a review by Nalini Haynes
Suited is the second in The Veiled Worlds, a science fiction trilogy by Anderton. In the first book, Debris, Tanyana worked as an architect manipulating pions – think magic-like clusters of molecules for simplicity’s sake – before she fell from a great height into a plate of glass. After her accident, Tanyana could no longer see pions, instead seeing only debris, the dangerous side-effect of pion manipulation.
Relegated to a debris collection team, Tanyana lost her position and wealth overnight, becoming accustomed to a whole new way of life. Because she was to be a debris collector, she was physically enmeshed with a ‘suit’ that springs from her body to protect her, collect debris and to become a weapon. (For more on the background to this story, read my review of Debris, the first Veiled Worlds novel.) Throughout Suited Tanyana develops a relationship with her suit, which seems to be sentient.
The ‘elders of the tribe’ who can see debris reveal more of an underground culture, including ruins hidden literally underground. While no explanation is given for not reaching out to each debris collector as they were discovered prior to Tanyana’s conversion, the existence of an underground culture gives more depth and realism to this society.
The stakes are raised in Suited, which is Act Two of the story: the world is at risk, the enemy revealed although whether the enemy has a deeper plan or is merely insane is yet to be determined.
Suited overlaps magic and science in an alien world populated with humans or human-like people. It’s an enjoyable read in the Young Adult genre: YA because of its coming-of-age dystopian tropes with a central character who is the key to bringing different groups together and has special powers to (probably) save the day in the final installment of the story. (That’s a wild guess but Anderton doesn’t strike me as being in the George R.R. Martin school of writing.) Suited was nominated for Best Science Fiction Novel for Australia’s premiere judged science fiction awards, the Aurealis Awards. The Veiled Worlds trilogy is recommended for those who enjoy SF, YA and other like-minded acronyms.