story was a-little bit short in my opinion, but then again it is a prequel, which makes perfect sense.
It really is a taster for what’s to come and I like that; I got that feeling, I really want to continue reading this series honestly!

The story, I believe, is set quite far ahead in the future of Planet Earth, a future where we’ve lost most Technology and we’re living on this desolate planet which doesn’t really have much habitation excluding the cities and the wastelands. (There may be more habitats in future books such as forests, etc, which would be cool!)
I was a bit ‘eh’ on the old-tech references though, especially with Google (which I’ll reference a little later) and I think it was when Leaf said something  ‘Makes you think about that swimmin’ stuff ya hear about sometime’
I didn’t really know what to think; it’s an awesome concept about how we’ve forgotten the ‘old worlds’ but don’t they have some sort of culture or education on the old world? Or is the old world just gone in both means of existence and history?

The characters were pretty good in my opinion.
They worked really well to keep me entranced into this story, though they were slightly generic towards the genre.
I’ll only do a couple of the characters as there are characters which you may disagree with me on, so it’s only wise to name a few :)

Serena was your average protagonist; Young, fired up and ready for anything.
I liked Serena, but I couldn’t necessarily say that I connected to her? I’m not sure why honestly; maybe I just got a little side-tracked by a few of the other characters?
Serena was Psionic with ability to influence physical objects and cold connect telepathically with Abial.

Even though I didn’t fully connect to Serena as much as I would’ve liked to, I found her to be a very likeable character and I can see a lot of people, mostly audiences younger of a slightly younger age group (16-17), connecting to her.
Her character development was a little paced but I overlooked it due to the fact it was a prequel and we’re not set into the long haul of a full novel.

Abial was Serena’s friend and more the brawler rather than the brains of the two, though she was also a techy at points.
Abial was the same kind of Psionic as Serena, but I found her powers to be much stronger and more precise.

I found her to be the ‘strong but silent’ type, which made the story quite exciting and more action packed.
I didn’t connect with her either; I’m not sure why… maybe because I couldn’t feel any kind of interlinking factors that made me feel at ease? I’m not sure.
Again though, she was a great character and developed very well.

Leaf is your general smuggler, a master of tricks and illusions.
He is a natural at changing his accents to suit the situation and he is able to literally disappear without making a sound.
I did like Leaf quite a-bit as he brought some Humour to the book which I felt was lacking in quite a-bit, considering it’s a YA type of book I would’ve thought that all types of emotion would’ve had to have been signalled into it.

The only bad things I have to say about this book are that I did sometimes find it a little hard to keep track on who’s talking.
At some points during this book, mostly when Abial and Serena are talking, the narration breaks it down into ‘She said’, which made it rather confusing to figure out who’s talking. I did have to move back through a few chapters to figure out which person was talking.
And the thing about Google being a curse word… I did find it a little cringy? I don’t know why, I mean it’s a great idea to have this pre-dated tech being sort of historical being, it just felt a little weird?

Overall though; I did like the book and I will/do want to continue the series as I want to see what happens to the Psionics.
I thought that the build-up was good and that the characters we’re well developed.
You honestly wouldn’t be able to tell that this was a debut novel from the author.

We’ll be having a Q&A with the author Tash McAdam coming soon so look out for that!
You can purchase SLAM here if you want too:

Thank you for reading this review!

See ya’ later guys!

Joe :)


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