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Company Town

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  4,794 ratings  ·  865 reviews
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.

Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the
Hardcover, 285 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by Tor
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Chelsey There are a lot of references to sex, as the main character is the body guard to sex workers/is good friends with sex workers, but there are no explic…moreThere are a lot of references to sex, as the main character is the body guard to sex workers/is good friends with sex workers, but there are no explicitly depicted scenes in the book.

Language... there's lots of language. Lots and lots.(less)

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Average rating 3.53  · 
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 ·  4,794 ratings  ·  865 reviews

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Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading this is like going through my own personal evolution, one story stage at a time. :)

I had to throw out practically all of my expectations at different stages of the novel. Hell, I even thought this was going to be a YA-ish SF, but no, it's a lot more than meets the eye.

It starts out as a biology-twist to a cyberpunk premise, where the biology-only character, Hwa, is an anomaly to all the tech around her. :) Turn her into a bodyguard, have her look into strange murders, and then, above al
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Company Town is a very busy and insanely ambitious novel. It stuffs about a dozen different hot button SFnal concepts - each one usually enough to support a story on its own - into a whacked out futuristic serial killer thriller. The world-building in Company Town is so mind-blowingly dense it literally burrows its way into the characters' bodies and hollows them out from the inside. I don't know how to describe what a crazy mess this book is and still convince you to read it; the plotting is so ...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sadly, I wasn't impressed with Company Town. I've been looking forward to this book for about 2 years and it turned out to be not really the type of story I enjoy these days, and it had problems with pacing and transitions and overall knitting the story parts together.

Hwa is a half-Korean woman who works as a bodyguard. She was born with a syndrome that leaves her with a disfigured face, a large birthmark stain, and a
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I was so excited to finally get my hands on Company Town, a book which had been on my to-read list for years going back to the days since it was first announced by Angry Robot. While the original publisher’s sale followed by the novel’s move to Tor resulted in a significant delay for its release, I have to say the wait was absolutely worth it. I was already a fan of the author, having read her seriously imaginative and ser
Althea Ann
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
With this book and Lavie Tidhar's 'Central Station' ( coming out, I feel like cyberpunk is making a bit of a comeback! (And that makes me happy!)

A version of a segment of this story was previously published in the 'Upgraded' ( anthology as 'Come From Away'. I wrote: "I suspect this ‘story’ is actually an opening to Ashby’s upcoming novel, ‘Company Town’ – the blurb and character names match. I look forward to readi
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Company Town is the story of Go Jung-Hwa, the half-Korean, all Newfie daughter of an embittered ex K-Pop star working as a bodyguard for the sex workers’ union, on an oil rig city off the coast of Newfoundland. Whew - that was enough to sell me.

Hwa suffers from Sturge-Weber Syndrome that leaves her with a port-wine stain across her face and body as well as leaving her prone to seizures. Most would have had the necessary implants to cure the disease but she’s financially unable. Instead, as a pu
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Hwa is an enigma in that she is one of the only fully organic, or non-enhanced people living in New Arcadia, a town on an oil rig in the North Atlantic off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. She is poor, and her face and body is marked with a stain that makes her both stand out and invisible at the same time in an era where almost anything can be fixed by implants and enhancements. But when the town of New Arcadia is sold and the town becomes the property of the Lynch family, it turns out that H ...more
Apr 16, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm of two minds. Ashby's ideas are potent and her worldview is fascinating, frequently ripping free of the page and lodging in the back of my head—but there's an issue with the connective tissue of this book, and that issue grows to the point where it threatens to swallow the good. Fortunately, there's enough good to keep the ship upright, and I found myself tearing through the book because I was genuinely curious how all these disparate, discombobulating threads would somehow find their way ba ...more
I am not going to tell you anything about the book. I read it blind on a recommendation and think it was better for it. it you enjoy science fiction with intense action and mystery give it a go.
I really enjoyed this unique little science fiction read. Great characters, a world that was fresh and exciting, and a mystery that I didn't figure out till it was revealed. The relationships each of the character had with each other was so different it was a touch off putting at first but soon became
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A most addictive read!

My goodness, where do I BEGIN with THIS precious little find?! I can honestly say that I picked up this book mostly because I presumed--how wrong I was!--that this would be a short, quick, simple read. And then it started to become crystal clear that this is instead a pretty sophisticated tale, one with so many wonderful levels to the story!

At its heart, I guess it's a sci fi/Steampunk mystery, and holy s@?#!, it's a good one! But it's so far from the average one we might
When I first saw the industrial grunginess of the image on the cover for this book, I knew I had to read it. When I finally got my hands on the book, I was not disappointed. I had read Madeleine Ashby's vN so I knew I'd be in for something different and possibly strange. This book was filled with characters and moments that could have gone one way, but the author chose to handle in an interesting and at times, unsentimental way.
The main character, whom I fell in love with, Go Jung-Hwa, is a hal
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

I absolutely loved this book! It was not what I thought it was going to be, it was even better! The first line of the book got me right off the bat!

Hwa wondered if today was the day should would finally get to finish that sorry son of a bitch once and for all.

In the beginning we meet Hwa, she is a bodyguard to the prostitutes on the rig. She makes sure nothing happens to them. Okay, I might have to put in some mild spoilers

Hwa, along with many other people,
Jack +Books & Bourbon+
This review took an exceptionally long time to write, even though it's not as detailed as some of my other recent reviews. There are several reasons for this. First, work has been insane, and I've hardly had time to just sit back and relax. I'm either working, single parenting, or sleeping. Second, I had to give this one a little more thought after finishing it as I didn't really have an initial clear-cut impression of it. And, in some ways, I still don't. Third, I liked the book enough that I d ...more
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
4.5 stars. I just really, really enjoyed this book. It's a rich world, and the heroine is an awesome, kick ass feminist. There's so much going on that summary feels daunting at the moment, but just let it be said, it's full of fantastic ideas, some real world politics, and futuristic tech. ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Go Jung-hwa (Hwa) is a bodyguard for sex workers in the city of New Arcadia. New Arcadia is a group of towers surrounding an old oil rig of the coast of Canada that has just been purchased by the Lynch Company. The company's owner, Zachariah Lynch wants to employ Hwa as protection for his youngest son Joel because she is free of all biotech and thus not hackable. Being without enhancement is very unusual at this point in history and Hwa's lack of it is because of a combination of a congenital bi ...more
Company town is a sci-fi thriller or a serial killer thriller or …. Something else, yes that’s what it is a lot of things.
it happens in a future time in Canada, Newfoundland. Like in Infomocracy the companies govern the cities but not by voting, they actually buy a city.
In this world the world is so broken and polluted all human beings need to be edited, augmented to be healthy, to be able to live a normal life. Hwa is not, she is the only organic person in this city and when new owner of city L
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was highly anticipated and talked about a year before its publication. I know because I marked it early for my "to read" file. When I saw the Kindle version on sale last month, I could wait no longer. And once on my pad, I couldn't resist starting it.

Company Town is a fast, action-packed, near-time, dystopian story. It takes place on an energy rig off the east coast of Canada. Yes, it's nice to have a fresh venue for this sort of thing. Here, we are not talking about a platform but a w
Kara Babcock
Company Town, while a book I definitely wanted to read, is not a book I had intended to read right now. This is how it came to me:

Me: *spots book on living room table, evidently purchased by Dad* You read this yet?
Dad: No.
Me: *takes book* Let me know when you want it back. *drops smoke screen*

100% accurate retelling.

I’m quite surprised this is a selection for Canada Reads. It’s very science fiction, and not literary-acceptable science fiction by a juggernaut like Margaret Atwood. Madeline Ashby
Stevie Kincade
(Audiobook) Thank you Madeline Ashby, Thank you

Thank you for giving us a butt-kicking female protagonist we can believe in

I have read plenty of books with a great female lead. My favourite book of last year had one. I know they can be done. I was starting to feel like some kind of chauvinistic arsehole hating on all of these stories this year with a capital K Kick-arse female lead. Really though, I just hate tropes.

It was starting to feel like the biggest trope of recent genre fiction was the b
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Madeline Ashby’s Company Town takes place in New Arcadia, a city built atop an oil rig off the east coast of Canada. Populated by technologically-augmented humans with Newfoundland accents, the story follows Go-Jung Hwa, a bodyguard for legalized sex workers. When the rig is purchased by the affluent Lynch family, the aging patriarch approaches Hwa with a job offer - protect his fifteen year old son from a litany of death threats. Soon after she takes the job, a number of her friends from the se ...more
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stars-4-0, scifi, r2016
What an intriguing book! Ashby has put together one mind-blowing read that combines a noire thriller with science fiction and bildungsroman.

Crazy action scenes, full of martial art - check. Smart dialogue - check. Engrossing crime mystery - check. Cyberpunk with genetic enhancement, invisibility suits, changellings, time-travel elements - check.

The world building is fascinating and concentrated into one microcosm. It seems the author followed the old crime thriller tradition of having characters
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, scifi, romance
"A man without a past and a woman without a future."
In the future Ashby envisions, bioaugmentation has become so universal that Go Jung-Hwa, unedited and suffering from Sturge-Weber Syndrome, is effectively unique, a black swan whose interaction with the world is not fully saturated by augmented reality. Hwa is just trying to live her life, working as a bodyguard for the local sex workers' union and teaching them self-defense on the side when her duties bring her into contact with Daniel Sio
Sebastian H
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
One of the sure signs of a good novel is a "show, don't tell" attitude.

This one, unfortunately, ended up feeling more like a "don't show, don't tell".

An interesting premise that got burdened by chaotic pacing and out-of-left-field twists that, instead of surprising me, made me groan and turn back pages and pages just to see who that essential character they were now discussing... actually was.

(view spoiler)
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm going to be honest - I struggle with science fiction and YA, and this book is rooted in both. If this was not a Canada Reads contender, I don't think I would have powered through to the finish line. Though I didn't love the book's execution, Ashby is a creative talent with some great ideas, and I enjoyed many elements of the book.

Hwa is a bodyguard for the United Sex Workers of Canada in a place called New Arcadia, and accompanies the girls to their appointments. Hwa is a a badass - she's a
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Company Town is a fun, wild, out of this world ride for fans of Terminator and sci-fi in general.

I wasn't sold on the synopsis of this book, but several of my Goodreads friends seemed to really enjoy it, so I decided to give it a go - and I'm very glad that I did. In the beginning, we meet Hwa, who lives in New Arcadia, an oil rig offshore of Newfoundland, Canada. Hwa works as a bodyguard for prostitutes, but is soon convinced to leave this position to become the personal bodyguard of Joel Lync
Michael Hicks
...and just like that, Madeline Ashby has instantly made it onto my list of must-read authors.

Company Town has all the trimmings of things I love. There's a good dash of sci-fi with some near-future razzle dazzle cybernetic augmentation, genetic engineering, Singularity conspiracy, and a nice heaping of serial killer mayhem to round it all off. The setting is wonderfully impressive (and forms the basis of that kick-ass cover!) - the titular Company Town is a city-sized oil rig off Newfoundland t
Natasha Penney
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic! The story moves quickly and the main character is one of the most interesting women I have encountered in quite some time. The premise and plot development are imaginative and fresh. You are immediately pulled into the story from the opening line. There are enough ethical questions looming under character and plot-driven momentum to ensure this book can't be easily dismissed once you're done. It has a great Canadian feel as well. Though as a Newfoundlander I find it diff ...more
Michael Underwood
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What happens when an award-nominated writer of gripping, fresh SF turns her hand to a stand-alone SF Thriller? In this case, the result is a compelling, pacey, and thoughtful novel.

The main character is distinct (a disabled Korean woman who is a total badass), the setting is fascinating (an off-shore company town oil rig), and the premise powerful (our heroine, an escort's escort, is tapped to protect the city-rig's heir apparent against a threat that seems to come from another timeline).

Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I waited so long for this book. I was so nervous to read it. But I finally took the plunge.

I read it in 12 hours.

I loved it. I loved it.

More thoughts:
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I don’t remember why I was so adamant about finding this book. It was never in my local or interlibrary loan system. I finally used an audible credit. Sooo glad I did. The narrator was perfect. The plot, even with AI and people living in arcologies in the middle of the Atlantic, felt current and authentic. The main character, with her very flawed mother and her physical and medical issues, felt very real in her feelings and reactions. Well done!
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She-Geeks: August 2016 Read 1 (Warrior Women): Company Town 3 26 Aug 27, 2016 02:15PM  

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Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer and strategic foresight consultant living in Toronto. She has been writing fiction since she was about thirteen years old. (Before that, she recited all her stories aloud, with funny voices and everything.) Her fiction has appeared in Nature, Tesseracts, Escape Pod, FLURB, the Shine Anthology, and elsewhere. Her non-fiction has appeared at, ...more

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