Oh my! This book is so unexpected that I'm still scrambling to catch up with and relive what went down.
Hwa is an amazing character. Her strengths and weaknesses, her very humanness in a world where people embrace bio-engineering stands in sharp contrast to those around her. Her world is narrowed down to a huge oil rig in the Atlantic Ocean off the Canadian coast--a city (Company Town) owned by a huge corporation: Lynch Ltd. ... and wasn't the original US nuclear testing site a prototype of 'the Company Town' ? Ah! the nefarious doings of large corporations rears it's ugly head!
Hired to be the bodyguard for Joel, the heir apparent and youngest of the 'family', Hwa comes face to face with truths that are disturbing. The drive and ambition of the family is both bizarre and frightening, Orwell's '1984' meets David Weber's 'Mesan Alignment' in the Harrington Books with, I don't know, perhaps some of 'The Matrix.' Let's face it Lynch Ltd. is one scary corporation, a corporation without ethics and driven by the few super people prototypes. Are they machine or human or neither? The lines certainly blur.
So you have this hive type community mind that is looking to control and tailor the responses and decisions of the heir apparent, Joel, but the non engineered Hwa, the organic is the X factor in the equation, the wild card--and therein lies her power! Her relationship with Joel is fascinating, as is that with Daniel. Who or what is Daniel? I am still trying to figure that out too.
So I loved this book and am unsure why. Maybe because that wild card kept frustrating the status quo, despite the personal tragedies that happen along the way. Hwa is a strong female lead that one can empathize with. Great character! She is in a fight for her very being, without ever realizing it.
p.s. The dedication is timely. It speaks into the void. Thank you Madeline Ashby!
A NetGalley ARC