Slip (Slip, #1) by David Estes

A copy of Slip was kindly sent to me by David Estes in exchange for an honest review.

Slip is one of the newest additions to David Estes’ dystopian body of work, the first in a trilogy where the United States is reformed and population control is number one on the government’s agenda.

Population Control, known as Pop Con, keeps close tabs on the number of people within the Reorganised United States, where pregnancy needs a license and a new person cannot be brought into the world until another has died; this keeps the population at its optimum number. Any unlicensed babies are destroyed, and if they make it past the age of two they become Slips, a national threat. Crazy stuff, am I right? Pop Con are ruthless and brutal, they believe in their work entirely, and if they don’t they make sure they stay silent about it.

The novel follows the lives of a few different characters; a Slip, a young man who leads a seemingly perfect life, the father of those two boys, and a murderous Hunter for Pop Con. All are well developed, and the multiple narratives are an interesting way to follow the story – you learn about the Reorganised United States and how the world has come to work through each character’s narrative. I wasn’t immediately drawn to any one character, it took some time for them to develop into someone I could feel something for, but by part two of the story I knew I was invested with the story of the miraculous Slip, Benson. It also took me a while to get into the story, which I think is because of the multiple narratives at the very beginning, but it’s definitely worth sticking with.

The main story focuses on the Slip, a child who was missed by the government and hidden by the right person, and the tension surrounding his character builds slowly through the novel; you know immediately that something is different about his circumstances and life, and can’t help but wonder how he will survive in such a totalitarian world. I can’t deny that he also looks exactly like Logan Lerman in my head because of the cover art.

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this book as the dystopian genre has become a bit saturated, but I’m always willing to try anything by Estes, as his Dweller and Country series are so good. Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed on any level. Slip is a brilliant dystopian novel with all the right ingredients: fantastic characters that tug at your emotions, a cause you can believe in, effective world building, and villains you want to punch in the face. It’s dark and gritty and hard, and that’s exactly what it needed to be. David Estes has done it again – created an excellent dystopian novel that many will enjoy.

Read: November 7th 2015

4/5 stars

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