I thought I knew what Linked was about before I started. I have ideas about Bourne and political thrillers, I thought the two main characters would be slumming it and trying to bring down a corrupt and mean government. I have seen it before and it is a format I like do I was looking forward to reading Linked. The moral of the story is not to assume you know what is going on before you do because this book took me somewhere I was not expecting to go. It took me to space…literally.
WOW, I was not expecting that and I read the rest of the book with a general air of WTF! I have to admit that I had issues with this one, issues that I will get to in a moment but overall I was pretty impressed with it. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if a book has inconsistences’ or problems not to me anyway. All I want from a book is to be entertained and to be dragged head first into another world. A book does not have to be perfect it has to engage me and that is exactly what Linked did.
So, let’s start with the stuff I liked. I thought the idea was really ambitions and I thought it worked really well. Surprising your reader is often a good thing but if the author doesn’t completely get behind her brave and bizarre plot twists then it doesn’t work, that was not the case here Howson owned her (at times) slightly unbelievable storyline and because she did it worked. Another thing that really made this book work was the developing relationship between Elissa and her twin Lin. It really goes the distance starting with disbelief and distrust and tending in respect and true sisterly love. There is a romance here and it was rather brilliantly underplayed which allowed the sister relationship to really shine through but still provided me with a smidge of romance which I am a sucker for.
The pacing was great; it didn’t hang around and linger on unneeded detail or drama. It did what it needed to do and then moved on without feeling sparse or rushed. The main bulk of the book takes place in space which was a really good move because that was where the book got really interesting.
Despite all the things I loved about this there were things I disliked just as much. I have an issue with books that are written in third person and rely on pages after pages of italic ‘thoughts’ of the main character. If we needed to know what she was thinking all the time then maybe she should have told the story from her point of view. I just found the italics really distracting and felt they always seemed to happen at the wrong time. I had to be shoved out of a book and that is what happened here. What didn’t help was that the italic ‘thoughts’ showed how horrible, selfish and mean spirited the main character, Elissa, could be. Most of the time I liked her but these little journey’s into her mind showed her not to be the sweet and selfless person to seemed to be. Frankly, she can be horrible and some of her selfish and thoughts about her sister were disgusting, especially considering all Lin (whom I much preferred even though she was a bit primal) had been through. It showed that Elissa was immature and bitchy and it made me dislike her.