Thursday 14 June 2012

Book review: Suited.

By Jo Anderton.
Angry Robot Books.

Tanyana is resigned to her status as a collector now. Slowly but surely she is learning how to live with her suit and communicate with the Keeper. She knows the Puppet Men are watching her now; she just doesn’t know why. What do they want from her? Evidently it wasn’t enough to strip her of her status, and the rich life she once knew, for the trials continue and Tanyana has no choice but to openly oppose the powers that be, no matter the cost.

Betrayed by her once-lover Devich, forced into poverty and mistrusted by some of those closest to her, Tanyana now has another concern. It seems her suit, the liquid metal that was forced deep into her body to allow her to handle debris, is turning against her. This struggle between her mind and body leads her to a decision that seems harder than anything she has come up against so far.

Her allies are becoming few and far between. Lad, the Half, is ever at her side and provides the link with the Keeper that will be so key to Tanyana’s success. Kichlan, Lad’s brother and protector, has feelings for Tanyana that are obvious to the whole collecting team, but it seems Devich may have had a bigger impact on Tanyana’s life than everyone noticed. The settled, if not comfortable, existence Tanyana has forged amongst the Unbound is slowly coming unravelled around her.

Suited is the second book in the Veiled Worlds series and I had wondered where the story was headed after Debris. I was a little unsure whether the complexity of this world and Tanyana’s story would be enough to sustain the action beyond the point where we left our unlikely heroine, seemingly triumphant over the veche and their strange puppet men. I am pleased to report that Suited managed to exceed my expectations and delivered another unique and captivating tale.

The visual complexity of the world Anderton has created is occasionally a little hard to imagine, but the plot keeps us hooked in regardless and the reader’s imagination manages to sketch in the additional details of the two worlds: that of Tanyana’s reality and that of the Keeper’s. Betrayal and conflict take centre stage in the plot again and there is no lack of moral dilemma to keep Tanyana on her toes.

With a surprisingly realistic heroine, flawed to the hilt as we are in real life, this is an intriguing story with a protagonist that is as compelling as she is frustrating, and a world that is as rife with danger as it is with misunderstanding. The poverty line is evident and repression is a main theme of the book. Beauty clashes with horrors and Suited is a strong follow up in a series that is still unlike anything I have ever read before.

Elloise Hopkins.

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