They call it Company Town--a city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, now owned by one very wealthy, powerful, byzantine family: Lynch Ltd.
Hwa is of the few people in her community (which constitutes the whole rig) to forgo bio-engineered enhancements. As such, she's the last truly organic person left on the rig--making her doubly an outsider, as well as...more
1) Mr. Branch the science teacher was actually one of Joel's descendants, who used the company's tech to travel there from th…more From what I could gather:
1) Mr. Branch the science teacher was actually one of Joel's descendants, who used the company's tech to travel there from the future. He wanted to gain Joel's trust and manipulate him to expand to space, ensuring his timeline loop would close.
2) Mr. Branch was from far enough in the future that he was more bionic than organic, hence all the weird stuff in his blood that he used to kill Hwa's friends (?).
3) Apparently there are multiple timelines where many of Joel's descendants attempted to get Joel to expand the company so that their timeline could happen. To do that, they had to get rid of Hwa, because if she was around (or had been killed and Joel was still attached to her), Joel wouldn't bother expanding to space. Hence all the other images/timelines where she's dead.
4) Mr. Branch's strategy, instead, was to try to get Hwa to quit (by murdering her friends in horrible ways) and when she wouldn't, to frame Hwa and Daniel as being the killers. (?)
5) Hwa led Mr. Branch to the reactor room, where because it was "hers" to control, she was able to set off a reactor meltdown that destroyed Mr. Branch.
6) Hwa should have died too (and assumed she was going to) except when she and Daniel had sex, he accidentally infected her with his self-healing nanobot technology and it protected her/started healing her right away.
7) Since Daniel and Hwa now have the same stuff in their blood, that's how he was able to control the reactor room and get her out--it saw them as the same person.
Still don't know:
1) How Hwa got out of the elevator shaft and escaped the first fight with Mr. Branch/whose voice encouraged her during those times.
2) Who sent the death threats.(less) (hide spoiler)]
Language... there's lots of language. Lots and lots.(less)
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 ...more
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 ...more
A version of a segment of this story was previously published in the 'Upgraded' (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) 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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...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 ...more
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 ...more
The main character, whom I fell in love with, Go Jung-Hwa, is a hal ...more
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, ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
Me: *spots book on living room table, evidently purchased by Dad* You read this yet?
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
"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 ...more
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 ...more
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)[I mean, when the main villain of the story turns out to be that two-bit secondary char ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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).
None of the students really noticed. They were too busy miming anal on the dance floor.”