Meet Hwa. One of the few in her community to forego bio-engineered enhancements, she’s the last truly organic person left on the rig. But she’s an expert in the arts of self-defence, and she’s been charged with training the Family’s youngest, who has been receiving death threats – seemingly from another timeline.
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Well, it seems like this is unpopular opinion time.
We’ll start with the good things about this book:
-This futuristic imagining of the world is rich. Why wouldn’t everyone that could make alterations to themselves? A few decades ago tattoos were only for “bad boy” type people. Bikers, ex-cons, etc. Fast forward to today and nearly everyone of the most recent generation to reach adulthood has at least one. So while it seems weird to think of nearly everyone having made some alteration to their physique, a few generations down the line and it might not seem so strange anymore.
-The setup of the namesake, the “company towns” are an interesting idea and one that seems to becoming very prevalent in science fiction; that of corporations evolving to a point that they have more power than whatever government exists, if any.
–The love story. The love story between Hwa and Daniel was very well written and it was easy to feel the tension between them. Daniel’s character was pretty charming so that didn’t hurt either. :)
The not so good things about this book:
The story was somewhat lacking. It’s hard to pinpoint what about it wasn’t that great. Murder mystery mixed with corporate politics in a futuristic world? That has some potential. Unfortunately, no spoilers, but the ultimate reveal at the end regarding who was behind everything kinda killed everything that had been built up. Wondering how the murders tied in with all the politics that seemed really unrelated made up a lot of the drive to get to the end, to find out who done it. It felt intricate and thought out. Then the final reveal was so out there it felt like even the author didn’t know who the bad guy was until the story was reaching the conclusion and, well someone had to have done it all.
So, I thought about this after we had already finished the podcast and I wish I had thought about it beforehand. I like that this book has a main character that has an epilipsy-esque disorder. I like that she is ugly. I am so tired of heroins that think their not pretty but for some reason every single guy falls all over himself for her. Hwa was actually not pretty and actually had a handicap that should have prevented her from being able to be bodyguard…but it didn’t. She dealt with it and was a badass anyway. I like that readers that are also not “picture perfect” or that may have a similar medical problem can have a heroine that they can really relate to and that can relate to them.
For a similar reason, I liked how this book addressed (albeit somewhat briefly) what it is like to have received a rape threat and not do anything about it, even though she knows she should, because she knows it won’t get taken seriously. Someone will wonder what she did to deserve such a threat. I get happy when people bring things like this up in literature. A small thing maybe in relation to the rest of the book but I appreciated that it was there.
I still have to go with a somewhat low rating because despite these things, the story kind of went back and forth on being engaging and ended with a less than satisfactory conclusion.
This snoozer had some great potential speaking about technology and how far we should let it control our life. What came out was a whiny character that I had no interest in and a twist that gave no shock, just confusion. Not much to say that I didn’t say in our podcast. Overall, I am happy this is a standalone book. I wouldn’t not be picking up the sequel if one existed.