Company Town Paperback – 29 August 2017
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- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0765382911
- ISBN-13 : 978-0765382917
- Dimensions : 14.12 x 1.97 x 20.96 cm
- Publisher : Tor Books; Reprint edition (29 August 2017)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 764,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A thrilling near-future noir mystery....A fascinating book from a writer with great vision." --Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels series
"Smart, weird dystopia." --Margaret Atwood
"The skill with which Ashby introduces her various SF elements is worthy of the best Heinlein.... Company Town never falters in its pacing. It's a terrific ride." --Locus
"This is brave, bold, crazy storytelling at the edge and doesn't read like anything else I've seen up or down the pike." --Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Aftermath
"A brilliant and chilling look at our post-oil future. I haven't been this hooked by an SF novel for ages." --Charles Stross, author of the Laundry Files series
"Loved Company Town, Madeline Ashby's wonderfully imaginative new sci-fi mystery with a fascinating female protagonist." --Feminist Frequency
"The world is an updated version of Raymond Chandler's, with gray morals and broken characters, and Hwa's internal monologue has just the right balance of introspection and wit...[a] very solid page-turner." --Publishers Weekly
"A fascinating mix of detective noir and near-future SF with cinematic world building and a broken, but resilient, unquestionably badass heroine." --Booklist
"Ashby's action scenes come thick and fast...the ideas, setting and relationships that make the story really worth reading." --New Zealand Herald
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Top reviews from Australia
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I started reading this book, and was engrossed in it, when I began to get an increasingly intense sense of déjà vu – culminating, at the end of the second chapter, in the realization that I had indeed read some of it before, as the story “Come From Away” in the anthology Upgraded , edited by Neil Clarke. Which got me really enthused, because it was one of my Short Story nominees for the 2015 Hugos. I enjoyed the mystery combined with the depiction of a cybernetic future world, and I would definitely be interested in reading more adventures with this protagonist.
Top reviews from other countries
It's mostly the story of Hwa, a young woman living on an oil rig by the Canadian coast that was recently taken over by the Lynch Corp. And the corporate's heir apparent, 15-year old Joel, is in danger and needs a bodyguard and someone to teach him some self-defense. This is the job for Hwa, because of her fighting skills and the fact that in a world of “augmented” and “enhanced” people, she is kind of invisible: she suffers from an illness that comes with a huge port-wine stain and no artificial eye can really focus on her. And different than all others, she can't be “hacked” and thus be manipulated, because she is totally without enhancements or augmentations.
So the premises of Hwa being who she is and the secluded town with all the enhanced people, are great in themselves. The thriller-plot with a bit of “Jack the Ripper”-murder series adds the right amount of suspense and nail-biting. But the real deal is the character of Hwa, her development and the relationships she has and forms. That Hwa has no enhancements is no show of her conviction or anything, but the result of having a mother who sees no worth in her. And that did rub off on Hwa without making her wallowing in self-pity. Her third person POV was great to follow and I loved seeing how she learned who and what she really is and what other people's reasons for their behaviors towards her were.
The murders are gruesome and the case is solved in the end, but it really is just one facet of a much larger picture that made me breathless, while it unraveled. Besides the characters, the strange and brutal but ingenious world, plays a huge role in providing just the right atmosphere. A bit “Blade Runner” and Neal Stephenson. “Corporate Town” was a great read that surprised me in the best of ways.