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Review: Linked by Imogen Howson

Friday, July 18, 2014

Imogen Howson

Series: Linked #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Paperback: 362 Pages
Publication: August 1, 2013
by Quercus Books


For years, Elissa has suffered nightmarish visions and unexplained bruises. Finally, she's promised a cure, and an operation is scheduled. But on the eve of the procedure, Elissa discovers the truth: she's seeing the world through another girl's eyes. A world filled with wires, machines and pain. Elissa follows her visions, only to find a battered, broken girl. A girl who looks exactly like her. A twin she never knew existed. Elissa and her twin Lin go on the run, but even after changing their looks and clothes, they're barely a step ahead of the government agents who are ruthlessly tracking them down. For Lin and Elissa are too valuable to let go, and the dark truth at the heart of it all is too shocking to risk exposing...

◆ A copy was provided by Quercus Books for review ◆

Linked is a well-written sci-fi novel about Elissa, a girl who discovers that she has a psychic link to a twin she never knew she had. Her twin has been used for experiments by the government and, for years now, has been sending Elissa images of her life. After discovering each other, they go on the run together in search of a place where they can be safe.

Elissa is a relatively boring character in comparison to the other characters, especially Lin. For the most part, it feels like she's there as a foil and conscience for Lin. Other than that, her presence mostly serves to tell the story. Lin really grows over the course of the novel. At first, she would best be described as a psychopath, most likely due to being cut off from society and treated like a lab rat. Over the course of the book, she begins to develop empathy and kindness with the help of Elissa and the other characters, and eventually she becomes the kind of person Elissa can be proud to call sister.

A general theme that jumped out to me is the debate over whether Lin may be considered human. The diversity in opinion in the story is interesting. Since the government doesn't want to consider her human, a lot of the characters refuse to consider her a real person, even after meeting and getting to know her. Even her own mother doesn't consider her human. It may be my own opinions projecting onto the page, but it seemed to me that the pro-human message is stronger in the book though with Elissa and several other characters supporting this stance.

The world building is done well. It contains a lot of different sci-fi elements, including a dystopian society, futuristic technology, and interplanetary travel. The author clearly puts in a lot of effort into creating this futuristic world—even the sidewalks were described in detail. With the knowledge that other planets exist in this world, I see great opportunity to expand and explore the world even more.

The ending did feel a little rushed, especially the romance. Elissa and her love interest spend the entire first half of the book thinking badly of the other person. Then suddenly, they see each other's true colors, and it is revealed that the characters actually secretly had crushes on each other when they were younger. Personally, I would have preferred it if it had been developed a bit more gradually. 

That said, I did still enjoy the book overall. It has interesting characters and a world that fits the story well. I would definitely recommend this book if you are interested in sci-fi.

Additional Information
  1. Linked
  2. Unravel
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1 comment on "Review: Linked by Imogen Howson"
  1. Hi Gwen, thanks for the great review! I'm actually reading this right now and I'm enjoying it. Rushed romance though? :(

    Precious @ Fragments of Life


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